Can Pigs Eat Cabbage?

Can Pigs Eat Cabbage?

Pigs



Pigs are omnivorous animals. They can eat meat and vegetables. Therefore, pigs can eat a wide range of food substances, which can be of both animal and plant origin. This makes pigs one of the most versatile eaters. 

Can Pigs Eat Cabbage?

Yes, Pigs can eat cabbage. It is one of the safest and most nutritious vegetables you can feed your pigs. They can eat it cooked or raw. Cabbage contains many vitamins and minerals that are essential for the growth and maintenance of your pig.

WHAT KINDS OF PIGS CAN EAT CABBAGE?

Practically all kinds of pigs can eat cabbage. It is a safe vegetable for your pigs. Some of the kinds of pigs that can eat cabbage include:

  • Hog pigs
  • Mini pigs
  • Potbelly pigs
  • Skinny pigs
  • Kunekune pigs

WHAT KIND OF CABBAGE CAN YOU FEED TO YOUR PIGS?

Pigs can eat both red and pointed white (or green) cabbage. The red cabbage tastes a little more peppery and sweeter than the white (or green) cabbage. Both of them are beneficial to your pig’s health. Although red cabbage is not commonly used to feed pigs, it is recommended as it generally contains more nutrients than white (or green) cabbage.

HOW SHOULD YOU FEED CABBAGE TO YOUR PIGS?

As earlier mentioned, pigs are versatile eaters. They can eat almost anything. Pigs can eat cabbage when it is cooked or raw. However, cabbage tastes better and is juicier when it is cooked, even for your pigs. Pigs can also eat cabbage whole, cut, or even shredded.


WHY SHOULD YOU FEED CABBAGE TO YOUR PIGS?

Cabbage contains several food nutrients in decent quantities. They are rich mainly in minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. They also contain small quantities of protein and sugar.


MINERALS IN CABBAGE

The major minerals in cabbage are potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Sodium, cobalamin, and manganese are found in smaller quantities.

  • Potassium

Potassium maintains water and acid balance in pigs. It also maintains normal heart rate and nerve-muscle function. It aids the transport of materials in and out of pigs’ cells.

Potassium deficiency is uncommon, even though it is an important mineral. Potassium deficiency is usually caused by frequent vomiting, diarrhea, etc. 

In the event of potassium deficiency, you can feed cabbage to your pigs to restore potassium levels.

  • Calcium:

Calcium plays a role in skeletal development and maintenance, muscle contraction, and other physiological functions. A deficiency of calcium can lead to abnormal bone formation, decreased bone strength, lameness, and retarded growth.

  • Iron:

Iron plays an indispensable role in the health of pigs, especially their young ones. Iron is a key component of hemoglobin in red blood cells. Pig’s red blood cells (particularly the hemoglobin part) are the carriers of oxygen in the blood.

A deficiency of iron in your pig’s diet can cause anemia. Anemia is characterized by: pale skin, rapid breathing, jaundice (yellowing of skin and white part of eyes), paleness of mucous membrane of eyes, and weakness, among others. Hence, if your pigs show two or more of the above-mentioned signs, you should consider adding cabbage to their diets.

  • Magnesium:

Magnesium is a structural part of the bones and teeth of virtually all animals. It is needed for normal nerve and muscle function. Magnesium is also involved in the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates. Magnesium plays a role in protein and enzyme synthesis.

A deficiency of magnesium in pigs is characterized by weak legs, hyperirritability, muscular twitching, tetany, unwillingness to stand, and even death! Therefore, feeding cabbage to your pigs can help prevent all these to an extent.


CABBAGE CONTAINS VITAMINS

Cabbage is rich in several vitamins. Vitamin C and K are the most abundant of all the vitamins that are found in cabbage. It also contains some levels of vitamin B6.

  • Vitamin C:

As earlier mentioned, cabbage is very rich in vitamin C. Although pigs can synthesize vitamin C from glucose, it is necessary to include it in the diet of your pigs. The roles of vitamin C in pig’s health include:

  • Improvement of reproduction: Lately, vitamin C has been included in diets for stud boars as it has been shown to improve their sterility.
  • Maintain the health of cells: Vitamin C generally maintains cells and keeps them in good shape.
  • Absorption of minerals from the diet: vitamin C aids in the absorption of minerals such as iron.
  • Formation of collagen: collagen is probably the most abundant protein in pigs. Vitamin C plays a role in the formation of collagen.
  • Wound healing: in the event of injury to your pig, vitamin C helps your pig recover physically.

  • Vitamin K:

Cabbage is also rich in vitamin K. Pigs’ lives depend on vitamin K. Some of these functions of vitamin K include:

    • Vitamin K helps to produce proteins that are needed for the building of bones.
    • Vitamin K is required for the production of proteins that are responsible for the production of blood clotting factors.

DIETARY FIBERS IN CABBAGE

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Being a leafy vegetable, it is no surprise that cabbage is packed with dietary fiber. Fibers stimulate gut health. The importance of these to pigs are:

  • Dietary fibers help to prevent constipation:

Constipation is a medical condition that is characterized by difficulty in passing feces. This condition can be prevented by feeding cabbage to your pigs. 

  • Dietary fibers can increase satiety:

The fibers contained in cabbage give your pig the feeling of satisfaction after eating. This controls hunger in the pig.


IS CABBAGE TOXIC?

Cabbage leaves are non-toxic and can be safely fed to your pigs. On the other hand, the stems and seeds of cabbage are toxic to your pig. They are considered toxic because they contain phenylacetaldehyde. The toxin can cause diarrhea, weight loss, and other undesirable manifestations. Not to worry, the seeds and stems of the cabbage can be removed with ease (see here).

CONCLUSION

Cabbage is rich in a lot of vitamins and minerals. It is good for your pigs. However, you should try to feed your pigs other vegetables as well to ensure that they have a balanced diet. Also, you should not feed too much cabbage to your pigs to prevent bloating.

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