Can Pigs Eat Parsnips? (Potential Risks)

Parsnips are root vegetables. They are typically long and thick. Parsnips belong to the botanical family known as the Apiaceae, which also includes carrots, onions, and potatoes.

Should parsnips be fed to pigs? It’s better not to feed parsnips to pigs as they can cause problems to them due to the presence of chemical compounds in it that can cause problems in the pigs’ skin around the mouth when they come in contact with it.

Are Parsnips Bad For Pigs?

Photo by Jasmine Waheed on Unsplash

Parsnips are not bad for pigs in small amounts as long as parsnips are given in moderation and not too frequently, they do not cause any harm to pigs.

It is advisable to feed them in moderation because they are known to cause problems in the pigs’ mouths, skin, and even in pigs’ stomachs if eaten in large quantities.

This is due to furocoumarins and photoactive isothiocyanates that are present in the parsnips, these compounds are toxic and can result in a range of effects such as photosensitization, hyperkeratosis, and fibrosis.

Furocoumarins have been shown to interfere with the synthesis of the ornithine – the primary building block for keratin protein which is what makes up skin and hair. This can result in acute photosensitization and pigs that develop hyperkeratosis can also have a hard time eating.

Hyperkeratosis can also be caused by photosensitization and it results in thickening of the skin around the mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. On rare occasions, it has been known to cause respiratory issues when pigs develop fibrosis around their lungs.

What Vegetables Can Pigs Eat?

Vegetables, of course, are an essential part of the daily diet of hogs, here are some of the most nutritious:

1. Watercress: Watercress is known for being a great natural medicine herb that can help cleanse the liver, soothe indigestion stomach pain and detoxify the system. This herb is known to be a great appetite stimulant. Pregnant women should stay away from it as it can cause miscarriages.

2. Parsley: Parsley has been around since time immemorial, and is still used in many of our medicines today. It’s easily digestible, and provides excellent nutrition for your pet pigs.

3. Carrots: Being a member of the same plant family with sugar cane, carrots are also known to provide excellent nutrition for your pet pigs.

They’re loaded with Vitamin A and beta-carotene which is good for piggy’s eyes and health in general!

4. Beets: Another member of the same plant family as carrots, they’re also high in beta-carotene (good for piggy’s eyes!) and Vitamin C which is great for their health!

5. Cucumber: Cucumbers are very nutritious for both humans and animals alike. They’re loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and fiber which helps keep your pet pigs well!

6. Garlic: A member of the allium family, garlic is actually known to be a natural antibiotic, as well as being a powerful antiviral and antifungal agent. It’s great for helping to cleanse your pet pig’s liver and other organs.

7. Cumin: Cumin seeds are nutrient-loaded! They contain not only Vitamin B complex, but also high amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. These nutrients are perfect for strengthening piggy’s skin and nails!

8. Cilantro: Cilantro is a member of the mint family and is often used as a garnish – but man, does it have some incredible nutritional value! It’s loaded with Vitamin A and C, which are both good for piggy’s eyes.

What Pigs Shouldn’t Eat?

It is also extremely important to know what to avoid feeding to your pigs.

Here is a list of what you need to keep away from them:

– Citrus Fruits: Due to their high acidic levels will cause problems to their digestive system.

– Avocado: Avocado contains persin, which is toxic to pigs.

– Chocolate: yes, you read it right, chocolate is bad for your pigs because it contains toxic elements.

– Coffee: I know, it’s a little bit harder to imagine that the pigs could eat coffee, but you need to know that caffeine is considered toxic for them.

– Ivy: yes, even the beautiful flowers can cause problems if ingested.

-Apple seeds: yes, the seeds of apples can cause problems to your pigs, so try to remove them from your food before feeding them to your pigs.

– Tomatoes leaves: they contain a toxic substance called alkaloid tomatine, which is also toxic for some animals.


If you are looking for the best vegetable to give to your pigs, I would suggest looking elsewhere, because of the risk that I explained before.

As you can see, there are some vegetables you shouldn’t feed to your pigs because of the risk of poisoning, rushes, and so on, so it’s extremely important to inform yourself of the potentially toxic elements in the veggies that you are planning to feed to your pigs.