Can Pigs Eat Silage? (And Other Types Of Grass)
When we think about raising pigs, one of the first things that come to mind is to have a clear idea of what should be fed to our animals.
If you are on a farm you might find yourself with some silage, and if you are asking yourself the question, “Can pigs eat silage?”, then a short answer is yes, they can! Silage is not considered the most traditional fodder for pigs, but it is very good for them and it’s being linked with many benefits.
What Is Silage?
Silage is made from fermented crops, mainly grasses, and cereals, and can be stored for long periods of time. It is used in countries with warm climates, where it is available all year round.
The fermentation process produces lactic acid, which helps to preserve the feed. Silage is considered a type of preserved hay that is fed to ruminants (cattle, sheep, and goats) in many parts of the world.
As an animal feed it is used as a high-energy supplement for non-ruminants (pigs and poultry), mainly in Europe. Silage is very popular in the UK and Ireland, Central Europe, and North America.
Is Silage Good For Pigs?
Pigs love silage! It contains many nutrients just like other fresh grasses or hay (which are used for feeding pigs).
This fodder is rich in vitamins A and E, which are essential for piglets.
It is a good source of calcium and is rich in phosphorus, which is very important for bone growth – especially in rapidly growing piglets.
Silage is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, and sodium, and it contains some solids that can be beneficial for digestion as well as an excellent source of energy (calories). However, if silage is compared to fresh grasses or hay which pigs enjoy eating too, then it has slightly less protein than the other two foods.
Since it doesn’t need to be stored in the refrigerator as other feedstuffs do, silage can be kept all year round. It can also help your pigs during winter months when fresh foods aren’t available or fresh grasses and hay are scarce because of freezing temperatures outdoors
Silage has a higher level of roughage than other types of feed. Roughage helps to clean the pig’s digestive tract, preventing parasitic infections.
Pigs can be fed silage as a feed supplement in conjunction with their regular feed. You can’t just let them eat it on its own, but you can incorporate it into their diet.
What Is The Best Grass For Pigs?
When we think about grass and pigs, the first that come to mind are surely alfalfa, clover, and fescue which are commonly grown in lawns and agricultural lands. However, these grasses aren’t the best selections if we want to grow grasses that are safe for our huskies as well as readily available in some locations where a lot of them live.
There are several types of grasses that are great for pig feeds especially during the summer months when they’re in abundance. These include:
Annual Ryegrass – This may not be a very popular variety of grass, but it’s still one of the most common ones used in home-grown grazing areas. It doesn’t contain toxic alkaloids from root growths. It can also be used for silage so you can try this out with your pigs too!
Bermuda Grass – This type of grass grows vigorously and is often used for commercial purposes such as sports fields and lawns. If you want to plant Bermuda for your pigs, make sure that it’s pure and free of other types such as bermuda hybrid ryegrass and hybrid bermuda. You can grow this grass as a pasture or for silage purposes.
Rye Grass – This is another variety of grassland that is commonly used for growing commercial crops, but it is also suitable for backyard and pasture usage as well. The rye grass is easy to grow so if you’re planning on planting some in the near future, I’d recommend this type like never before!
Perennial Ryegrass – Aside from having a nice name, perennial ryegrass has a couple of benefits to offer homeowners that are raising pigs in their own homes. One of these is that it’s very drought resistant so you don’t have to worry if there will be enough water when you grow this type at home. The other one is that it has an extensive root system which makes it very good as pig food.
Hay – If you’re planning on raising pigs on your own and you don’t want to worry about the cost of commercial foods, hay is the best way to go. You can harvest this type of feed with a mower or a scythe and it’s great for giving your pigs their daily nutritional requirement.
Silage is definitely good for pigs, it has many benefits and is a great source of nutrients for growing pigs. But making sure the feed is safe and healthy before feeding it to them is of the utmost importance.
That should be your next step after washing the silage to ensure that it is free of any harmful elements or toxic substances that may cause harm to your pigs.
Picture from Jay79 on pixabay.com