Pigs are intelligent animals, but if they can eat something even if it’s not healthy for them, you can bet they will still try it. That’s why we have to be careful of what we, directly and indirectly, feed them.
Ensuring pigs don’t eat anything poisonous or that they aren’t overeating one particular food group is key to ensuring your pigs lead a healthy life. Today we look into different apples, what benefits they contain, and whether they are suitable for pigs.
Can Pigs Eat Apples? Yes, pigs can eat apples. Apples are one of the most nutritious foods for pigs, and luckily, they also love them! Like humans, pigs can be fussy about certain foods, but most enjoy apples. You must add apples to a pig’s diet slowly and feed with moderation.
You may like: Can Pigs Eat Radishes?
Are Apples Good For Pigs?
Yes, they are exceptional foods to provide to your pigs. I am sure you know the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, and this is because apples hold more nutrients than many other fruits.
Apples are low in sodium, fats and are rich in fiber and healthy carbohydrates – these are good properties in a pig diet.
Apples are also high in nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants. Vitamin C is essential to pigs and aids the metabolic and immune systems.
Pigs can create their vitamin C. However, it is common for some pigs to be deficient, so it is vital to provide vitamin C through consumption. Vitamin C deficiency can cause skin infections, recurrent respiratory illnesses, fatigue, and problems farrowing.
Vitamin A supports bone growth and vision in all pigs. Vitamin A is particularly of benefit to sows as it encourages ovulation.
Potassium is vital in maintaining a healthy heart rate and aids blood cells, muscles, and nerves. Without potassium, pigs can become fatigued and lack the energy to consume their dietary requirements.
As mentioned, apples are also rich in antioxidants which help clear the body from free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to cells.
However, with all good things, there needs to be a balance. Too much vitamin C can cause bladder stones, especially in male potbelly pigs. At the same time, too much vitamin A in pigs can cause bone underdevelopment, vision issues and can cause future problems in a sows reproductive system.
Unfortunately, most health issues are permanent, so getting your swine’s correct nutrient dosage is crucial.
Can Pigs Eat Apple Cores?
Yes, they can eat the apple cores. However, if you provide more than one or two apples a week to your regular-sized pig, you should remove the seeds from the apple due to possible cyanide poisoning.
Cyanide is contained within the seeds, and the seeds are connected to the apple’s core, so it’s best to remove this part.
Apple seeds can cause many problems in pigs if they consume too many and evoke a coma or death. We elaborate on the seeds in further detail below.
Can Pigs Eat Apple Seeds?
Yes and No. There is some conflicting information on the internet about apple seeds and whether pigs can eat them.
Apple seeds contain cyanide which is poisonous to pigs and humans. The catch is in the dosage. If your regular-sized pig consumes one or two apples a week, don’t worry about cutting them out.
However, if you have a mini pig or piglet or are feeding your pigs more than this, get into the habit of removing the seeds to prevent cyanide poisoning.
Cyanide poisoning is severe and can cause excess salivation, vomiting, muscle spasms, coma, and death.
If you think your pigs have had a large number of apples in a small amount of time, contact your vet immediately – especially if you see any signs of poisoning, such as staggering and collapsing.
There are ways vets can treat cyanide poisoning to prevent your pig from a coma or death. If you have apple trees on your land, keep your pigs out of that area to prevent them from eating too many apples.
Can Pigs Eat Green Apples?
Yes, pigs can eat green apples if they are fresh and naturally ripe – such as a granny smith apple. While red apples generally have slightly higher nutritional content, granny smith apples are still healthy and ideal for a pig’s snack.
If the apple is green from being under-ripe, it is highly recommended to avoid feeding them to your pigs.
Can Pigs Eat Rotten Apples?
It is recommended not to feed rotten apples to pigs. Don’t worry if you have accidentally provided a rotten one once or twice to your pigs but try to avoid doing so.
If you have a bag of apples and notice one is rotten, be sure to check the remaining of them as rotting spreads very quickly throughout.
Rotten apples contain toxins and microorganisms that, in small doses, will be killed off by the pig’s stomach acid.
However, the toxins and microorganisms can significantly damage the pig in large amounts.
Old pigs, swine with defective immune systems, and piglets should never be supplied rotten foods as they are easily susceptible to toxins and microorganisms.
Also, be mindful that once an apple has any rotten areas on it, the whole apple is infected; you cannot cut the affected areas off.
Can Pigs Eat Hedge Apples?
Hedge apple, otherwise known as Osage orange, or horse apple, is not poisonous, so yes, they can be eaten by pigs.
Pigs enjoy hedge apples, and they positively affect pigs, so it’s a win-win. Hedge apples support both the immune and cardiovascular systems with their nutritional content.
Be mindful to only feed hedge apples to your swine in moderation as they can affect your pig when provided in high doses, just like all other pig-friendly fruits and vegetables. Also, remember that hedge apples are tough and can get easily stuck in a pig’s esophagus, so try to cut them down to prevent this from occurring.
Can Pigs Eat Whole Apples?
Yes, pigs can eat whole apples on rare occasions, but you need to be cautious. Always feed whole apples as a treat and try not to make a habit of it as the seed contains the poison cyanide, which can kill pigs in high doses.
It’s also better to cut the apples into slices to ensure your pigs don’t choke.
Can Pigs Have Apple Juice?
If you have organic apple juice with no added sugar, you can feed apple juice to pigs. Ensure you provide only a tiny amount for a treat, as apple juice naturally has high sugar content.
Always be cautious as to what you feed the apple juice with so you aren’t providing lots of sugar at once.
Too much sugar can cause obesity, arthritis, and cardiovascular issues in pigs, so try adding a protein or fiber hit with apple juice to ensure a balanced feed.
Can Pigs Have Applesauce?
Yes, in moderation, pigs can have apple sauce if it has very little or no added sugar. Apple sauce has a naturally high sugar content, and it has little fiber, so there isn’t much benefit to pigs.
However, pigs enjoy it, making a tasty treat for training purposes. Only feed applesauce in moderation as it can cause obesity and enamel decay.
Due to the high sugar content, try to add this in with foods that contain 0 sugar to ensure a more balanced meal for your pigs.
Can Pigs Have Apple Cider Vinegar?
Yes, pigs can consume apple cider vinegar without adverse health effects in small quantities; plus, pigs enjoy acidic foods.
It has been proven that apple cider vinegar has many benefits to humans and pigs. Pigs who consume apple cider vinegar tend to increase their feeds, have higher but healthier weight gains, and have a decreased number of parasites.
Piglets also benefit from acidic foods as acid promotes the enzyme that aids food absorption.
These properties are essential in a pig’s diet, so apple cider vinegar is an excellent addition. Remember that any food consumed too often can have adverse side effects, no matter how healthy they are.
Can Mini Pigs Eat Apples?
Mini pigs can consume apples in moderation, just like other pigs can. Because of apple’s high concentration of vitamins, it’s crucial to consider what other foods you are feeding your mini pig to ensure you don’t offer excess amounts of vitamins.
Extra vitamins can cause long-term and permanent bone underdevelopment, reproduction issues, and an ineffective cardiovascular system.
Because mini pigs are so miniature compared to regular pigs, you don’t have much room for error, so always be cautious. Also, only ever feed your mini pigs apples in small pieces and ensure they don’t contain any seeds.
Conclusion: Can Pigs Eat Apples?
Yes, all types of pigs can safely consume apples, as long as it’s in quantities suitable to the pig’s size, age, and health. Apples have many beneficial properties, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants, vital for healthy pigs.
It’s critical to remove the seeds if you are feeding apples regularly to your pigs to prevent cyanide poisoning.
Apples are a great treat to sneak into a pig’s bedding; they will love searching for their nutritious snack.