Celery is often derided as a nothing vegetable, one that contains water and not much else nutritionally. But, perhaps surprisingly, celery is actually pretty nutritious and contains a good assortment of vitamins and minerals.
This begs the question if it can be a good supplement in the diets of our animals. How about our pigs? Can pigs eat celery and is it safe?
Yes, pigs can eat celery with absolutely no problems. The vitamins and minerals present in celery are a good addition to a pig’s diet and the abundant moisture can help pigs resist heat stress on hot days.
Perhaps even more surprising is that most pigs tend to love celery. Probably something to do with that crisp and juicy texture.
In any case, this is a great treat or supplement for your pigs, but you should keep reading to learn everything you need to know about giving it to them.
Is Celery Good for Pigs?
Yes, celery is definitely good and safe for pigs. It provides good nutrition and moisture content while being easy to digest and possessing few, if any, negative side effects.
Nutritional Benefits of Celery for Pigs
Celery, as mentioned, is not a “negative calories” veggie. It actually has a pretty well-rounded profile of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, and a surprising amount of vitamin K.
The mineral content is also impressive for what it is and includes calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. All good stuff, and all things that pigs need in order to thrive.
Vitamin A is used by pigs to support their vision, and also helps to keep their skin healthy.
Vitamin B1, otherwise known as thiamine, is essential for pigs’ nervous system function while B2, riboflavin, is required for energy metabolism.
B3, niacin, helps with digestion while B5, pantothenic acid, supports the immune system. B6, pyridoxine, is important for protein metabolism and making red blood cells while folate helps with cell growth.
Celery also contains a decent amount of vitamin C, which helps support the immune system, and vitamin E which is an antioxidant. Vitamin K is important for blood clotting.
The mineral content of celery is also important to pigs. Calcium helps with bone growth, copper supports the immune system and iron is important for making red blood cells.
Magnesium helps with energy metabolism while phosphorus helps with cell growth and bone health.
Potassium is important for fluid balance, sodium for nerve function, and zinc for immune system support.
All in all, celery is actually a pretty nutritious vegetable and a great addition to the diet of pigs.
Can Pigs Eat Raw Celery?
Yes, and this is by far the best way to serve it to them. Raw celery maintains maximum nutrient content and is also the most digestible form.
Can Pigs Have Celery Juice?
Yes, they can, although you should not go out of your way to juice it for them. They will get plenty of it by eating raw celery.
Can Pigs Eat Cooked Celery?
Yes. Cooked celery is not something you should routinely give to your pigs, however, since cooking basically destroys what nutrients it has and often turns the texture into a slimy mess.
Don’t Give Your Pigs Celery if it Was Made with Bad Ingredients
On the subject of cooking, never give your pigs any celery that was prepared with or as an ingredient in something they should not have. Particularly, salt, sugar, oils, butter and the like can all spell bad news for your pigs.
These harmful ingredients will do nothing but cause your pigs to suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, major indigestion and other health problems.
In some cases, severe issues like peritonitis or salt poisoning might occur, which can be fatal.
Celery is a perfectly safe and healthy treat for pigs, but only if you give it to them in the right way.
If you are going to cook celery, make sure it is only cooked plain or with wholesome ingredients that won’t harm your pigs.
Be Mindful of Pesticide if the Celery Came from the Grocery
Another issue, and one not unique to celery, is the likely presence of pesticides on store-bought varieties.
Celery is often treated with all sorts of harsh chemicals in order to repel pests, make it grow faster, look prettier and last longer on the shelves. All of these chemicals, but pesticides, in particular, are bad news for pigs.
These pesticides have been linked with a host of health problems in pigs, including skin irritation, reproductive issues and even cancer or organ damage.
So, if you’re feeding your pig celery from the grocery store, you must wash it thoroughly first to remove any potentially harmful chemicals.
While we’re on the topic of pesticide exposure, it’s worth mentioning that celery is often one of the “dirty dozen” – a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides.
So, if you’re really worried about your pig’s exposure to these harmful chemicals, you might want to opt for organic celery instead.
It may be more expensive, but it could be worth it for your peace of mind (and your pig’s health).
Can Pigs Have Celery Every Day?
Yes, in limited quantities. Celery is about as inoffensive and easy-to-digest as it gets, and since it has a good spread of vitamins, minerals, and water content it can be a regular supplement to your herd’s diet.
How Much Celery Can Pigs Have?
Even though celery is a nutritious addition to the diet of your pigs, it is not something that they should eat to excess. First, too much watery food can give pigs diarrhea, and no one wants that.
But more importantly, celery just does not have the calories that pigs need. If they fill up on celery they will be missing out on other, more calorie-dense foods that they need to maintain their weight.
And finally, remember that celery is not a complete food for pigs (or any other animal, for that matter).
It should only ever be fed as a supplement to a well-rounded diet of hay, feed, and vegetables. Overfeeding celery (or any other food) can lead to health problems down the road.
So, as a general rule of thumb, you should only feed your pigs celery in moderation. A few stalks here and there will suffice: there’s no need to go overboard.
How to Give Celery to Your Pigs
You don’t need to do much to feed celery to your pigs. Just wash it thoroughly, chop it up into manageable pieces (if necessary) and let them at it.
And that’s really all there is to it! Celery is a simple, crisp, and healthy treat that your pigs will love.
If you want to take it a bit further, you can chop up celery and other veggies with other foods into a sort of salad that your pigs can tuck into.
This is a good way to bulk up the calorie content of celery at a meal while ensuring your pigs still get all the benefits of it.
Lastly, don’t forget that celery is an awesome snack for pigs on hot days: the high water content, potassium, and sodium will help keep them hydrated.
Can Baby Pigs Have Celery, Too?
Yes, your piglets can also eat celery and will derive much the same benefits from it as adults will. There are just two things to keep in mind, though.
First, as always, wait until they are old enough to be eating solid food all the time. If they have not weaned they are too young.
Second, cut the celery into small pieces so that they can easily eat and digest it. Celery might be a choking hazard for piglets if left whole. Other than that, feel free to let them munch away!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Mini Pigs Have Celery?
Yes, they can. Mini pigs can have celery the same as larger breeds.
Can Kunekune Pigs Eat Celery?
Yes! These happy, plucky pigs will also love a stalk of crisp celery the same as any other.
What Happens if Pigs Eat Too Much Celery?
Celery is among the least harmful foods that a pig might overeat. At worst, they will get some diarrhea because it is so watery.
That might be an issue if they are already at risk for dehydration, so just use common sense. If your pig is eating too much of anything, cut back on the quantity.
Can Celery Help a Pig Gain Weight?
Not really! Celery is a very low-calorie food, and one that your pigs should be eating as a dietary supplement, but not to pack on the pounds.
Tom has built and remodeled homes, generated his own electricity, grown his own food and more, all in quest of remaining as independent of society as possible. Now he shares his experiences and hard-earned lessons with readers around the country.