What most people don’t know is that pigs can also eat grains as a limited part of their diet. However, not all grains are good for them, or good for them if they get too much. But how about corn? Can pigs eat corn?
Yes, corn is fine for pigs. Corn can offer them plenty of energy and a good assortment of vitamins and minerals that they need. However, corn is calorie-dense and tends to be fattening so it should only be given to pigs on a limited basis to prevent obesity.
Corn is a common inclusion in the diet of most pigs, whether it is given to them whole or added as an ingredient into various process feed sources. You definitely don’t want to give your pigs nothing but corn, but they can get many benefits from having the right amount in their diet. I’ll tell you all about it below.
Do Pigs Like Eating Corn?
Yes, they sure do! Corn is sweet, starchy, and satisfying and that means that pigs tend to love the stuff. They also love feed made with corn as a major ingredient. Even wild pigs eat corn, raiding crops to get it, and corn tends to be a priority item for them.
Whether you want to give your pigs corn on an ongoing basis or give it to them as a treat, they are sure to love it.
Is Corn Healthy for Pigs?
Yes, generally, as long as it is given to them in moderation. Corn is a great source of calories for pigs as mentioned, and this will help them maintain high energy levels. But beyond this corn also contains many micro and macronutrients that pigs need.
Corn contains a good amount of protein which can help pigs grow and a good assortment of vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Mineral content is similarly impressive, and you’ll find plenty of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium, all of which pigs need in abundance.
Corn is a great feed for helping pigs grow quickly, develop properly, and stay healthy but you’ve got to be cautious about giving them too much…
It’s used as a fattening feed for a reason, and allowing your pigs to overindulge or accidentally giving them too much will lead to excess weight gain and eventually obesity. That comes with a whole host of health problems.
Plus, giving pigs a surplus of any starchy grain, corn included, can lead to digestive trouble.
Can Pigs Eat Fresh Corn?
Yes, they sure can. Pigs love fresh corn and will happily devour it in kernel form or right off the cob.
Can Pigs Eat Dried Corn?
Yes, but cautiously, because it is extremely hard and significantly more difficult for pigs to digest. Pigs have incredibly powerful jaws and strong teeth, but even they can be put to the test by old or very dry corn. It can be especially problematic for young pigs that are still developing.
Can Pigs Eat Chopped Corn?
Yes, they can. Chopped corn is just coarsely ground corn that has the bran, husk, and germ removed. It is safe for pigs to eat.
Can Pigs Have Yellow and White Corn?
Yes, pigs can have yellow and white corn with no problems. Whether it is a variety of field corn or corn that is destined for your own dinner table, pigs can eat it with no problems.
Can Pigs Eat Other Colors of Corn?
Yes! All varieties of corn, from purple and red to so-called gem corn which is multicolored, pigs can eat all of it and will do so happily. Note that the nutritional profile of these different types of corn will vary somewhat, but all of them are considered healthy and nutritious for pigs as long as they are fed in moderation.
Can Pigs Eat Corn Cobs?
Yes, believe it or not, they can. Your pigs can and will eat corn, including the cob and all if you let them. While the cob is completely inedible to people and is mostly cellulose, it is no challenge at all for pigs. You can give them whole ears of corn if you want and they will eat them up.
Will Pigs Eat Corn Husks and Silk?
Yes, they can. Again, it is something of a surprise, but pigs will chew right through the husk and underlying silk of an ear of corn to get to those sweet kernels within and then they will move right on to the cob.
However, they certainly don’t prefer the husk or silks, and they are really just an obstacle. So if you want to make things a little bit easier on your pigs you can shuck the corn before you hand it over.
Can Pigs Eat Popcorn?!
Yes! Pigs can eat popcorn! However, there are a couple of guidelines for this: for starters, I highly recommend you only give them popped popcorn.
Unpopped kernels are a little too hard even for them and can cause digestive issues. Second, only give them plain, unsalted popcorn– no extra salt, no seasonings, no cheese, no butter! All of that stuff can upset their digestive tract.
Is Corn Poisonous to Pigs in Any Way?
No, although as mentioned, their health will suffer if they are fed too much corn because it isn’t nutritionally complete and it has a tendency to cause obesity when fed to excess. When pigs gain too much weight, or gain it too quickly, their health can start to suffer.
You should make it a point to only give your pigs corn as a treat or as a limited part of a well-rounded and complete diet.
How Often Can Pigs Eat Corn?
It depends on your objectives for your herd. Pigs can eat corn regularly as part of a complete diet, but you’ve got to watch their overall calorie intake and adjust the amount of corn they are getting in proportion to other staples like hay, veggies, and so forth.
Compared to other foods and even other grains, corn is packed with calories, containing nearly twice as many calories as something like rice or oats.
But assuming that your pigs are meeting their nutritional goals you can give them corn regularly.
How Can I Feed My Pigs Corn?
You have several options for giving corn to your pigs. My favorite way is to just give them whole ears of corn, though I take the time to remove the husks and silks first so they can enjoy themselves.
Cooked corn is another option if you want to soften up dried kernels, just make sure that you don’t add any additional ingredients like salt, butter, and so forth. Corn also goes great when mixed into other foods that they enjoy.
Can Piglets Have Corn, Too?
Yes, piglets can have corn also. However, you only want to give piglets corn when they actually start to eat solid foods for the majority of the time, so this will usually be around 4 weeks old or a little bit older.
And just like adults, make sure you watch their calorie intake and ensure that they are getting complete nutrition in their diet. They cannot subsist on corn alone even though they desperately need the calories during this stage of life.
Can Pigs Eat Corn Silage?
Yes, pigs can eat corn silage although it is not an entirely common type of feed for them. Made from fermented, young corn plants it is an interesting option for feeding them.
Is Cooked Corn Okay for Pigs?
Yes, cooked corn is fine for pigs so long as it does not have any added salt, butter or other ingredients they shouldn’t have. Stuff like that will easily cause serious digestive upset..
Does Corn Make Pigs Fat?
Yes, it does! Sometimes this is by design, because corn is so calorie-dense, it is used as a finishing feed to put on a little bit of extra weight prior to slaughter and it is said to make the resulting meat taste sweeter.
Can Mini-pigs Have Corn Cobs?
Yes, they sure can! Mini-pigs love corn just like all other pigs, and they will happily eat the cob and all. Very small minis might struggle with a larger cob, but they’ll still bite chunks out of it and eat it, just you watch.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.