Do pigs really eat snakes? The reason why I ask is because we are moving and the home we are buying may have a few snakes around it. I did a little google to find out what I could do (of course clearing land, not stacking wood, and watching where we go help but I do have two young children that I worry about) and a couple sites suggested that pigs either love them (to eat) or just hate them..lol.. Is this a fact?
Are they ever used to clear land of snakes? We will have 30 acres (which some of that will be for our goats and a couple of horses) and I would like to try to get the area around the home cleared of them.
We are going to clear the land some but can only do a little at a time.
Even if they don't eat all of your snakes, they will clear them off of an area, what with their rooting around and disrupting the comfy homes of the snakes. And some snakes aren't bad to have around.. If it were me I would clear from the house outwards..wouldn't want to drive them towards the house.
Yes..one pig gets lonely and bored.. and a bored animal will make it's own entertainment and that is never, ever good. Their idea of fun and your's are very rarely the same. Plus, being alone is stressful on the beast and stressed animals don't feed, gain or thrive as well as a happy, content animal.
Well two pigs and one dog to get a few snakes is worth it to me..lol..
I guess now I need to go read the thread of the "must have" or is it "must know" on pigs (either way I am going to go read it.)
Can anyone recommend a type of pig? Looking for something hardy and is known for being better around children. I guess once their job is up with the snakes we could always have them for dinner. Not sure what my kids will say about that.
Oh, what is a good average price for a HEALTHY not crazy pigglet?lol..
Season (late fall & early winter like now is the lowest, spring the highest)
Cull or not (factory farm culls can be had cheap but you get what you pay for)
Type (some special breeds cost a lot, up to $600)
Sex (we charge more for females (gilts))
Castration (we charge $10 extra - this is a male only thing)
Location (most important factor probably)
Beware that most pigs grow very large, up to 1,000 lbs or even more. See this:
I'm going to violate a personal principle here. I generally believe that people get way too hung up on certain breeds of animal. In fact, I find little difference between the jersey/dexter/tamworth/naragansett fanciers I come across in my "homesteading" life and the BMW/Gucci/Burberry/Toll Bros. fanciers I often come across in my professional life.
That said, if I were interested in small pigs specifically for pest control:
The guinea hog doesn't appear to be cost efficient. That's a lot of money to put out for a piglet. You'll need a particular market to sell your expensive piglets. Plus the gene pool being small means it's not easy to introduce new blood. I'd hate to see the price per pound for the meat!
When I was a kid, I went to girl scout camp (Camp White's Landing) on Catalina Island, off the coast of California...we had LOTS of feral pigs there. The cook used to feed them in order to keep them coming to camp each night. He said they ate the rattlers, keeping them from being a nuisance to the campers. That being said, I remember a sow chasing girls into the bathroom when they got too close to her piglets. I wonder what was more of a threat?
Wild Iris Farm
"Fair"- the other 4 letter F word." This epiphany came after almost 10 days straight at our county fair.
Had an uncle who bought a place infested with rattlers--out on the prairie, big snakes. He bought a herd of pigs and within two years you could not FIND a snake. Snake bites do not appear to affect the pigs.
He had two big snake-killing dogs, too, but when one of them got bitten it would swell up like a pumpkin for a few days.
His hogs were the common black and red pigs of the time.
By coincidence, I am reading the book "small-scale pig raising", by Dirk Van Loon which I recieved as an X-Mas gift. Credit where Credit is due to Walter Jeffries for the recommendation .
Anyhoo, the book on page 18 offers the following text under the heading Pigs&Snakes:
QUOTE "Pigs eat Snakes,and that in itself is enough reason for many people I know to raise a few oinkers. Comstock's "Handbook of Nature Study" says " it has long been noted that the hog has done a good service on our frontiers as a killer of rattlesnakes." Whether pigs are actually immune to snake venom I don't know. The "Larousse Encyclopedia of Animal Life"cautiously states that "wild hogs appear to be immune to snake bite." Certainly rooting pigs would play hell with populations of snakes that reproduce by means of eggs laid underground, but rattlers,copperheads, and cottonmouths all bear live young." END QUOTE.
It's a sight to to see when you follow a snake trail to the hog pen, and find a n old blind sow gnawing on a rattlesnake big around as your arm. I' ve always heard that the layer of fat a hog had neutralized the venom when they were bit. I don't know, but I've always heard it.