Can a pig live on pasture alone?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Hovey Hollow, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I'm not going to feel guilty about not feeding this pig because if his owners really cared they'd come looking for him. I've carried him home twice already, and told them he likes to hang out in our pasture. I'm not putting the muddy little porker in my car again!!! (He screams and throws fits when I pick him up and kicks and scratches me!) The pig in question is a 15-20# pot bellied pig younster that lives on the corner and has decided that he likes our place and our cows better than their pig pen with their other pig.
    The only thing I've done specifically for him is run the hose on the ground for a little while in a bare patch in the shade so he can have a drink and a wallow. (He's not big enough to reach the trough for the other animals.) As long as he has water will he be able to feed himself on pasture?
    I'm also not going to feel guilty if he gets hurt. While they are out there alone they all seem to get along alright. I've seen him posture (walk sideways?) at our cow (with calf) and she backs down, but if one of us is out there messing with the pig and distracting him then she runs up and rolls him. She has horns, but so far she seems to just be rolling him with the top of her head. It's kinds of scary to watch........looks like she could kill him. BUT.....I also told the owners that our cow doesn't like him and she could kill him. If they cared they'd come get him, right?
    The owners kids named him Pork Chop. I don't think that was their actual intention for him, but if he ends up living here, then that is his destiny.
    If they cared they'd come get him, right?
     
  2. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I don't know, that sounds a little callous to me. Any animal in your care, farm pig, chicken, rabbit, cow, etc., should either be kept safe and fed reasonably or a new home should be found, IMHO. He might be able to survive on pasture, but you should watch his weight to see that he's not getting thin. If he's too skinny, he probably won't taste good when his time comes anyway. And at the very least, you should provide a safe place where he can get water. Otherwise, run an ad and rehome him, since his owners obviously don't give a rip.
     

  3. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like you're secretly hoping to keep him. ;) Otherwise you'd phone them and have them get scratched! He can live on pasture. Put out a bowl of water and something to hide from the cow and then you can feel truly unguilty.
     
  4. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    OK...........obviously I didn't come across as tongue in cheek as I thought I did. Yes, I would feel guilty if my cow killed him or if he starved. I've found that as long as we ignore him and don't go chase him around and try to catch him (to take him back home) the cow leaves him alone. I have given him water. I don't have any pig feed but he's got 5 acres of good pasture AND the opportunity to go back home where his owners do have another pig and I'm assuming pig feed. My question is........if he's got good pasture do I need to buy him pig feed? If I do then I will let the owners know that if he keeps coming back I will re-home him. He seems very happy out there. I'm willing to let him live out there if he can get enough to eat.
     
  5. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    The kids like him.............and he is cute. I'm just not ready to try to build a pig proof pen for him (since obviously he's some sort of pig Houdini). Besides he could walk right under the gate and get away from the cow. For some reason he is CHOOSING to hang around them. I'm going to try to get ahold of the owners again today. Their number is unlisted and they weren't home all day yesterday. I'm not writing them off yet, I'm just frustrated that I can't get ahold of them to come get their pig. They seem truly sorry when I bring him home, but I've never seen them out looking for him. (Maybe they secretly are hoping to be rid of him and tell the kids he "ran away"? ) I just don't know.
     
  6. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    I think you are being very gracious. You are making a maximum effort to see that he's taken care of one way or the other.
     
  7. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    I agree. And I think if I took him back again I'd make sure they knew it was the last time. Hey maybe they don't like having pigs :eek: and they'll take a few bucks for both!
     
  8. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    It might be for the best if you were able to do something with him. There must be a reason he keeps coming back to your place. Maybe the kids are mishandling him or the other pig keeps running him off? We know someone who has a lot of them and they stay right in their yard when outside loose. They have no reason to leave but maybe this little guy does have a reason he won't stay home.
     
  9. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    His owner came and got him last night. He said the pen is cattle panels, with chain link all around the bottom with the spikey side down and nailed down. He can't see how he is getting out. Could he be climbing? We will see when I get off work tonight if he is back. It's also not that we are next door. We are two houses down, 5 acre lots. So it's kind of a trek for a little pig.
     
  10. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    i bet you a doller he is loveing the free life at your house cleaning up the manure from your cattle and any un digested grain found there in, also a pig can find alot of stuff to eat in a good quality pasture but could start rooting it up if he runs out of fun things to eat topside,
    if he comes over again you should probably tell them he is there but DONT keep takeing him back and forth your self, that makes it too easy for the other people, if they want to fix their pen so he stays home thats one thing, other wise if you wouldnt mind haveing him your self sence he seams to like your place offer to buy him if the price is rite so that they dont need to worry about him and you can have some bacon once he is grown better

    as to food, pigs will eat any of your leftovers, bread heals, grain, over ripe fruit/veggies chicken scraps an lots of other stuff, so for just one pig it would be easy to feed him all your leftovers in addition to what he is scrounging from the pasture and fatten up nicely for some bacon