Pigs are extraordinary animals that love to eat, play, and hunt. As you spend more time with them, you will start noticing particular habits that might seem strange but are part of their nature.
Many people know that pigs love to be in the mud, but it’s not because they are dirty pigs. On the contrary, pigs are quite clean animals if they have the proper space and conditions for living.
For these reasons, in this article, I explain why pigs eat dirt and why they just want to be in the mud. It might surprise you, but when you think about it, it makes sense.
Do pigs eat dirt? Yes, some pigs will eat dirt, but in general, most pigs are just rooting in the mud, maybe looking for something to eat. Pigs like to lie in the mud to keep insects away, but it also helps them cool off during high temperatures, so it can be quite normal to see them working the soil.
There is no need for you to worry if you notice this type of behavior with your pigs. In fact, it might be an indication that they might need a cold treat like a watermelon or something that can cool them off.
Pigs really like to be in the mud, so expect them to do this constantly and also sometimes like to eat roots and look for food; it is part of their nature.
Some pigs love to eat white clay, yellow clay, cider soil, and medical stone. This type of soil contains iron, copper, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, zinc, and over 20 more mineral elements.
We think this is the main reason why pigs eat this type of soil; it is their natural way of consuming some of these nutrients. It might be a reason to ask yourself if your pigs are consuming the necessary nutrients from their primary source of food. Which should be the pigs feed.
Do mini pigs eat dirt?
Yes, mini pigs can also manifest this type of behavior; this is something all types of pig breeds will do if they feel the need to do so.
So everything I just explained regarding the why of this behavior also applies to mini pigs and all types of pigs.
So they will be fine if they eat dirt; just make sure they are eating all the nutrients a mini pig needs.
Do pigs eat sand?
Some pigs could eat sand, especially if you’re serving them food directly in the sand. But it is not recommended that they eat directly from the sand.
Sand is not digestible, so eating too much sand could potentially put their lives in danger, and by the way, the same applies to dirt; if they eat too much of it, it will hurt their digestive system.
I just want to be clear that they can and will eat it, but it’s not like they will eat the soil or the sand as if it’s normal food, and it should not be encouraged that they do so.
Do pigs eat earthworms?
Pigs are crazy eaters, and what I mean by that is that they will eat almost anything as they are omnivorous animals. So yes, pigs do eat earthworms.
In fact, they love eating earthworms, crickets, and anything that you can think of. I know that this might not be the healthier way for them, especially earthworms, but they do eat them, and this is why it’s recommended to deworm your pigs.
Since they eat so many things directly from the soil, you shouldn’t be surprised some of them might have worms, but you don’t have to worry; there are injection and oral treatments for this, and your veterinarian can help you decide which is the best choice.
But although they do eat earthworms, I don’t encourage you to systematically feed them earthworms; this is a natural process that could happen when they are eating from solid or just rooting.
Pigs should be encouraged to eat the pig feed or the corn-based diet; as a treat, you can give them vegetables, fruits, and anything else that should happen in a natural process as it would when they are in the wild.
Conclusion: Do pigs eat dirt?
Yes, pigs sometimes will eat dirt; they might do this because they are looking for some vitamins. But they also like to root and look for food; this is normal behavior. And there is no need for you to worry.
Also, pigs love to spend time in the mud, especially during the summer, as it helps them go through the hot days.
But I do recommend you make sure they are consuming all the necessary vitamins and nutrients they need as this will also keep them healthy.
Make sure they eat the pig feed as their primary source of food. It will help them grow strong and healthy.
As long as this behavior is not manifesting because your pigs lack food or a healthy living condition, it is ok for them to spend time in the mud or just eat the dirt.
In fact, some people recommend that your pigs eat soil as it can help prevent diseases and help their overall development. They say pigs love to eat white clay, yellow clay, cinder soil, and medical stone.
But the soil should not be eaten casually, only if it occurs in a natural way. Meaning your pigs are making the decision.