Plants That Are Toxic to Your Pigs

Watch out for these poisonous plants that can be extremely harmful to your pigs.

| February 2018

  • pig
    Keep these toxic plants in mind the first time you put your pigs in an enclosure.
    Photo by iStock/Getty Images Plus/SvetaZi
  • cover
    “Choosing and Keeping Pigs” by Linda McDonald-Brown provides readers with a directory of 30 different breeds of pigs and provides clear instructions on choosing and looking after pigs.
    Cover courtesy Firefly Books, Inc.

  • pig
  • cover

Choosing and Keeping Pigs (Firefly Books Inc., 2009), by Linda McDonald-Brown is an expert guide for anyone interested in keeping pigs. The book details everything readers need to know about caring for and keeping a pig, covering topics ranging from housing to health and habitat management. The following excerpt is from Chapter 3, "Pests and Diseases."

Pigs will eat anything, so take this into consideration when putting them in an enclosure for the first time, although most plants that are poisonous to them have an unpalatable taste and are usually left alone. Some plants will bring death in a matter of hours when ingested; others will simply make the pig very ill, but it will recover. Some common causes of poisoning are given below.

Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) Pigs have been kept in woods with bracken for centuries; indeed, they are often used to destroy it. But bracken fronds contain a toxin that induces a vitamin B deficiency and can prove fatal. However, it is generally thought that as long as the pigs have access to fresh water and are fed their regular pig food, they should suffer no ill effects from being among bracken.

Acorns The high tannin content in acorn shells (the fruit of the Quercus family) can cause abdominal pain, diarrhoea and abortion in sows. Pigs should not be kept in areas where there are large quantities of acorns, especially those pigs that are not used to them.



Ragwort (Senecio var.) This is a highly poisonous plant, which should be pulled up, removed from the enclosure and burned.

Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.) Both the leaves and flowers of this plant are toxic to pigs; the roots are non-toxic.

Katherine Towers
6/12/2018 8:20:40 AM

I have been trying to find out if wild tiger lilies are toxic to pigs?? Please help..I know easter lilies are..






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