You need a highly varied diet for your pigs in order to thrive. Like most omnivores, they need meat, grains, grasses, vegetables, and even fruit.
Fruit in particular can make a great nutritional supplement for pigs and is also a great way to treat them and keep them happy.
But not all fruits are something that pigs should have in abundance. How about grapes? Can pigs have grapes?
Yes, grapes are completely safe for pigs including the seeds. Grapes are a great source of vitamins and minerals for pigs, and a wonderful way to give them quick energy. Grapes also help to reduce pigs’ heat stress on hot days.
If you’re looking for a great way to round out the diet of your pigs, grapes might be the solution.
Easy to eat, delicious, and readily available this is one of the best fruits that you can give to your herd. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about giving grapes to pigs.
Do Pigs Like Grapes?
You bet pigs like grapes. Sweet and juicy, grapes are a wonderful treat that our pigs are sure to love.
Nutritional Benefits of Grapes for Pigs
Grapes, like many fruits, represent part of a pig’s diet that is often underrepresented.
Fruits are high in sugar and water content but they also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All of these things are essential if you want a healthy, happy pig.
Vitamins found in grapes include Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, and C. Minerals present include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and a tiny bit of sodium. Grapes contain trace amounts of fat and protein.
Vitamin A is used to support a sow’s milk production as well as a growing piglet’s vision and immune system.
Vitamin B1 helps support the nervous system, while B2 and B6 are used in energy metabolism.
Vitamin C is important for connective tissue health throughout the body as well as immunity.
The minerals are just as important, with calcium being ever-present in a pig’s diet due to the importance of healthy bones and teeth.
Iron is needed for red blood cells which transport oxygen around the body, magnesium for energy metabolism, phosphorus for bone health, and potassium for fluid regulation.
Water is the most abundant thing found in grapes followed by sugars like fructose and glucose.
Because of this, grapes make a great summer treat for pigs that can help them stay cool and hydrated in the heat.
Remember that animals, even pigs, are vulnerable to heat stress the same as we are.
The nutritional benefits of grapes make them a perfect supplement for any pig’s diet whether they are young or old, big or small.
Adding grapes to their diet is a great way to boost the overall health of your pigs and help them reach their full potential.
Can Pigs Eat Raw Grapes?
Yes, and this is the best way to serve it to them by far. Raw grapes are super easy for pigs to eat, and will also contain maximum nutrition.
What Colors of Grape are Safe for Pigs?
All common grape cultivars are safe for pigs. Red, green (white) and black are all just fine, not to worry!
Can Pigs Eat Grape Seeds?
Yes! Pigs will not be the least bit bothered by the seeds in grapes and will eat them right along with the rest of the grapes.
Can Pigs Eat Rotten Grapes?
No! Or rather, they should not be allowed to eat them. Though pigs have a reputation as being veritable garbage disposals spoiled, rotten, or otherwise “bad” food can harm them. This includes grapes.
If you have any old, moldy, nasty grapes just throw them out instead of forcing them on your poor pigs.
Can Pigs Eat Cooked Grapes?
Yes, though there is no great reason to cook grapes prior to serving them to your herd. Cooking will significantly degrade the mineral and nutrient profile of grapes, too.
Don’t Give Your Pigs Grapes if it Was Made with Bad Ingredients
Speaking of cooking, you must never give grapes to your pigs if they have been cooked with or used as an ingredient in anything that is bad for them.
Wine immediately comes to mind, as do several types of super-sugary desserts that grapes are featured in. Things like sugar, oil, alcohol, and so forth are all bad for pigs.
If you are lucky, any of the above will just cause serious indigestion or an upset stomach.
However, there is always the chance that they could do real damage to your pigs if consumed in large enough quantities.
Just to be on the safe side, it is best to avoid giving them grapes that have been prepared in this way.
If you are going to give your pigs cooked grapes stick to plain ones only!
Be Mindful of Pesticide if the Grapes Came from the Grocery
Another potential hazard associated with grapes, at least ones bought from the grocery, is the presence of pesticide residues.
Pesticides are used throughout all phases of grape cultivation in order to protect the crop from insect pests and associated diseases.
The problem is that when these grapes are harvested and sold the pesticide residues remain on the fruit.
These residues can then be consumed by animals (or humans) and may cause a variety of health problems.
Regrettably, grapes are among the worst offenders when it comes to retention of these pesticides, even post-wash.
Your best bet, assuming you don’t grow all of your own grapes, is to buy organic. This will at least help to reduce your pigs’ exposure to these potentially harmful chemicals.
Take this seriously: pesticide exposure has been linked with serious health problems in animals like cancer, so it is not something to be taken lightly.
How Much Grapes are Safe?
So, grapes are a healthy option for pigs, no doubt about it, but can they be harmful when pigs eat too many? Yes, though they are not truly toxic.
While grapes are packed with nutrients, they are also very high in sugar. Like all things, too much of a good thing can be bad for you.
When pigs eat too many grapes they can get diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and other health problems.
It’s important to only feed grapes to your pigs in moderation and to make sure they always have plenty of water available.
Generally, a small serving of grapes per pig (proportional to their calorie intake), once or twice a week as part of a balanced diet, is all they will need to get the maximum benefit from grapes.
How to Give Grapes to Your Pigs
You won’t have to work hard to prepare and feed grapes to your pigs. Simply wash the grapes thoroughly to remove any dirt, pesticide residues, or other potential contaminants.
You can then slice them in half or leave them whole and offer them to your pigs as a healthy treat.
You might even consider mixing the grapes with other fruit or even some grains to make a nice, nutritious meal for them.
And, just a reminder, you need not remove the seeds if you do have “seeded” varieties; your pigs can eat them with no problems.
Can Baby Pigs Have Grapes, Too?
Yes! Piglets tend to enjoy grapes, and they are completely safe for them. You’ll just want to make sure the little guy is old enough to be eating solid food before you let him try them for the first time.
Once he is, you can start slowly by giving him just a few grapes at first and then increasing the amount as he grows and gets used to them.
Also, do keep in mind that it is much easier for a young pig to overeat on grapes compared to an adult, so you must always be mindful of the quantity and be ready to cut them off if they seem to be overdoing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, pregnant sows can have grapes with no problem. In fact, they will probably benefit from the boost of energy! Grapes will not harm any developing piglets in any case.
Yes, though not the most efficient choice when it comes to calories. Like all sugary foods, grapes can help pigs put on weight. If your pigs are a bit underweight, grapes can help them bulk up.
Yes, they can. Pigs can safely eat all parts of a grape plant, but they tend not to like vines too much.
Still, if your pigs have access to them or if you have harvested them on your own don’t be afraid to let your pigs chow down.
Yes. As with the vines, grape leaves are safe and nutritious for pigs, but might not be a hit with them.
Of course. Mini pigs are just tiny pigs, and they have no specific biological requirements that would prevent them from eating grapes. Simply adjust the quantity according to their dietary requirements.
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.