I Need Advice On My Pigs!! HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Unregistered-1427815803, May 22, 2004.

  1. I have a large pig pen with two 6 month old pigs in it. They have always been gentle pigs around me. Often my chickens fly into the pig pen to pilfer pig food. Two days ago I discoverd my rooster in the pig pen several bitten. Now I went outside this morning and I discovered a hen missing. Sure enough, I looked in the pig pen and I discovered a foot. They are eating my chickens!! Are these pigs dangerous??? I often have children on my property. I cannot keep pigs if they might somehow harm a child. I'm very concerned. Can anyone offer me advice? Do these pigs need to be put down?

    Thanks
    Kimberly
     
  2. mtfarmchick

    mtfarmchick Well-Known Member

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    I'm kinda new to pigs myself but the way I understand it is that pigs are omnivors(sp?). They will eat mice, chickens and other small birds. I don't think your pigs are mean. In my opinion though they are dangerous in the same way that a horse or tame cow is dangerous. They are bigger than you and don't realize their strength. Make sure to that the kids know not to put their fingers near the pigs' faces because a pig will bite them.
     

  3. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    Kimberly, I was raised on a small pig & beef farm way back in the 50's. Even back then I remember my father Never letting us kids go near the pig pens. His pigs were quite tame but as he always told us-"never trust a 200+# pig, they can & will eat anything they can corner".
    We were only allowed near but never in the pens when my father was present.

    Fast forward to the last 20 yrs. We've raised many pigs and I have never had any actually attack me outright but I have had them bite at my thighs, ankles and hands while I'm doing chores. We have always had ours within a fenced pasture so their aggressiveness wasn't due to overcrowding.
    I have never had any of my chickens eaten but I do know others who have.
    I have been told that if a person were to fall or get injured while in the pen, the pigs would be more likely to attack, especially if they are aggressive to start with.

    As for the kids, please play it safe and keep them far away from the pig enclosure. Pigs are very intelligent, interesting creatures but they are still after all an omnivore and if they will kill and eat a chicken, who's to say they wouldn't go after a small child.

    I always thought 'my pigs wouldn't be mean or bite' but I've since learned even giving them the best care with the best food is no guarantee that a full size pig won't turn on you without provacation.

    My last three were shipped to the processor in Jan, and I have to say I felt no sadness when they were gone. I was bruised and battered by the time these three got to 300# each. :eek:

    Good Luck,
    Kathy
     
  4. Thank you so much for your reply. It was greatly appreciated. I need to seriously rethink these pigs. While thinking this thru I'll be sure and keep all children away from them.

    Yes, my mom was raised on a farm and I can remember her telling me that kids needed to always stay away from the pig pen. I guess I let that memory slip due to the fad of people owning pet pigs. So I assumed that if I raised these pigs with love and kindness and attention they would end up never being dangerous. But this chicken episode was an eye opener. I cannot have anything dangerous on my property. I not only have kids often around the place but I also have small dogs and pygmy goats and mini horses. Although I feel that nothing can get into the pig pen who knows if the pigs will discover a way to escape. The pig pen if extremely well made and I feel its escape proof but nothing is a 100 percent so I cannot risk one of these pigs killing one of my other animals. It was already quite sad to loose the chickens.

    Thanks so much for your help.
    Kimberly



     
  5. Thank you so much for your reply, it was great appreciated.

    I have so many small animals around my place that I have huge concerns. Even keeping children away from the pigs, what about the other small animals?

    I have small dogs, pygmy goats, and mini horses. The dogs are smaller then a chicken. Right now my pigs are confined to a pen that I feel will let nothing in but pigs are such escape artists. What if one of the pigs escapes and gets into the to the other pastures and kills something else? This is a huge concern of mine. I don't think they can get out of the pig pen BUT pigs are such good escape artists that who can be a 100 percent sure.

    I guess I never saw pigs as killers. The fad nowadays is to own pet pigs. Dogs are carnivores but none of my dogs would consider killing anything. So I just naturally assumed that if I raised the pigs with love and compassion and I took great care of them they would be like a dog and not kill anything. They would grow up to be gentle and loving. I don't know. I have such concerns now. I need to seriously rethink all of this.

    Thanks so much
    Kimberly
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    before i got out of pigs mine wiped out all of my shickens, and they never seemed agitated towards people, the pigs were my fathers pets .imagine a 70 yr old man having a pen full of pigs for pets ,and they loved to be petted were talking sows and a stud boar, the only thing they ever bit was the chickens.
     
  7. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've had the same issue come up - and have found that pigs won't attack and kill chickens - a few of ours lived in the pig pen with the pigs for about two months. They will eat a dead chicken, or if it gets sick, they'll nibble at it until it's dead and then eat it. They aren't "dangerous" in the way a bobcat is. They aren't predatory.

    I suspect that the biggest reason that kids throughout history have been told to stay away from the pig pen is because of the incredible potency of the manure. Yech.
     
  8. Bullrunner

    Bullrunner Member

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    I have raised steers, pigs, horses, chickens, egg layers as well as broilers. My best advice is to remember animals are animals. They were not created to be on the same level of intellegence as we are. Pigs can be calm or spastic. Those animals that are around humans will tend to be better animals if treated humanly. Those that are ignored or abused react defensively. I would not get rid of your pigs because they ate a few chickens, this doesn't make them killer pigs. I also would not trust my children in the pen alone. Caution is always best around livestock. Even nice young roosters grow up to be aggressive. Keep your pigs teach your children do's and don'ts and go buy a few more chickens. This is a great way to live our lives don't give up do to a couple of poultry.
     
  9. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    If you want pork, and have safety concerns, you could consider potbellies. They are safer than the full sized but I still wouldn't take a nap in the pig pen. free range potbellied pork is lean. I bred out their aggressiveness by eating the mean ones first. but a pig is a pig and they will eat what they can get to. Mine will eat carrion, but dont seem to hunt. They eat the coyotes that the dog kills. if you are interested, I have more information on my website www.windridgefarm.us there is a link there to another site about potbellied pork
     
  10. my grandrather raised pigs when we were young children, the big pink kind that the sows get to be the size of a small buick. He drilled into us at a young age to stay away from them and they were dangerous. After watching one of them chase our aggressive male german shepherd right out of the pasture with his tail between his legs, we were scared to death of them!

    I'm thinking about getting a pig or two to butcher myself and part of the reason is I wouldn't have so much as a twinge of conscience about it. I REALLY dislike pigs, lol. These two angus heifers my brother is feeding out in the pasture next to my house, now those I feel bad every time I look into their big brown eyes!

    Mel-
     
  11. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pigs and chickens can live together until the pig finds out what raw chicken tastes like. This happens most often when the chicken is trying to steal food from the pig. The pig snaps at the chicken just as it would snap at another pig. Sooner or later the pig is going to get a mouth full of tasty chicken. From then on chickens are meat on the table to the pigs. If the hogs are eating out of a self feeder, they very seldom start killing chickens. If the hogs are fed in a trough, and are anxious to gobble up what is given them, the chickens are in danger. Hogs that are in pens that don't have feed available 24/7 don't want to share. The most common chicken killers are sows nursing a litter of pigs. They are always hungry, and sometimes run down from giving lots of milk. They will lose weight with the best of care. When the hogs and chickens are all running in a large field it would be rare to have one kill chickens unless you feed them on a schudule instead of full time.
    The only time hogs should be limited on feed intake is after sows are bred until they farrow.
    A big fat sow is a much poorer mother than a healthy trim one.
    Kids should be taught to never put their fingers in ANY animals mouth. The worst scare I get is seeing a parent let a little kid mess around a strange horse or donkeys mouth, or just get within grabbing distance of one. A horse bite is worse than a snake bite. The horse takes out a lot more meat.
     
  12. stumpyacres

    stumpyacres Well-Known Member

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    I SAW a pig kill and eat a chicken - IT Happens!!!!
     
  13. stumpyacres

    stumpyacres Well-Known Member

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    and Chuck - pigs do get mean. They are FARM animals and never should you trust your children with them. My Pop had a hand raised sow and she had piglets. She turned mena and never got better. 300 lbs is nothing to sneeze at around kids. Period.
     
  14. JanH

    JanH Well-Known Member

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    yep...pigs are not little sweet things. Have had them go after chickens; know of someone who had a barbados lamb killed and ate. Old farmers used to tell of having a farm horse die and it'd be dragged into the pig pen for "disposal". I wouldn't say they're killers...but if it's smaller and slower it's fair game.
     
  15. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Bullrunner makes a lot of sense.

    If you stop to think about a working farm; there are all kinds of dangers, from mothers protecting their young (be it a cow or a sow), to breeding age males (bulls, boars, bucks) to farm equipment and machinery. That's the nature of the business, but we try to be as safe as possible.

    You need to and should take the time to educate your kids about these risks/dangers, just as you would talk to them about operating a push lawnmower.

    One of the things that you should teach your kids is that farm animals are not pets, at least not like a kitten or hamster. Most farm animals are large enough to have the potential to do you serious bodily harm, even if they are not what people think of as aggressive. Farm animals with young, cow with a just-born calf, a sow with a new litter of pigs are extremely territorial and will do anything to protect their young. Breeding age males should never be trusted and I would never let a kid into any pen, lot or enclosure that had a breeding age male, no matter how "friendly" and "gentle" one might say the animal is. Just ask an old farmer how many people have been taken by a bull or bit up bad by a boar.

    With pigs, we aren't talking about a 40-lb. feeder pig going for your jugular, but imagine a feedling floor with 100 feeder or larger pigs on it. Ask anyone who has gone in to check the feeders or waterers, and they'll tell you that the pigs will nibble on your work boots, tug on your pants, etc. Now, imagine a small child in that pen and suppose the pigs knocked her or him down and then the nibbling began. Same thing could happen to an adult. Suppose you slipped and hit your head, got knocked unconscious.

    Yes, we are supposed to be smarter than farm animals, but if this "higher" human intelligence clings on to "but he's so cute" and "he is always gentle" pet-type beliefs and doesn't have a healthy respect for the power of livestock and the potential dangers in handling them, then we are not using our intelligence wisely.
     
  16. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Unfortunately, that turns out not to be the case.

    Pigs are omnivorous, big, strong, fast, hungry, intelligent and amoral animals. You need to always treat them with the respect due an animal which can kill and eat you, or members of your family, or visitors, or livestock. Chuck, if you have not been doing that, and your young children have not suffered for it, then the experience is not uncommon, but the danger is always there. I really would strongly recommend you rethink your attitude. They used to say of old-time (non-confinement) operations, that you could always tell a pig farmer because he was the one missing fingers. That wasn't really ALWAYS true, but it was true uncomfortably often.

    In Australia, feral pigs are one of the top-three predators of livestock, along with foxes and feral dogs. They ARE predatory, they WILL kill, anyone who has not had that experience has been lucky - SO FAR. Don't push the luck.

    Doesn't mean you can't keep them as livestock. Just means you have to recognise the risks and deal with them. Strong fences, gates that can't be fiddled by an intelligent animal, ways to keep vulnerable people away from the pigs.
     
  17. Carolinexxx

    Carolinexxx Member

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    Well this has put my mind a bit to rest. I had assumed if a chicken flew in the pig pen it would be certain death. One of my chickens flew over the fence last week when I startled her. I my panicked, rushed in the pen and launched myself at her as she passed. My poor hen was shocked, the pigs hardly got a chance to move before I was out the pen again & probably wondered what on earth I was doing. I guess my actions may have been a little excessive considering my two piglets are only about 50lbs!!

    Well I would prefer that way round than too relaxed and a dead chicken!
     
  18. I was raised on a mixed farm and was taught as a small child the dangers of the entire farm operation. We children were the ones feeding the animals and operating the machinery as soon as we were able. (I don't advise this) You learn to be quick and keep your eyes and ears open or you will get hurt. I know of many tragic events that have happened in our community, but we still keep on farming. It is a wonderful lifestyle. There are dangers everywhere in our life, and the most deadly are those you don't recognise as a threat. Such as the stress created in the lifestyle of city dwellers which leads to heart attacks and cancer or driving during rush hour.
    If you are not inclined to use your animals for meat by butchering them when they are large enough, perhaps you could market them and begin again with young pigs to entertain the family. Livestock were not intended for and are not bred to be pets. I don't know of anyone who has kept pigs as pets for long periods of time.
    I used to be very sad when an animal died, but I am of a different mindset about life now. I believe we are all here on earth with a purpose to fulfill, and that death is not a bad thing, just another season or sequence of our life. I whisper my thanks to my chickens for the meat they have grown for me before I butcher them. I prefer raising my own food with TLC, and killing them without fear and pain. I want my animals to have had a good life and death.
     
  19. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    I have two potbelly/hamshire cross pigs (so they are small) they free range, they will follow me anywhere, I can get them to walk up a ramp into a trailer, they come when called, but don't like to be touched and they have scraped their teeth across my legs and hands, and left marks in footwear. As far as I know they have never eaten raw meat [to avoid starting them on hunting for their own] I have seen them bite our lamb but his wool protected him as they where not trying to kill him, they will fight with the dogs and run the goats away from food only the buck with horns and the horse will stand up to them.

    Even though they are small I know they could kill chickens if the bird didn't get away fast enough, I think they would try to eat any newborn if they go a chance at one or the afterbirth.