Pigs are a popular choice of cattle for farms and families. Sometimes, you may wish to feed your pigs anything. You would like to give your pigs a bite of something new for tasting because you love them. “Can pigs eat chocolate?”, you ever wondered. Let’s find out the details.
Why is there an interest in giving pigs chocolate?
The start of the trend
In the pig farming industry, it is commonly known that whey powder is a necessary supplement for piglet growth. It is because of the nutritional value of whey powder that comprises the carbohydrate and lactose, enabling the ease of digestion and providing energy.
Unfortunately, the price of whey powder has highly increased over the past 15 years. This fact leads farmers and producers to find an alternative for whey.
At this moment, the idea of using chocolate candy bar arose as those products couldn’t be sold to humans. They are “waste food” with old packaging and faded color, so they seem to become worthless in the market.
That’s why it is recommended to try feeding the chocolate as an economical option. About the price, it is around half of that of whey powder, which means producers can save the feeding cost. They can save their money, and give their pigs something interesting to eat at the same time.
Farmers started to use them in daily meals of pigs, and they found no problems in the growth or health of the pigs.
Moreover, when fed with chocolate candy bars added to daily diets, pigs seemed to eat more and moved onto another feeding phase faster than usual. It is recommended that the portion of chocolate added accounts for 70% of the whole feed.
Can chocolate be fed limitlessly?
At the beginning of feeding chocolate, the number of chocolate candy bars always needs to be in control. Too much chocolate feeding may affect pig growth.
The first reason is that because of the high sugar content in chocolate, it is not ideal and shouldn’t be the primary source of food for pigs.
By the way, when pigs get used to being fed with chocolate, their appetite is enhanced, which might encourage them to eat more than needed, leading to weight gain. This also results in an increase in feed cost as pigs will require more food to be satisfied.
So, can pigs eat chocolate?
Researchers conducted a lot of work and proved that it is totally safe for pigs to have chocolate. The theory is also applied in reality.
Obviously, pigs can eat chocolate, however, it’s only recommended at specific stages – after weaning and at finishing. Additionally, chocolate should be given as a treat, and the amount should be adjusted properly to avoid unexpected weight gain.
Remember to always keep the pigs on a low carb and low sugar diet.
A lot of people might disagree on letting pigs eat chocolate candy bars as chocolate contains theobromine, a toxic chemical. For most animals, it is not possible to digest this toxin.
However, the gastrointestinal system of pigs is similar to humans, allowing them to eat chocolate comfortably. When chocolate is digested in pigs, the toxin is separated and stored in their fat, then removed out of the body through urine and feces.
What about piglets?
Finding the answer to the question “Can pigs eat chocolate?”, we know that pigs at all stages love chocolate.
Piglets are not the exception. They adore chocolates, and they are able to eat all however much you feed them, but it is the same for pigs at other ages. If fed excessively, piglets may suffer digest disorder.
Cocoa husks can be fed to nursery pigs in order to change the gut microbiome and create a better condition for helpful bacteria to develop.
What benefits when pigs eat chocolate?
It is mentioned before that chocolate enhances pigs’ appetite. Therefore, those pigs that have unusual taste or anorexia can benefit from chocolate. They might get more interested in the food.
What’s more, there’s a high level of good antioxidants for pigs in chocolate. Chocolate also contains a lot of vitamins, iron, zinc, or calcium and other nutrients, which makes a huge contribution to the immune system of pigs.
Recent research also showed that pigs encountered fewer diseases when the portion of chocolate was increased in their diet.
In conclusion, pigs are not really difficult to raise. Can pigs eat chocolate? Why not? They can eat almost anything, but the amount of chocolate, as mentioned, should always be monitored. It’s not safe when something is fed with an excessive amount. Good luck.
Read more: Can pigs eat Chicken bones?