I don’t care what anyone says: there is no more delicious food on Earth than peanut butter. It’s a little sweet, a little savory and absolutely filling. It also happens to be surprisingly nutritious!
So, there’s no contest that peanut butter is the ultimate food for people, so says I, but is it okay for our animals? Specifically, is it okay for our pigs to eat? Can pigs eat peanut butter and peanuts safely?
Yes, peanut butter and peanuts are safe for pigs to eat. Peanuts and peanut butter are nutritious and packed with calories and protein that pigs need, but they shouldn’t get too much of because it can cause indigestion and diarrhea. Peanuts must be cooked before feeding them to pigs.
It turns out that peanut butter and peanuts alike are great supplements for pigs. Either is a wonderful way to give them a big boost of quick energy and tons of nutrients that they need in their diet.
To help them pack on weight, recover from stress, or just as a sweet treat, they’re bound to love it. I warn you, though, that pigs do go truly crazy for the stuff!
There’s a lot more you’ll want to know before you add it to the menu for your herd, so keep reading…
Do Pigs Like Peanut Butter?
Yes, and more than like it, they love it. Pigs, like so many animals, absolutely adore peanut butter…
Do Pigs Like Peanuts?
Yes, they do. Pigs love peanuts although not as much as peanut butter.
Are Peanut Butter and Peanuts Healthy for Pigs?
Yes, both peanut butter and peanuts are surprisingly nutritious for pigs. Looking at the macronutrients, we see that both are, naturally, very high in protein, fat and carbohydrates.
This makes both foods wonderful for giving them a big boost of long-lasting energy, and helping them to pack on weight.
But beyond the macronutrients, the vitamin and mineral profile of peanut butter is remarkably strong, and the same can be said for peanuts which are even better in some ways (though less concentrated).
Checking out the vitamin profile first, we see that peanut butter contains a remarkable amount of vitamin B3, vitamin B6, B5, and folate backed up by a good bit of B1, B2 and vitamin E.
The mineral content is likewise incredibly strong, with tons of manganese and lots of magnesium and phosphorus rounded up by good amounts of calcium, copper, iron, potassium, selenium and zinc.
Together, it’s difficult to overstate just how beneficial these nutrients are for pigs, as they can improve everything from circulation and metabolism to organ function, healing, muscular and skeletal growth, and a lot more.
Your herd will only be concerned with how good they taste, but you can be happy knowing you’re doing a lot for their overall health.
Are Raw Peanuts Okay for Pigs?
No, they are not. Peanuts are not tree nuts, but instead are legumes, and like so many legumes they contain compounds which can be toxic for pigs until they are cooked. Never give your pigs raw peanuts!
Are Roasted Peanuts Okay for Pigs?
Yes, roasted peanuts are just fine for pigs and the only way you should ever consider serving them. Just make sure that you’re only giving them plain, roasted peanuts, never ones with extra salt, seasonings, and other stuff that they can’t have.
Can Pigs Eat In-Shell Peanuts?
Yes, surprisingly, they can. The thin and flexible shells of roasted peanuts are no impediment whatsoever for pigs. You don’t need to go through the trouble of shelling them before you serve them, but do keep an eye on smaller animals to make sure they don’t choke.
Is Creamy Peanut Butter Okay?
Yes, it is. Creamy peanut butter is smooth and delicious and just fine for pigs in moderation.
Is Crunchy Peanut Butter OK?
Yes. Crunchy peanut butter in my experience is the favorite of pigs. There’s just something about the texture.
However, crunchy peanut butter has a tendency to be markedly thicker compared to the smooth stuff, so consider thinning it out a little bit with water prior to serving if you want to be safe.
Is Peanut Butter or Peanuts Poisonous to Pigs in Any Way?
Yes, in some instances, and potentially harmful to their health and others. But not to worry, because both of these outcomes are associated with either improper preparation or feeding them to excess.
As mentioned above, and repeated here in case you missed it, you must never give pigs raw peanuts.
Raw peanuts contain compounds, like many legumes, that can cause severe digestive problems in pigs, but more than that, are associated with dangerous aflatoxins which can be fatal.
Cooked peanuts, one way or the other, are the only ones that are safe for pigs to consume.
The other issues are simply associated with overfeeding peanut butter or peanuts to your pigs. Both are incredibly caloric, with a single tablespoon of peanut butter on average having more than 200 calories depending on the brand.
That’s not a lot of peanut butter but that sure is a lot of calories, and it doesn’t take any imagination to see how pigs could really start to pack on the weight if allowed to eat as much as they want.
The other concerns are indigestion and diarrhea: peanut butter is very fatty and oily, and often has added sugar.
Together, this can easily result in severe digestive upset, diarrhea, or potentially even vomiting and while it is likely to resolve itself in adult pigs it is a bad outcome that can be avoided as long as you moderate the quantity fed to them.
How Often Can Pigs Eat Peanut Butter or Peanuts?
Pretty often, but only in very small quantities if they are going to get it daily. This is because of the aforementioned fat and calorie content which can cause digestive upset.
I warn you: it is very easy to overdo it with peanut butter despite how advantageous it can be.
The guideline that I follow for my own pigs is to give them no more than a half cup of peanut butter or a cup of peanuts a few times a week depending on your objectives.
If your herd needs to gain a little weight, this is a great way to do it cleanly. Otherwise, it is still a great energy-boosting snack or treat for them.
And just as a reminder, as good as it is, you need to keep in mind that peanuts and peanut butter are nowhere close to being nutritionally complete or balanced for pigs: they still need all the other things that should be in their diet – peanut butter will never be a mainstay!
How Can I Feed My Pigs Peanut Butter or Peanuts?
The biggest problem with giving peanut butter to your pigs is that it’s quite messy and sticks to everything. Pigs can get peanut butter all over themselves and everything else and end up eating relatively little.
Accordingly, my preferred method for serving is to give them slightly thinned peanut butter that is mixed in with vegetables, grains or anything else that they need to eat. This makes it much easier for them to consume while cranking up the calories.
Can Piglets Have Peanut Butter or Peanuts, Too?
Yes, but only cautiously. For starters, only allow piglets to try peanut butter once they are nearly weaned. It is rich and sugary, but it can help them get off milk for good. Be sure to mind the quantity.
Also, make it a point to keep an eye on them after they get to try peanut butter because they are more prone to choke on it than adults. As mentioned above, consider thinning down thicker peanut butter for safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can pigs have salted peanuts?
No, I don’t recommend it. Serving salted peanuts to pigs can quickly lead to an overdose of sodium which can cause serious digestive problems or even hypernatremia which can be fatal.
Is peanut butter okay for mini pigs?
Yes, peanut butter is fine for mini pigs, but they should only get a very small portion occasionally as detailed above.
Is peanut butter okay for potbelly pigs?
Yes, it is, but be mindful of the quantity because potbelly pigs already have an extreme tendency to become overweight and then obese.
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.