Can Pigs Eat Chicken Bones? A Basic Livestock Guide

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The commonly heard saying, “pigs can eat almost anything,” might suggest that these animals possess stomachs capable of digesting virtually anything. However, just like any other species, pigs have distinct dietary requirements and constraints. A frequently asked question among pig owners and individuals involved in livestock management is “Can pigs eat chicken bones?”. In this blog, we will delve into this query and examine the consequences if you let your pigs eat chicken bones.

Can Pigs Eat Chicken Bones?

Pigs have the capacity to consume cooked chicken bones, but it’s not advisable due to their difficulty in digestion and potential for blockages. On the other hand, feeding raw chicken bones to pigs is strongly discouraged, as these bones can transmit viruses or bacteria within a matter of minutes. It’s not that pigs are incapable of eating raw chicken bones; rather, the significant risk of pathogen transmission is the concern. In both situations, whether the bones are raw or cooked, there remains a choking hazard for the pigs.

Moreover, even if pigs can ingest chicken bones, they can experience digestive issues. In summary, whether pigs can or cannot consume chicken bones depends on their condition. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to refrain from feeding pigs chicken bones. Pigs are not selective eaters, often accustomed to consuming food scraps. While they may occasionally encounter and consume chicken bones from these scraps, it’s important to recognize that this practice is unhealthy for them.

Feeding pigs chicken bones is generally not recommended. Chicken bones, especially when cooked, can splinter easily and pose a choking hazard or cause internal injuries to the pig. Even if the bones are raw, they still present risks, such as bacterial contamination.

The Dangers Of Chicken Bones

Splintering Risk

One of the most significant risks associated with feeding chicken bones to pigs is that these bones, particularly when cooked, can easily splinter. The splinters can then become lodged in the pig’s digestive tract, posing a choking hazard or causing disease in pigs.

Bacterial Contamination

Even raw chicken bones can carry bacteria like Salmonella or E coli. Pigs are susceptible to these bacteria, and an infection could lead to severe health problems, including gastrointestinal issues.

Nutritional Imbalance

Chicken bones don’t offer the balanced nutrients that pigs require for healthy growth and development. Feeding bones in large quantities can lead to a nutritional imbalance, affecting the pig’s overall health.

While chicken bones do contain valuable nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, iron, zinc, and manganese, it’s important to note that these nutritional needs can be met through alternative and healthier treats for your pigs. Consequently, opting for other sources of nutrition that are both safer and more nutritious is advisable for your pigs.

Nutritional Benefits Of Chicken Bones For Pigs

Benefits that chicken bones bring in

Benefits that chicken bones bring in

In other words, we can’t deny the valuable nutrition of chicken bones can bring to your pigs. Here are helpful information we give to you:

  • Protein: Important for the growth, repair, and maintenance of all body tissues.
  • Fat: Provides essential fatty acids and a source of energy.
  • Calcium: Essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as proper muscle function.
  • Phosphorus: Works in conjunction with calcium for bone and tooth health, cell repair, and energy metabolism.
  • Essential Fatty Acids: Important for various physiological processes.
  • Moderation: Feeding chicken bones in moderation can be a nutritious treat that provides valuable nutrients not otherwise found in their diet.

How To Give Chicken Bones To Your Pigs

So, if you still decide to feed chicken bones or any other kind of animal by-product to pigs, it’s not impossible. The point is that you should consult with a veterinarian or livestock nutritionist to ensure it is appropriate for your specific animals and to understand any potential risks or benefits. Some points to consider when pigs consume chicken bones include:


  • Cooked and Raw: Cooking bones can make them brittle, and they could splinter inside the pig’s digestive system. Raw bones are generally softer but carry the risk of bacterial contamination. 
  • Bone Size: Make sure the bones are appropriately sized for the pig. Smaller bones can be a choking hazard.
  • Nutritional Balance: Bones should not replace a balanced diet but rather supplement it.
  • Consult a Vet: Always consult a vet before introducing a new food item to livestock.


  • Inspect Bones: Ensure there are no small, splintered pieces.
  • Cooking: If you opt for cooking, make sure to boil the bones until they are soft, but be aware of the risks of splintering.
  • Chopping: Larger bones can be chopped into smaller, manageable pieces.


  • Moderation: Start by giving a small amount and monitor for any signs of discomfort or choking.
  • Supervision: Always supervise pigs when they are eating bones to ensure they are not choking or in distress.
  • Observe After Feeding: Monitor for any signs of digestive distress or changes in stool.

Monitoring and Follow-Up

  • Check Health: Keep an eye out for changes in behavior or signs of discomfort.
  • Regular Vet Visits: Make sure to maintain regular vet appointments to monitor overall health.
  • Nutritional Adjustments: If you’re feeding bones regularly, you may need to adjust other aspects of the pig’s diet to maintain nutritional balance.

You should remember that whether pigs are capable of eating chicken bones will depend on various factors such as the pig’s health, size, and existing diet, as well as any local regulations about feeding animal by-products to livestock. Always consult a professional for tailored advice. The primary rule to follow when considering chicken bones for your pigs is to ensure thorough cooking. This process effectively eliminates any potentially harmful bacteria or parasites, rendering the bones safe for consumption by your pigs.

You have the option to cook them either by boiling in a pot on the stove or by baking them in the oven. Once fully cooked, you can provide the bones to your pigs as whole pieces or cut them into smaller portions, which may require a cleaver, sturdy knife, or shears. While you can offer chicken bones to your pigs as an occasional treat or supplement, it’s important to consume it in moderation.

Tips While Feeding Pigs With Chicken Bones

Keeping in mind tips when feeding pigs chicken bones

Keeping in mind tips when feeding pigs chicken bones

  • Feed-in moderation: It’s crucial to note that bones should be fed in moderation, just like any other food you provide to them.
  • Make sure the bones are small and easy-to-chew: The bones that you are separating for your pet pig should be small.
  • Feed cooked chicken bones: The raw chicken and chicken bones should be avoided as who knows if they are carrying virus or bacteria. Try to cook the bones before feeding in any situation.
  • Wash chicken bones carefully: Make sure to make the chicken bones given to pigs should meet the food safety. Washing chicken before cooking can remove away the risky bacteria.

Chicken bones are indeed a source of various nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, iron, zinc, and manganese. However, it’s worth noting that these vitamin and mineral requirements can also be found through alternative, healthier treats for your pigs. Hence, opting for more nutritious and safer sources of nutrition is a viable choice for your pigs.


Can Kune Kune pigs eat chicken bones?

Generally, chicken bones are not suitable for pigs so Kune Kune shouldn’t eat this kind of food. Instead, it is recommended that they should eat all vegetables including, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce for better health.

Can pigs eat raw chicken bones?

Pigs can eat raw chicken bones. However, they should not eat them. It is possible that with raw chicken bones pose risks of transmission of pathogens. 

Can pigs eat cooked chicken and bones?

Absolutely, if you intend to provide bones to your pigs safely, cooking is an essential step to follow.
Always cook the bones can help to minimize harmful bacteria or parasites that may be present in raw chicken or bones, making them safe for your pigs to eat.


Pigs have the capability to consume cooked chicken bones, although it’s a somewhat risky choice due to potential complications. However, raw chicken bones should never be part of their diet. It’s not that pigs are incapable of eating raw chicken bones; rather, the major concern lies in the heightened risk of pathogen transmission. In both scenarios, whether the bones are raw or cooked, there remains a choking hazard for the pigs. Moreover, even if the pigs do manage to ingest these bones, it can lead to problems with digestion. In essence, whether pigs can or cannot eat chicken bones depends on their state, but the safest approach is to avoid feeding them chicken bones altogether.


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