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Can pigs eat coffee grounds? A full guide

NO, coffee grounds contain caffeine and have no nutritional value to your pig. Caffeine given to pigs affects their reproductive ability and also triggers Porcine Stress Syndrome (PSS).

We all know that you can feed a pig anything just like a dog and they will eat it as if their life depends on it, but that doesn’t mean they should be eating it. Maybe you’ve ever wondered if you can feed your pig coffee grounds, but let me tell you that it’s better to use those to fertilize your compost pile.

We’ll answer if your pigs can eat coffee grounds and what else they shouldn’t eat in the article below.

Can Pigs Eat Coffee Grounds?

While your pig won’t die from eating coffee grounds, feeding them coffee grounds is not recommended. Coffee grounds contain caffeine which they certainly don’t need flowing around in their system. This can interfere with a pig’s reproductive ability and cause Porcine Stress Syndrome (PSS) in pigs who are susceptible to that genetic disorder.

Feeding your pig coffee grounds can lead to some severe health issues that can easily be avoided. A general principle to go by is if you wouldn’t eat, don’t feed it to your pigs. Because be honest, would you eat coffee grounds, onion skins, eggshells, bones, or tea leaves? Probably not.

If you’re unsure what’s safe to feed your pig, contact your livestock vet.

What Foods Are Toxic To Your Pigs

Let’s have a look at some of the foods that are toxic to pigs. If you find that your pig has eaten any of these foods then it’s best to contact your livestock vet right away.


NEVER feed pigs any nuts in a shell except unsalted peanuts. Unsalted peanuts are the only acceptable type of nut that should be fed still IN A SHELL. ALL other nuts in a shell can be dangerous since these shells are hard and sharp and thus can tear any part of the Gl tract as they’re chewed and swallowed.


Nutmeg is what we use as a spice to season food but low amounts of even 1 tbsp start to give us unpleasant side effects. Anything higher than that causes illness in most people and hallucinations. This makes nutmeg highly toxic to pigs.

Raw Bread Dough

Raw bread dough is very toxic to pigs and can lead to gastric distention, metabolic acidosis, and CNS depression. Even though most animals are susceptible, dogs and pigs will eat anything in their sight and raw bread dough is no exception.


Bracken, cocklebur, hemlock, ivy, henbane, acorns, foxglove, elder, ragwort, rhododendron, nightshade, and laburnum are all highly toxic to pigs. Jimsonweed- also known as Pricklyburr, Hell’s Bells, Devil’s Weed, Jamestown Weed, Stinkweed, Devil’s Trumpet, or Devil’s Cucumber- is also poisonous to them.

Too Many Foods Rich In Vitamin A

Feeding your pig too much food that is packed with vitamin A can lead to Vitamin A Toxicity and thus a well-balanced diet is advised.

In older pigs exposure to more than 25,000 iu/kg in the feed causes growth plate changes.

Clinical signs:

  • Extreme cases of ODC.
  • Bent legs at the growth plate.
  • Shortened bones.
  • Dipped pasterns in breeding stock.
  • Lameness.
  • Piglets born with growth plate changes
Here are some more toxic foods that shouldn’t be fed to pigs:
❌ Any moldy food or moldy/damaged grain
❌ Apple and pear seeds
❌ Cassava
❌ Wild mushrooms
❌ Potatoes
❌ Raw Kidney or Lima beans
❌ Rhubard
❌ Sweet Potato and Kumara
❌ Parsnip, celery, celery root, and parsley
❌ Castor bean
❌ Tomato Leaves and vine
❌ Roots and seeds of Rape, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and mustard
❌ Other pet foods (dog food, cat food, etc.)
❌ Fava beans
❌ Flax/Linseed
❌ Avocado
❌ Oak Leaves and Acorns
❌ Elderberries

Foods That May Not Be Toxic But Aren’t Good To Pigs

Some of these foods have been claimed to be toxic to pigs but they’re most likely going to make them very sick instead, which is not ideal either, and thus should be avoided as well.


Chocolate is not as toxic to pigs as it is to dogs but it should still be avoided. Feeding anything sugary or stimulant to your pig is a no-go. If they accidentally eat it they will most likely be fine as their digestive system is similar to ours.

Bones Of Any Kind

Bones can splinter and cause lacerations anywhere in the body. Cooked or not it should never be fed to your pig as it can have serious consequences.

Fatty Foods

Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis and thus some severe health issues. It won’t kill them but it’s highly advised to avoid fatty foods altogether.

Sugary Foods

Foods high in sugar need to be kept away from your pig in all circumstances. Pigs gain weight very easily so this won’t do them any good in any way. It’s best to avoid giving them any food that makes them put on some weight.

The Bottom Line

Feeding pigs your coffee grounds is a no-go as anything caffeine or stimulant related just isn’t safe for them. There are quite a few foods that should be kept away from your pig as we mentioned. The safest way to go is to feed them pig feed. If you’re unsure what foods are safe for your pig, contact your livestock vet.



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