POISONOUS PLANTS AND FOODS FOR PIGS
by Natasha (MSc Horticulture)
Which plants and foods are poisonous to pigs?
We are often asked about which plants are poisonous to Miniature Pigs and pigs in general. There are many plant genera that contain poisonous plants not only for pigs but for other animals and humans as well. Identifying the most common poisonous plants is important in order to protect your livestock and pets.
Pigs are intelligent animals and it seems that they instinctively know what is good and what is not good for them. Most pigs in our experience will avoid eating toxic plants or parts of the plants. For example, they tend to avoid eating ivy leaves but will readily eat the stems of the climber with no adverse effects. However, it is always best to remove poisonous plants from where the pigs will be housed to avoid the animals accidentally eating them.
Before choosing a site to house your pet pigs it is vital to check the area for dangerous items such as nails and other sharp materials that could cause injury to the animals.
When handling certain plants it is advisable to wear gloves to protect your hands as a lot of plants can cause skin irritation and are poisonous when swallowed.
We have compiled a short list of common poisonous plants which your pet pigs are most likely to come across in your gardens. The list is by no means exhaustive as there are hundreds, if not more, plants which can cause poisoning to pigs. When you use our “Borrow My Piggy” experience or when you Purchase Miniature Piglets from us, you will receive a more comprehensive information.
This knowledge will also equip you for when you wish to borrow our pigs as part of “Borrow My Piggy” experience or when you hire them for a Party or an outdoor Event. Checking your site before our pigs arrive will help us to set up quicker when we arrive.
POISONOUS PLANT LIST
Yew (Taxus baccata) Laburnum (Laburnum × watereri)
Ivy (Hedera helix) Laurel (not Bay laurel) (Prunus laurocerasus)
Elder (Sumbucus nigra) Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)
Foxglove (Digitalis spp.) Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)
Hemlock (Conium maculatum) Lilly of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) Buttercup (Ranunculus spp.)
Spurge (Euphobia spp.) Arum Lilly (Arum italicum)
Periwinkle (Vinca spp.) Green/unripe acorns (Quercus spp.)
Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) Bulbs of many plants (i.e. daffodils, tulips, scillas, hyacinths among others).
To see photographs of these plants, please, visit RHS Plant Finder
POISONOUS FOODS FOR PIGS
Miniature Pigs love a variety of vegetables, fruit and seeds. Fresh foods are an important addition to the pigs’ diet as they contain a number of important elements and nutrients not found in processed pelleted feeds. However, not all vegetables and fruits are good for them and some can actually cause poisoning.
Below is a list of some of these foods common in the UK (the list is not exhaustive and there may be other foods popular in different countries that may be toxic to pigs).
- Cabbage roots and seeds
- Broccoli roots and seeds
- Mustard root and seeds
- Apple seeds
- Green/unripe acorns and young oak leaves
- Tomato leaves and vine
- Avocado skin and pit
- Rhubarb leaves
- Potato leaves and stems, berries
- Green potatoes
- Leaves of cherry trees, apples, pears, plums and apricots
- Parsnip? (there is some evidence that it can cause poisoning)
CONSIDERING BUYING A MINIATURE PIGLET IN THE UK?
If you are looking to purchase your own Miniature Piglet, why not take a look at our Buying a Miniature Pig Guide? We sometimes have Micro Piglets for Sale as well as young fully trained adults who will make wonderful pets.