7 Reasons Why Pigs Won’t Eat 



7 Reasons Why Pigs Won’t Eat 



A pig will stop eating for a variety of reasons. This can include a variety of things, such as the food being supplied or the pig’s health. Let’s look at a few typical explanations for why pigs may lose appetite or refuse to eat.

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1. Dehydration Causes Lethargy in Pigs And Refusal to Eat

Dehydration in pigs can lead to lethargy and loss of appetite due to restricted access to clean water. It can cause electrolyte imbalances, affecting organs and causing weariness. Dehydration may also reduce blood flow to the brain, resulting in difficulty concentrating and lack of motivation to eat.

Additionally, it can decrease digestive enzymes and acids, leading to digestive problems. Other factors like worms, parasites, bacteria, stress, extreme weather conditions, ulcers, and infections can also contribute to pig lethargy and decreased appetite.

2. Liver Disease Can Cause a Loss of Appetite

If a pig shows a lack of appetite but drinks water normally, it could be a sign of renal or liver disease. Stress or nutritional imbalances could also be contributing factors. Pigs may not eat if they are already full or dislike the food, but they will still drink water.

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Regardless, it is important to consult a veterinarian if a pig is dehydrated or has an underlying illness that affects its eating habits.


3. Shivering Pigs Can Lose Their Desire to Eat

Pigs are sensitive to extreme temperatures and may shiver and lose appetite in cold weather. Shivering helps generate body heat, but it diverts energy from eating.


In extreme cold, a pig’s metabolism slows down, reducing energy and appetite. In prolonged cold temperatures, feeding alone cannot fix the negative energy balance, which can lead to stunted growth and weight loss.


If your pig is shivering and it’s not cold, be sure to read about other reasons pigs shiver and shake.

Liver disease can cause a loss of appetite

4. Sick Pigs Won’t Eat and Will Be Lethargic

Illness in pigs can cause loss of appetite and digestive problems, leading to disinterest in food. Infections, inflammation, organ damage, stress, and digestive issues can all contribute to a sick pig not eating.


Taking abnormal eating behavior seriously is important and consult a veterinarian for diagnosis. X-rays, fecal exams, blood work, and physical exams help identify the issue. The vet will create a treatment plan, which may include medication, surgery, or dietary changes, to restore the pig’s health and appetite.


5. My Pig Doesn’t Eat and Has Diarrhea

When a pig is ill, it may lose appetite and struggle with food digestion, resulting in a lack of interest in eating. This could indicate infections, inflammation, organ damage, stress, or digestive issues.

READ ALSO Common ways to manage bacteria diseases in pigs

Prompt veterinary attention is crucial to diagnose the problem using exams and tests like X-rays and blood work. Treatment may involve medication, surgery, or dietary adjustments to restore the pig’s health and appetite.


6. Vomiting Pigs Stop Eating

A pig not eating and vomiting could indicate a severe illness or ingestion of a toxic substance. Infections like salmonellosis or swine dysentery are common causes. Intestinal parasites, gastric ulcers, intestinal blockage, mold ingestion, or dietary issues may also be responsible. Immediate veterinary attention is necessary in such cases.

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7. Shaking Pigs Stop Eating

When a pig is not eating and shaking, it can indicate fear, cold, pain, stress, or an underlying medical issue. Distress or pain can result in loss of appetite. Shaking in pigs may be due to fever or dehydration, which also affects their appetite.


Shaking without eating in piglets could suggest anemia, nutrient deficiencies, overactive thyroid, worms, or other conditions impacting their mental, immune, and digestive systems.


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