What Do Pigs Eat?

I am tired of non eaters of pork putting on a superior air and proclaiming to anybody within earshot that pigs are unclean creatures that live on feces. Since I can’t argue with every idiot who calls pigs unclean, I decided to create this post.

In the first place, pigs are some of the finest and cleanest creatures on earth. Since they have no sweat glands, they are left with only one way to beat the heat—wallow in muddy water.

Second, pigs are social and intelligent beings that can definitely be placed in the list of top 10 smart animals in the world, smarter even than dogs,


Hey … I am smart!!! (Microsoft Word Clip Art)

cats, and three-year-old children. They understand that there is a difference between feces and food.

Do pigs really eat feces?

I need to introduce an interesting little English word—coprophagia—before attempting to answer the above question. Derived from Greek, the word literally means “consuming feces.” There are several creatures who exhibit coprophagia.

  • People with mental disorders such as pica and schizophrenia and those diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome eat feces.
  • Several coproghagous insects such as flies, termites, and dung beetles eat the feces of bigger animals as it contains a lot of half-digested food.
  • Rabbits eat their own droppings as they cannot fully digest their food the first time. They need to eat their feces to digest their food completely and get the required nutrients.
  • Mother animals, including mother pigs, are known to eat the feces of their young ones to prevent predators from smelling them out.
  • Young ones of hippos, koalas, elephants, and giant pandas eat their mothers’ feces to get the bacteria they need to digest the vegetation they eat.
  • Guinea pigs, hamsters, chimpanzees, gorillas, and chinchillas eat their own feces to obtain essential vitamins generated by the bacteria in their gut.
  • In case of food shortage, pigs in the wild may eat the feces of larger animals if it contains a lot of half-digested food.

So yes, pigs do eat feces, but not the way some people think. It is not their staple diet. When food is in abundance, pigs do not even look at feces. They are too intelligent to do so.

Pigs are omnivorous creatures that eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, leaves, grass, flowers, roots, insects, and worms when they are in the wild.

On the other hand, pigs raised on farms are generally given a diet of soybean, corn, dried whey, vitamins, calcium, fruits, vegetables, bread, table scraps, pig pellets, grass, and so on twice or thrice a day. Domesticated pigs are also given up to 10 liters of clean drinking water every day.


Hausschweine – By Wald1siedel (Own work) on Wikimedia Commons – CC BY-SA 3.0

The pork that reaches our tables comes from domesticated pigs. I feel non eaters of pork should get these shitty thoughts out of their heads and let us enjoy our bacon in peace.





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