Pigs will eat anything, and popcorn is no exception. Yes, that’s right, pigs can eat popcorn.
Many pigs love popcorn and can’t get enough of it – and who can blame them?
You can even treat your pig to lightly salted popcorn when you’re making up a bowl for yourself.
Let’s find out more about pigs and popcorn, including the health benefits for pigs and how much they can safely eat.
Is It Safe to Give Pigs Popcorn?
Yes, it’s safe to give pigs popcorn. Homemade popcorn is the safest popcorn to give to pigs as it doesn’t contain any preservatives or artificial ingredients.
When popping popcorn at home for your pig make sure you avoid using xylitol as a sweetener. Xylitol can be toxic to pigs and cause health complications, including:
- Low blood sugar
Veterinary assistance should immediately be sought if your pig eats popcorn, or any other food item, containing xylitol.
Can All Breeds of Pig Eat Popcorn?
There are currently eight major breeds of pig in the U.S. These are:
- Chester White
- Poland China
It’s safe for all of these breeds of pig to eat popcorn, so there’s no need to worry about leaving any of them out.
If you’re the owner of a mini pig, you’ll be pleased to know that they can eat popcorn too.
Is Popcorn Healthy for Pigs?
Yes, popcorn can be a healthy snack for pigs. The health benefits of feeding popcorn to pigs include:
- Good source of fiber – pigs get energy from fiber. Fiber also helps to keep a pig’s gut healthy. There’s 3.6 g of fiber in one cup of popcorn, which makes it a high-fiber food.
- High in energy – a pig’s diet mainly consists of barley, wheat, and corn. Popcorn has around three times more energy in it than corn alone and is good for pigs that need a pick-me-up.
- Contains vitamins – popcorn contains B-complex vitamins, iron, potassium, and copper. These vitamins play a role in a pig’s fertility, as well as their general health and growth.
- Contains minerals – you’ll find manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium in popcorn. These minerals are important for a pig’s skeletal growth and general health.
What’s the Best Popcorn to Feed to Pigs?
The best popcorn to feed to pigs is air-popped homemade popcorn. This popcorn has no additional ingredients and can be fed as a healthy treat.
Can Pigs Eat Popcorn with Flavorings?
Yes, unlike many other animals, pigs can eat popcorn with some flavorings on. Salt and cheese are the two popcorn flavors that pigs can eat. However, you still need to be careful when serving a pig popcorn with these flavorings.
A small amount of popcorn with these flavorings on is okay, but, like all good things, moderation is the key. If you’re in any doubt, stick to feeding pigs plain, air-popped popcorn.
What Happens If a Pig Eats Too Much Popcorn?
It depends on what type of popcorn the pig has eaten. Air-popped popcorn is unlikely to cause any long-lasting issues. The high fiber content of popcorn means the pig may have a few stomach issues for a short while, and its stools may be worse than normal.
If a pig stuffs itself full of salted popcorn, there’s a risk that it will get salt poisoning. Pigs shouldn’t eat any more than 0.5% salt per day.
Signs of salt poisoning in a pig are:
- Nose twitching
- Moving head and forth
- ‘Dog sitting’
- Looking lost
What to Do If a Pig Eats Too Much Salt?
When a pig eats too much salt, you should remove all water immediately. You also need to call a vet straight away to see the affected pig. Your vet will remove as much salt from your pig’s body as possible and will slowly rehydrate it. This will give your pig the best chance of survival.
To avoid serving too much salt, you could try these alternatives.
How Much Popcorn Can Pigs Eat?
Do your pigs love popcorn as much as you? If so, you’ll be pleased to know that your pigs can eat up to one serving of popcorn per day.
However, if you have any concerns about your pig’s weight, it’s best to only feed popcorn as a weekly treat.
How to Feed Popcorn to Pigs
When you feed popcorn to a pig, make sure your pig has a supply of fresh water. Pigs have a habit of flipping over their water bowls, so make sure you’ve got a pig-proof water bowl.
Many pig owners simply feed popcorn to their pigs on its own but you can also turn it into a fun snack for them with one of these recipes:
- Fruity popcorn – Mix plain popcorn with some chopped-up pitted apricots, pitted cherries, and berries for a delicious, fruity treat.
- Popcorn & veg – Serve your pig popcorn that’s been mixed up with chopped carrots, beets, and snow peas.
- Popcorn trail mix – Your pig will love a bowl of unsalted popcorn, unsalted peanuts, and a selection of dried fruit.
Popcorn is a great, healthy snack for pigs. Pigs love nothing more than snacking on crunchy pieces of popcorn and will happily take more and more from you. But for the sake of their health, make sure you limit the amount of popcorn you feed to your pig.
Check out our other articles on large mammals and popcorn:
Sue’s favorite pastime? Watching a good movie with a giant tub of popcorn by her side. Her friends and family know that if they want to get her something, popcorn is always a safe bet. Sue has an adventurous spirit and loves to travel exploring new places – she’s been to more than 40 countries!