This is a very important question that many mushroom lovers have been asking! There are a lot of people who simply love mushrooms and go out of their way to collect them. But, it is crucial to know whether mushrooms are safe for pigs or not. With all that being said here’s a pretty definitive answer
Yes, pigs can eat mushrooms. Pigs are omnivorous scavengers which means they will eat anything edible, they come by. All mushrooms that are safe for humans to eat are also safe for pigs. It is better to feed cooked mushrooms to pigs as they do not like eating raw mushrooms.
If you have owned pigs for a long time, there are very few food items that you would hesitate to feed them. Not only are these little guys always hungry for food, but they also happen to have a stomach that can digest it all!
However, when it comes to mushrooms, particularly those that grow in the wild, it is natural to worry. According to a study, it is claimed that about 20% of all the mushrooms that grow in the wild are poisonous.
And you wouldn’t want your pet friends to eat these poisonous mushrooms and get sick, would you? That’s what brings us here, talking to you about feeding mushrooms to your pigs. Stay with us till the end if you want to know more.
Will pigs eat mushrooms?
When it comes to pigs, asking whether or not will they eat something, whatever it might be, is a pointless question. Have you ever seen them say “no” to anything you offer them? We bet most of you haven’t.
You will even find them eating things that you hadn’t meant for them to eat at times. The same is true about mushrooms. You needn’t worry about them not eating or liking mushrooms because they will.
Are mushrooms healthy for pigs?
As a pig owner, you might have seen your pets eating many things that might not be healthy for them on many occasions. It would, therefore, be safe to assume that these little guys know very little about what’s good for their health and what isn’t.
So, is mushroom one of the things that be healthy for them? Before answering that question, why don’t we go through the table below that depicts the nutritional value of mushrooms? Go ahead and take a look:
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.012 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.017 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.067 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.067 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||104 mcg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||9.1 mcg|
|Vitamin B12 (Choline)||16.6 mg|
|Vitamin C||3 mg|
|Vitamin D||0.2 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||2.9 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||8.6 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.5 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||82.6 mg|
|Sodium, Na||4.8 mg|
|Potassium, K||305 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.5 mg|
|Copper, Cu||305 mg|
|Selenium, Se||8.9 mg|
Serving size: 100 grams
As you can gather from the table, mushrooms are quite rich in nutrients that can benefit your pet friends’ health. They contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals like thiamine, folates, choline, calcium, potassium, and so on.
Moreover, they’re also low-carb food and contain no fat, which means that your pigs will not gain excessive weight from eating them. It is, thus, safe to assume that mushrooms are healthier for the pigs than most of the other things they eat.
The tradition of Truffle Hunting with Pigs
Most of you have already heard of truffles, but we will quickly throw a light on them for the benefit of those who haven’t.
Being one of the most expensive natural foods in the world, truffles are a kind of mushrooms that grow underground and are commonly harvested in Europe. These mushrooms come in black as well as white colors and have both culinary and medicinal uses.
Because truffles grow underground, it was difficult for humans to track them down and dig them up on their own, which is why they began taking the help of pigs. But why pigs, you ask?
For two reasons, the first one is that they have an excellent sense of smell. The second, more pressing reason is that these mammals are drawn to the truffles instinctively.
But how could that be? Because of the presence of androstenol in the truffles. Androstenol is a pheromone that is present in the saliva of the male pigs and works as a sex hormone for females, luring them towards it.
For this reason, the female pigs are easily able to locate the truffles even under the ground. For years, pigs have been helpers to the cultivators of truffles. However, most recently, they have been replaced by dogs, which seems to be a more convenient option for many.
Now, you must be wondering why we have digressed to tell you this story. It is because not only do pigs hunt down truffles, but they also eat them fondly, which is part of the reason why people prefer dogs over them.
This is just another proof that pigs can and do eat mushrooms.
Can Potbelly Pigs eat mushrooms?
The Potbelly Pigs are a Vietnamese breed of domestic pigs significantly smaller than other pig breeds (even as adults) and have a low-hung belly. Their population is endangered and is reared almost exclusively for their unique-flavored meat.
While the size and meat of the potbelly pigs might be different from other pig breeds, their eating habits are more or less the same. In other words, even these pigs also have a flexible diet and will happily eat mushrooms.
Can Pigs eat wild mushrooms?
When you crave mushrooms, do you buy them from a store or simply pick the ones you can find growing in the wilderness? You go with the former alternative, right?
It is because unless you’re an expert at it, you have no way of differentiating between a poisonous and a non-poisonous mushroom. And eating a poisonous mushroom can result in a wide range of health problems for you.
The same is true for your pets. Eating poisonous mushrooms can have a disastrous effect on their health, too. Most pig owners claim that their pets have a gut instinct about what could be bad for their health. Therefore, they avoid eating any mushroom growing in the wild, or even in their backyard.
However, just to be safe, don’t let them free-range in places where mushrooms grow. Also, keep an eye out for any mushroom growing in your yard.
Which mushrooms are safe for Pigs to eat?
In the last section, we learned that wild mushrooms are not safe for pigs to eat. But which mushrooms are safe for them to eat?
Well, there’s a simple rule to solve this problem:
Any mushroom that is safe for you is also safe for your pigs.
In other words, you can share the mushroom you’re buying for yourself with your pigs.
Some of the common mushroom varieties that are both readily available in most stores and can be fed to your pigs are as follows:
- Crimini mushroom
- Portobello mushroom
- Morel mushroom
- Black trumpet mushroom
- Porcini mushroom
- White button mushroom
- Oyster mushroom
How to feed mushrooms to Pigs?
While the question above might sound difficult, the answer to it is fairly simple. There are just a few things you need to keep in mind, and we’re going to convey them to you in the following pointers:
- When buying mushrooms for your pigs, always go with a store or a supplier that you can trust.
- Once you have bought mushrooms, make sure to wash them thoroughly before preparing them for your pets.
- Raw mushrooms have a rubbery texture that might make it difficult for your pigs to eat them. Therefore, cooking them for 10-20 minutes might make them more appealing to the pigs.
- After cooking mushrooms, give them about 20 minutes to cool down properly, or else your pigs might burn their mouths trying to eat them.
Frequently asked questions?
Can I feed fruits to my pig? Yes, pigs can enjoy fruits in moderation. Bananas, apples, oranges, watermelons, pineapples, strawberries, grapes, pears, mulberries, and persimmons are all great choices for feeding your pigs. However, make sure to feed them only fresh and thoroughly washed (preferably organic) fruits.
Do pigs eat eggs? Yes, pigs can eat both eggs and eggshells and can even benefit from the nutrients they contain. However, do not feed them spoilt or rotten eggs, because the bacteria in them will upset your pet’s stomach in the least, and can even lead to serious health problems.
Is it okay if I feed my pig with the chicken feed? Although feeding your pigs chicken feed occasionally or when you’ve run out of their food is okay, it is not a permanent solution. Chicken feed cannot replace pig feed in their diet, neither can it meet all their nutritional requirements.
Will pigs eat grass? Because pigs are omnivorous scavengers, they will certainly eat anything they can find, including grass. Their stomachs are even capable of breaking down the grass, unlike ours. However, while grass might be able to curb their hunger, it cannot fulfill their nutritional requirements, which is why you shouldn’t let them eat grass.
Conclusion: Can Pigs Eat Mushrooms?
Pigs have no problem at all eating mushrooms. They are omnivores. In fact, pigs enjoy many types of fruits and vegetables and are happy to eat almost anything that you give them to eat!
Mushrooms have a lot of nutritional benefits and are also a great addition to the diet of your pet pigs.
Thank you so much for reading this article. We know it’s a bit of a niche topic, but we hope you enjoyed it all the same.
Were there any points that you particularly liked or could relate to? It would be great to hear from you and what your thoughts are, so feel free to contact us.
Thanks for reading!