Does and Don'ts of Feeding Farm Animals

Does and Don'ts of Feeding Farm Animals

by Steven Scibelli
(Fayetteville N.C.)

What can and can't you feed pigs,cows and chickens?

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Jun 12, 2013
Feeding Pigs in Australia
by: Anonymous

I understand in Australia it is illegal to feed pigs meat. Perhaps that should be under the Don't section of the advice on feeding them.

Feeding pigs in Australia is a little tricky. You are quite right, in that it is illegal to feed pigs meat scraps, table scraps or swill as it is called that contains meat scraps.

There is a sound reason for not feeding pigs meat scraps. Viruses can be passed on to pigs through the meat which can cause serious diseases.

The following diseases have been linked to feeding pigs meat:

• Foot and mouth disease
• African swine fever
• Classical swine fever
• Aujeszky’s disease
• Swine vesicular disease

Examples of foods that you must not feed to pigs:
• all meat, meat scraps, meat trimmings
• offal (liver, kidney, brains, tongue, intestines)
• blood, bones and carcasses from mammals
• food scraps and waste from:
− processors and manufacturers
− food retailers (e.g. bakeries, supermarkets)
− hotels, restaurants, cafés, fast food outlets,
delicatessens, lunch bars
− your kitchens

However, if you want to feed your pigs in Australia a commercial meat meal this is totally acceptable.

Countryfarm Lifestyles

Jul 17, 2010
What can you and can you not feed pigs, chickens and cows?
by: Countryfarm Lifestyles


With regards to pigs they are omnivores as a result they will eat anything that you and I would eat, as well as a couple of things that we wouldn't eat like whole eggs with the shells on, grass, hay, live flesh in the form of the human hand if it gets in the way of feeding, or baby goats and sheep if pigs, goats and sheep are penned together.

They're not fond of onion and turnip tops, or even citrus peels - although your cows will love the peels. Any kitchen scraps will do, including milk and the whey, and they also eat meat, but I wouldn't feed them pork - that would be just wrong. However, these kitchen scraps should be an addition to the diet and not constitute the main diet. Grain and pasture should be your main feed for your pigs.

Make sure that any hay or grass feed is free from mould as it can cause all sorts of problems for your pigs, including aborting and other reproductive problems.

A balanced diet would consist of 20-40% of sun dried lucerne meal to growing finishing pigs. They love green forage and will eat about 4-5 kg a day! Adding corn to the diet is important or you can supplement that with sorghum or millet.

Some food should be cooked before giving it to your pigs, this includes potatoes, beans and soybeans.


Cattle should never be fed meat. They are naturally grazers, they are not omnivores like pigs, and feeding them meat is an unnatural process. Cows therefore should be put to good pasture. However, the paddock should be irrigated and should be deep in grass, and the type of grass grown should be a type that supplies the cow with enough nutrients. Their diet can be supplemented with lucerne hay or chaff, which is highly nutritious and supplies the necessary roughage.

Milk production can be boosted by feeding your cows feeding concentrates such as dairy meal or dairy pellets. As your cows get older your vet should supply calcium supplements. Occasionally you can feed them corn or grain, and they love going through the corn fields after harvest.


I have several pages on this site on raising chickens:, and These pages tell you what and what not to feed your chickens. In short, the feed for your chickens should be providing energy, proteins and vitamins.

Wheat, corn and sorghum will provide energy. Meatmeal, fishmeal, dried skimmed milk powder, peas, lupins will provide proteins. Feeding chickens fresh greens will give your chickens a good supply of Vitamin A and make the yolks yellow.

Over feeding of kitchen scraps, no matter how they like them, is a problem for your chickens. The main diet should be in the form of grains, then, the rest in smaller amounts. Put tablespoonful of cider vinegar in their water as it is a tonic for your birds and also helps keep gut problems down.

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