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Last weekend when I was making my breakfast my pet pig, out of blue, snatched an egg from my hand. Before my overprotective self came to action, the egg with its shell was down the throat. I was super panicked as this pig has been living with me for years and I adore him the most.
For an hour or so I kept asking myself what I would do if the egg and eggshell don’t behave well in the stomach. Fortunately, nothing really happened. He was behaving the same as he used to be.
So, when I was sure he was fine, I found myself curious to know if pigs can or can not eat eggs? since my pig seemed to enjoy it, do they like eggs or eggshells? And if they can eat eggs what’s the right way of feeding them?
I took my laptop and started researching. What I concluded about pigs and eggs chemistry after thorough research is worth sharing. So, I decided to write about it. Without wasting your time, let’s get to our main subject of discussion. Starting with a simple most Googled questions;
Can pigs eat eggs?
Yes, pigs can eat eggs but in moderation. Eggs are in fact a great non-processed source of protein. Eggs would make a safe and healthy treat option only when they are fed in the right manner.
With or without shells?
With shells, if they are thoroughly washed, if you do not want them to cause any problem. Most of the pig owners that consider eggs a must-have try to feed them with shells. As the eggs shells have got the reputation of having a remarkable amount of calcium that plays an important role in maintaining blood clotting, muscle contraction, and skeleton system.
Raw or cooked?
Cooked, raw eggs aren’t that good in satisfying the taste buds, and they can contribute to foot and mouth disease. The raw eggs can also cause biotin deficiency and the untreated biotin deficiency can cause diarrhea, dermatitis, excessive hair loss, and worse lameness and laminitis. So, if taking it through a process makes it safer and healthier what’s the point of feeding raw anyway?
Boiled or fried?
Frankly, I have never seen or heard someone serving pigs a fried omelet but boiled eggs are a fine option. You can further cut or mash them up to make it easier for the pigs to eat and digest. More importantly, boiled eggs got a yes as an answer also because the pigs seem to love eating boiled eggs.
How Many Eggs a Pig Can Eat in a Day?
Eggs should be fed in moderation so a 200lb pig can eat 4-5 eggs a day. Going a little above (but remaining below the digit 24) the prescribed number won’t cause any problem but it’s better to keep the pig’s health on priority. How often can you feed the pigs? Once a week. This healthier protein treat once a week would help them grow and develop muscle tissue.
Now you know, what you need to be careful of while feeding this natural source of calcium and protein. Let’s see what else do the eggs have and how is it beneficial?
What Vitamins and Minerals do Eggs Have?
Pigs need vitamins and minerals for optimal health, growth, reproduction, and healthy functioning of physiological functions. The eggs are not just charged with protein and calcium they are a natural source of:
- Vitamin D: Eggs are considered one of the rich sources of vitamin D. It is an essential vitamin that supports the pig’s immune system and aids in optimized performance. The vitamin D intake during pregnancy can help the unborn baby pig to attain good health.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a crucial vitamin that acts as a tissue antioxidant. Vitamin E also plays a significant role in maintaining the integral structure of muscles in the reproductive and digestive systems.
- Vitamin A: Pigs need vitamin A more than anything else in their crucial growth years. It gives a resting shoulder to almost all necessary functions of a pig’s body. Moreover, it boosts immunity.
- Iron: Not just pig, every living thing on planet earth need iron for optimal health and growth. The pigs specifically need an adequate amount of iron to produce hemoglobin and myoglobin that aid the red blood cells in transmitting oxygen to all parts of the body.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is another important mineral that pigs need to live a balanced healthy life. The pig foods are rich in iron, manganese, iodine, cobalt, and selenium. The phosphorus need can only be fulfilled by treats. So, if eggs are fulfilling some part of the total need then what’s the harm.
- Iodine: Iodine supports the pig’s reproductive system. Iodine deficiency is common in pigs and it becomes the reason for weaker underweight offsprings.
- Zinc: This significant mineral aids in bone development. The deficiency of zinc in pigs shows poor growth and poor appetite. Moreover, it is also needed by the pigs for the normal and healthier functioning of the body.
- Protein: Like most animals, pigs need protein to grow and develop muscle tissue. The eggs can be fed with other pig protein sources; soybean meal, sunflower meal, fish, meat, and bone meal to improve their health.
- Calcium: Calcium together with phosphorus plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of muscle contraction and blood clotting mechanism.
Other Treats for Pigs: Eggs or eggshells are not only treated to feed pigs. You can feed apples, onions, grapes or potatoes.
Yes, pigs can eat both eggs and eggs shells in moderation. The raw eggs are a little harmful as they have got the reputation of causing biotin deficiency that can cause diarrhoea, dermatitis, excessive hair loss, and worse lameness and laminitis.
Eggs are an important source of protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, E, and D. All these vitamins and minerals necessary for the pig’s health and growth.