Pigs are known as animals that will eat pretty much everything. Lots of owners tend to give them scraps and leftovers from their own tables because of this tendency.
But just because they can eat anything does not mean they should. There are plenty of foods out there, including all kinds of people’s food, that just isn’t good for pigs.
But how about something relatively wholesome like bread? Can pigs eat bread?
Yes, pigs can safely eat bread and moderation. Bread is a good source of calories and some minerals for pigs, but it can lead to digestive problems if they eat it excessively.
So long as you give them bread as a component in a well-rounded diet, they will be fine.
Bread is one of those human foods that you can usually give to your pigs without guilt or worry.
Barring that you feed them way too much of it or that the bread has harmful ingredients in it, it won’t hurt your pigs and they tend to love the stuff.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about giving your pigs bread.
Do Pigs Like Bread?
They sure do. Pigs love bread, and will look for any opportunity to snatch a piece or two when they see you eating it. This is one of the main reasons why many pig owners will give their pigs bread as a treat.
Nutritional Benefits of Bread for Pigs
The nutritional benefits of bread vary somewhat depending on the type, but in general, it is a good source of carbohydrates and some minerals for pigs.
It also contains a fair amount of calories, which can be helpful for pigs that are trying to gain weight.
Various breads contain a fair amount of vitamins and minerals that can benefit pigs, such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
Whole wheat breads tend to have a bit more of these minerals than white breads.
Phosphorous is used by pigs for energy metabolism and to help build strong bones. Potassium is important for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in pigs.
It helps with muscle contraction, heart function, and digestion. Magnesium is used by pigs for energy metabolism, protein synthesis, and nerve and muscle function.
While bread does have some nutritional benefits for pigs, it is important to remember that it should not make up the bulk of their diet.
Pigs need a well-rounded diet that includes plenty of hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets in order to stay healthy.
Can Pigs Eat Baked Bread?
Absolutely, and this is the only way they should have bread. Any baked bread is fine for pigs to eat.
Can Pigs Eat Bread Dough?
No. Rather, your pigs shouldn’t eat raw dough. Dough is sticky, thick, and tough to swallow, making it a perfect choking hazard for pigs.
More than that, the raw dough can expand inside your pig’s stomach, causing bloating. Finally, bread dough contains live yeast, which can produce alcohol as it ferments in your pig’s stomach.
Do Pigs Eat Old Bread?
Yes, they do. Pigs don’t see, to care one bit if the bread you give them is a bit stale. They will still eat it and enjoy it just the same.
Can Pigs Eat Bread Crumbs?
Yes, but they will only really show interest in it if it is mixed into other foods. Bread crumbs by themselves would need to be in a huge heap or contained in a bowl or other container for pigs to have an easy time eating them.
Don’t Give Your Pigs Bread if it Was Made with Bad Ingredients
Plain, wholesome baked bread is fine for pigs, but where you can go wrong feeding it to them is if the bread is prepared with any ingredients or toppings that they cannot have.
For example, cheese bread or anything with sugary frosting or filling is a no-go for pigs. Anything that has a lot of added salt, sugar, or fat should not be given to pigs.
These ingredients can lead to “dirty” weight gain and other health problems in pigs.
Some of these problems can be quite severe and include things like high blood pressure, inflammation of the intestines, and kidney damage.
At best your pigs could be facing a serious bout of indigestion or diarrhea, and that is no good!
If you are unsure whether or not a certain type of bread contains any ingredients your pigs shouldn’t have, it is best to be safe rather than sorry: hold off on feeding it to them.
Can Pigs Get Sick from Eating Moldy Bread?
Yes. You should never feed your pigs moldy bread or any food that is moldy, for that matter.
Mold can cause a number of health problems in pigs ranging from digestive issues to respiratory problems.
Pigs are habitual eaters, and will often eat things they shouldn’t if they recognize it as food. This includes old, moldy, bad, bread.
Moldy bread can be contaminated with bacteria that can make pigs terribly sick. Bread is especially prone to experiencing mold blooms when improperly kept or handled or just when it is too old.
A little spot of mold on an otherwise pristine loaf is nothing to sweat over- you can just break it off and throw it away- but you should discard any bread that is significantly moldy.
If you have any doubts, don’t feed it to your pigs. When in doubt, leave it out!
Can Pigs Eat Bread Every Day?
Pigs could have a little bread every day, or larger quantities less often. What you don’t want to do is make bread the mainstay of their diet as they need other nutrients to stay healthy.
A good rule of thumb is to offer your pigs a small amount of bread as a treat every few days or so unless you are trying to encourage rapid weight gain.
This will ensure that they get the nutrients they need from other sources while still being able to enjoy the occasional tasty treat.
How Much Bread Can Pigs Have?
While bread is generally safe for pigs to eat, it is important not to give them too much. This is because bread can lead to digestive problems if pigs eat too much of it.
Some of the symptoms of too much bread in a pig’s diet include bloating, diarrhea, increased flatulence, and lowered appetite. Vomiting may result if you give pigs bread dough.
Generally, you can give your pigs a hunk or two of bread a few days a week without any problems.
If you are going to give them more than that, make sure to do so gradually so that their digestive system can adjust.
If you have any concerns about giving your pigs bread, you should consult with a veterinarian who is familiar with pigs.
How to Give Bread to Your Pigs
To be clear, pigs will enjoy bread any way you care to give it to them. They will happily chow down on a crusty baguette or munch on a piece of stale white bread.
However, there are some things to try when giving your pigs bread.
If your pigs just need a snack you can give them bread by itself, and the will be more than happy.
If you want to give them a more substantial meal, you could tear up the bread and mix it with some other pig-safe foods like fruits or vegetables.
This will help to bulk up the meal and make it more filling for your pigs. Bread can also be used as an ingredient in other recipes specifically designed for pigs.
Can Baby Pigs Have Bread, Too?
Yes, piglets can have bread as long as they are old enough to eat solid food. You will just need to take care to give them smaller pieces of bread or tear it up into smaller pieces so they can eat it easily.
As always, adjust the quantity so they still have plenty of room for the other foods they need in their diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, but only if those toppings are safe and healthy for pigs. Things like peanut butter, honey, and veggies are popular toppings for bread and safe for pigs.
You should only give your pigs bread with toppings if you are sure the toppings are safe and healthy for them to eat.
Yes. Potbelly pigs can eat bread with no problem, same as any other breed of pig.
Yes, but cautiously. Mini pigs need far less calories than other, larger pigs and are prone to obesity. Moderate the quantity and they will be fine.
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.