Help! My Pig ate my Ducklings

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Kinfolks, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Kinfolks

    Kinfolks Member

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    Hi,
    I am fairly new to raising pigs and we are currently raising our 2nd one now. It is my husbands pig, as I am a vegetarian. We had one of our mother ducks hatch out 12 ducklings in her 1st ever hatching. We were very excited. About a week later we were down to 10 ducklings and we couldn't find where the other 2 went. They were free range, so we assumed a fox or coyote or something. Then a couple days after that all were gone. Again, we thought of coyotes, or something else. We had another of our favorite ducks hatch out 2. Well a few weeks later one went missing. Yesterday, I went to feed my pig and saw the feathers and foot of the 2nd duckling being chewed on by her. I was disgusted and angry, and ready to kill the pig right then. The ducks are kind of like extend family. The pig was only my husbands soon to be breakfast. I was very attached to those ducklings and thought the biggest danger wouldn't be from my own yard. The poor mother duck is frantic flying around looking for her baby. I don't know about how pigs work or anything like that, but I would appreciate any help. Is this abnormal? Should we still plan to butcher the pig or will it not be safe since it has now obviously eaten meat itself? I can't even stand to look at this animal I'm so mad.
     
  2. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear, I'm sorry but I couldn't resist having a chortle about this. Ducks and pigs have one thing in common - they're both opportunists and in this case the pig has won out. I've had pigs dispose of my ducks but only because they persisted in scavanging out of its dish and thouroughly annoying it. I would say that one mother duck and 12 ducklings scavanging it's food was more than it was prepared to put up with - and I can't say I blame it.

    You are either going to have to confine the ducks and their young at breeding time or duck proof the pig pen/paddock so that the ducks can't get in.

    Conversely I have 6 chooks that spend much of their day free ranging - and most of it is spent with one of my pigs. They sit on her back and peck at her (no doubt getting lice) scratch around in her poohs, make dust baths next to her house, share her food and seem to co-exist quite nicely.

    Continue with your butchering plans for the pig - they are omnivores and meat is part of their diet. As you are vegetarian, it is only hubby that may suffer any ill effects :p

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     

  3. Kinfolks

    Kinfolks Member

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    Thanks Ronnie,

    Although I never saw the ducks get into the pigs feed, it makes sense that they would. I appreciate your story. I am glad that I'm not a unique situation. I am going to wire in the bottom of the pigs pen more than I thought. Thanks for your suggestions and help.

    Margaret
     
  4. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My closest neighbor had 100 chicken fryers in a pen near the pig pen...he slowly lost umpteen of them as they would fly over into the pig pen and the pigs would eat them. :( Why he didn't take other measures to keep the fryers in ...??????
     
  5. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Someone might want to mention here that this is why some people consider pigs a fairly dangerous animal and not appropriate for small children to handle. A 200 pound hungry pig can savage a full grown man. Children do not belong around hogs. And the above issue with ducklings (and chickens) is one reason we don't keep pigs. They are fully capable of being predators, and I'd just as soon not keep predators on my farm.
     
  6. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Just one more reason why I have potbellies! They're little!
     
  7. hayzor

    hayzor Well-Known Member

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    I raised a couple of pigs a year or so back. My favorite Buff hen flew into their pen, and never flew out. I was sad about the hen, but not sad to eat the pigs. As has been mentioned, pigs are omnivores- won't hurt the meat. Good luck w/ the next hatches and make sure they are separated from each other, if the pig is still around. It sucks loosing the little guys. :grit: My dog got a few of my chicks - almost ate him.
     
  8. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    Our pigs would dispose of full-grown guineas that would fly into their pen and help themselves from the pigs' trough. Nothing left at all - not a beak, feather, or foot.

    One summer I found a nest of about 40 goose eggs that were way past rotten. I stood downwind, and began tossing those eggs into the pigpen. Some would explode upon impact, like a small atomic bomb - wheeww ! ! ! Smelly ! ! ! Those pigs looked like kids at the candy counter, running after those eggs and gobbling them down, shells & all.

    Pigs will eat just about anything.

    NeHi Mama
     
  9. Kinfolks

    Kinfolks Member

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    Hi again. I had heard never to let pigs get a taste for blood because then they want meat more and more. I had no idea that this was such a common thing to have happen. We are definately going to take measures to keep the rest of the livestock safe. Our pig is not near full grown yet so I want to deal with it while she's still small enough to handle. I don't know that we will be getting another one after she goes to the meat locker.
     
  10. jvjfarm

    jvjfarm Glad to Be Here!

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    It's not so much that they get a taste for blood, they are just opportunistic - if it's there, they'll eat it....that's what I love about pigs...they eat anything. We warn our sons to always carry a big stick around the pigs, and we teach the pigs to back off at an early age.

    Pigs are very smart, and will behave, as long as you don't allow them to crowd you, etc. My husband raised hogs for 10 years, and taught me from the getgo to whack 'em hard if they get too aggressive. Mine would love their ears scratched and stuff, but they give me a wide path when I go in their pen!

    And that fresh bacon in the pan makes it all worth the wait.

    Jill