In today’s article, we talk about the English Berkshire pig, specifically, I will be answering some common questions we get regarding their diet and the types of foods they should be eating with their nutritional value.
As you probably know, pigs have this amazing ability where they can basically eat whatever they want, which is one of the main reasons there is an overpopulation of pigs in Texas and other parts of the United States.
These omnivorous animals can basically eat anything, especially if they are in the wild; nothing will stop them, meat, plants, fruits, anything, even things that might not be so good for them.
But with domesticated pigs it’s a bit different, we do need to be careful with the type of foods we offer them, and we have to make sure they stay on a healthy, balanced diet. That is, we want to have strong, healthy pigs with healthy meat.
And if you just want them as your pet, even more, a healthy diet will increase their life expectancy.
What do Berkshire pigs eat? Berkshire pigs should have a corn-based diet (or pig feed) mixed with grass, vegetables, and fruits. If you lack any particular food, it’s ok, but do make sure they always have access to the pig feed as this will provide them the necessary nutrients they need.
In this article, I will talk about different fruits and vegetables you pigs can eat and shouldn’t eat, but it’s important to consider that the corn-based diet should always come before anything; the rest should only be used as a secondary source of nutrients.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Grass?
Yes, Berkshire pigs can definitely eat grass. This is a great option for pigs to have as it will provide lots of fiber which will help with the digestive system of the pigs.
Pigs can survive a prolonged time just by eating grass, and it does improve the meat quality, but it’s important to consider that they also need protein and other vitamins and minerals they won’t find in the grass alone.
So do give them grass but make sure they are also getting the other food types. Only grass-fed pigs will not grow as much, nor will they reproduce as much. And their life expectancy is short. So they definitely need something else.
If you’re trying to sell grass-fed meat, you can do so but adding the corn-based diet both complements itself, and will also give you a great tasty pig. Your customer will thank you for it and won’t know the difference.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Apples?
Yes, Berkshire pigs love to eat apples. This is a great treat you can have them eat just to make them happy or if you’re looking to train them.
Apples contain a high amount of nutrients such as fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, copper, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and many more.
Having your pigs eat these types of fruit will definitely improve their overall health.
But you should make sure not to feed them the apple seeds as they can be toxic for pigs.
Other than that, they can eat the apple peels, cores, and all parts of the apple, and they will enjoy it.
Regarding small pigs or piglets, try to cut the apple into small pieces just to make it easier for them to digest better. And again, make sure to remove the seeds; if you can’t, it’s better not to feed them the apple.
Some people say I give them the seeds, and nothing is wrong with my pigs, but what I say to them is that it’s best to be on the safe side. It’s true that we must consider the portion, but would you drink a small amount of poison even though it might not kill you?
So keep it safe and healthy there are too many foods pigs can eat to even risk it.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Strawberries?
This delicious red fruit it’s a great option if you’re looking to treat your Berkshire pig. It contains a high volume of nutrients that will improve the immune system of your pigs.
They are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B9, protein, fiber, carbs, manganese, potassium, and many other nutrients.
This is a great food to use when your Berkshire pig is still small. I guarantee you they will go crazy about it.
During the hot summer, consider freezing the fruit and then feeding them to your pigs; they will enjoy it.
What is also great is that this fruit, with all its valuable content, will care for your pigs heart which many pigs can suffer from when we don’t take the necessary precaution, so giving them this type of fruit is definitely a plus.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, pigs can definitely eat sweet potatoes; this is a delicious vegetable for them to have. But you would have to cook them first just to make it easier for the pigs to digest properly.
I’m sure they would eat them raw if it’s properly cut into small pieces, but it is not recommended.
You can also feed them the potato peels, but make sure to avoid the potato plants as they can be poisonous for the pigs to consume.
But what’s great about using sweet potatoes it’s all the nutritional value it has; for example, it has a high volume of water, protein, and fiber.
But it also has vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin C, vitamin E, and many others.
And it is true there isn’t too much difference between the sweet potatoes and the regular potatoes so you can definitely use both.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Dog Food?
Technically speaking Berkshire pigs can eat the dog feed during emergencies, but it should not be used as a substitute for pig feed.
Dog food contains too much protein when compared to the pigs’ feeds, and in general, it is not meant for pigs.
So make sure to provide the pigs the necessary pig feed or corn-based diet they should have, and don’t even get familiar with giving them dog feed.
And please don’t use this type of food with your piglets; remember, they need their mothers’ milk or an equivalent substitute.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Watermelon?
Yes, Berkshire pigs can definitely eat watermelon. This is a very delicious fruit that pigs love to eat during the hot summer month as it will keep them hydrated, and if it’s given to them in a frozen state, it will help them with the heat.
Watermelon contains many vitamins and nutrients such as magnesium, carbs, fiber, protein, sugar, fat, vitamin A, vitamin C, and many antioxidants, which all work together to better improve the overall health of your Berkshire pig.
Do feel comfortable giving as many watermelons as your pigs can eat; this fruit will definitely make your pigs go crazy.
Even the small piggies can eat the watermelon. And to make it easier for them to digest, I recommend cutting it into small pieces.
Grown pigs can basically eat all parts of the watermelon, fruit, rinds, and seeds. It’s all good for them.
And finally, this fruit contains anticancer effects and improves the heart health of your pig, and let’s not forget it will help them reduce stress, which is something good, especially if you have many pigs living in the same area.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Eggs?
Technically speaking, pigs, in general, can eat eggs. Whether it is raw or cooked, they will eat it. But I recommend cooking the egg and making sure your pig is not aware of what they are eating.
You would want to cook the eggs just to avoid any bacteria or diseases. You don’t want your pig to get sick by eating raw foods but also if one of your pigs gets sick, he might transmit the sickness to the others, and then you will have a big problem.
And even when it’s cooked, mix it up with other foods because if the pigs become aware of what they are eating, they might start targeting the chicken coop.
Pigs are quite smart animals, so never underestimate them, especially their hunger for a particular food.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Raw Meat?
Pigs can and will eat raw meat, but it is best if they don’t, raw meat could contain bacteria that could potentially sicken your pig. In fact, in many countries and states, it’s illegal to feed raw meat or scrap food to pigs.
So do make sure you are even able to do it even if it’s cooked.
The problem with this animal problem is that you have to make sure it is as healthy as possible as this type of food can easily rot, and pigs should never eat rotted foods.
There isn’t a real need for Berkshire pigs to eat meat; it’s more of something we humans want to do; with corn-based diets, fruits and vegetables will be more than enough for the pigs.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Tomatoes?
Yes, this delicious fruit can be given to your Berkshire pigs as it contains water, protein, fiber, fat, vitamin C, vitamin K1, folate, and potassium.
All these nutrients will improve the overall health of your pigs.
You can mix it up with any other vegetable and even pig feed.
Pigs can eat all parts of the tomato but do avoid feeding them the plants as it can be poisonous for them to consume.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Uncooked Rice?
Although rice doesn’t have too many nutrients, it is a great food for the pigs to have; I would recommend feeding them cooked rice as uncooked rice will not be placed for them to eat.
Especially if we are talking about baby pigs, maybe if you mix it up with other foods but uncooked rice will not be so good for them or their digestive system.
Can Berkshire Pigs Eat Ice Cream?
No pigs should not eat ice cream, pigs should avoid consuming sugars. This is not good for them; sure, once a year it would be ok, but there is no nutritional value in doing it, so why would you bother?
It would be best to avoid it, especially since you have hundreds of healthier options you can give them.
What Not to Feed Berkshire Pigs?
There are many other foods your pigs can eat that I did not mention in this article, it would be impossible for me to do so, but I did try to answer the most common ones.
But a general rule to follow is that if a human can eat what you’re thinking of feeding to your pigs they most likely can. Now, this rule has its exception, which I’m about to explain. But overall, always consider the health of your pigs.
And ask yourself what you think feeding them will improve their overall health.
So to get to the answer, please avoid feeding fish, bones, meat, oils, juices, or any type of sugar. There are some plants like tomato plants that you should avoid but in general, remember the rule.
Conclusion: What do Berkshire pigs eat?
These pigs should have a corn-based diet mixed with protein and vegetables. They do have the ability to eat many types of fruits and vegetables, so you won’t have any issue in providing to them. But do make sure they are only used as a secondary source of their nutrition.
The primary source of nutrients for the Berkshire pig should be pig feed; never forget that. This will ensure you get to have strong and healthy pigs that you and your client will love.
This English pig is great for meat quality, but it must have a healthy and balanced diet in order to achieve this.
And even if you want him just as a pet, having the pig eat healthily, will give you some extra years with him.
Something to consider is that pigs do get tired of eating the same thing on a daily basis, so you can definitely mix up some of the foods I mention in this article with the pig feed to make the food more interesting for them and keep them motivated to eat the pig feed.
These pigs can grow very big, so be prepared because you will need to provide them with lots of food.