pigs and children?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by storybook, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. storybook

    storybook Storybook Farm

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    We have two barrows about 45 pounds each. This is our first time to raise pigs. Our plan is to finish them out for the table. We've been letting our children in the pen to pet them and give them some attention, thinking that it would make the pigs friendlier and not so hard to get in the trailer to take to the butcher because they would be used to us. My mother in-law emailed me to tell me to keep our children out of the pig pen because they could get hurt. My question to ya'll is: Will the pigs attack a child? What age children would you let go in the pigpen? We have 5 children ages: 13, 10, 7, 5 and almost 4 years old.

    Thank you for your thoughts,
    Storybook Farm (wanna-be's)
     
  2. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    I have two boys that were raised around hogs and never had a problem. I do think you will have a problem when you go to butcher them thou. If you are allowing the children to make pets out of them they sure aren't going to want to eat them. I do think this is a big mistake.
     

  3. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    If their fingers or hands get into the wieners"s mouths they could loose them.

    Wiener doesn't know finger from food and can remove one in the blink of an eye. Otherwise until the wieners become hogs friendly rapport is not a bad thing.

    We sit in the pen and give belly rubs and back scratches so ours will be friendly at "THAT" time.
     
  4. beeman97

    beeman97 Well-Known Member

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    Storybook,
    I would not let the 7,5, or 4 yr olds in the area without adult supervision.
    The 10 & 13 yr olds should be fine as long as they pay attention to what they are doing.
    The pigs are nice at this age & weight, But at 200 lbs they are a different animal, not that they are not nice ,, but they do not understand there own strength.
    one thing about pigs is, if someone or something gets hurt or cry's around them they come right over to see what the problem is, & they can be rough on something on the ground.
    For instance if one were to knock your 4 yr old down & he or she were to start making alot of noise because they are hurt , the pigs are going to hurt them more trying to figure out what is wrong with them.
    One of the best ways ive found to move pigs around from one place to another is to grab one, making it squeal, the others follow right along trying to bite & nudge on the one that is squealing.
    I will also 2nd the opinion of not letting the children make buddies with something they are going to be eating, if this is there 1st time around this kind of situation it would be best for them to only be allowed to feed & water & other contact should be limited until they get ahold of the concept of raising something for eating.
    Rick
     
  5. emke

    emke Well-Known Member

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    We let our 15yo son get in the pen whenever the mood strikes him. Our 5yo daughter knows she isn't allowed near the pen unless my husband, son or I am with her. Too much could happen too fast to get to her if one decided to knock her down in a playful manner. Our pigs are scratched, as much as they will let us.

    As to not letting the kids make a pet out of a pig, I agree. DS has known all along that the pigs are raised for food. We have stressed since DD was tiny that all the pigs will be eaten. If they know it is going to happen eventually it makes it a little easier. She knows which will be butchered next winter, the following winter and so on. DD still calls certain pigs her pigs, but she does know that they will be going into the freezer. Name your pigs a food name, such as sausage or bacon. Pork chop is another favorite name around here. It reminds your kids that they will be butchered instead of being a family pet.

    An easier way to get your pigs on the trailer to to bucket train them. We have a certain bucket that we feed them with. When the pigs see us walking across the yard with it they run to the trough. Another way is to let the pigs get familiar with the trailer. I don't know the size of your pig pen, but we have our pigs in a pasture. DH will pull the trailer in there, to dump brush on a brush/burn pile. He will throw corn in the trailer and the pigs will jump onto it to get the corn. To them it is second nature to go onto the trailer.
     
  6. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    I was raised around pigs, so have my kids. Teach them to be cautious, not afraid. As far as making "pets" out of them. Tell them from the beginning that they are to eat.
    www.geocities.com/gonzalesshowpigs
    wwwlgeocities.com/buckshotboers2003
     
  7. storybook

    storybook Storybook Farm

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    I didn't know a pig could take fingers off so easily. I will definitely be cautious about that with our children. We've told our children from the beginning that the pigs are for food. My youngest two children (ages 5 and almost 4) aren't to happy about that idea since we brought the pigs home but the older children are okay with that. As the novelty wears off of getting pigs then the children will not even go over to their pigpen which is a good distance from the house, except for our 13 year old whose job it is to feed the pigs.

    My ten year old son's favorite breakfast is eggs and bacon. We keep making family jokes that now we are raising both. :)
     
  8. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    my kids are not so lucky to not have to make "pets" out of their pigs....it is hard to have them as a project in 4-H, walk them daily, bathe them, clip them before shows and then really get to know the animal's personality, then tell them, "help load them on the trailer"...then we ALL go behind our trailer and cry! (dad included!!)
    www.geocities.com/buckshotboers2003
    www.geocities.com/gonzalesshowpigs
     
  9. trappmountain

    trappmountain Well-Known Member

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    I haven't raised feeder pigs but my DH was raised with them. They were always aloud to make a pet out of one. If it got to be too much to handle it was butchered but not brought home. They could never eat a pet. They kept a sow named rosy for years. she was sweet and gentle and was a good mom. They bred her several time and had good meals from her babies. BUT they didn't eat rosy. She lived a long and happy life.
     
  10. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    awwwww...that makes me think of one of our sows "Sweet Pea". A big ol york.
     
  11. NewlandNubians

    NewlandNubians Well-Known Member

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    I raised hogs for ten years when I was in 4-H, got my first one when I was nine and was responsible for all its care. I have raised sheep (stupid), goats (hard-headed but my favorite), chickens (stupid and foul moreso than a pig), cows (too big and not extremely smart either), turkeys (really, really irritating), horses (lots of fun - lots of work and money), mules (a cross between an horse and a goat) and of course, pigs. Pigs are the very smartest and in some ways very easy to keep and 99% of the time they're very sweet, loving animals with great senses of humor. I never have felt concerned for my safety around even big 300 lb. pigs on limited feed. I would, however; be careful with little children around ANY animals of ANY kind, especially dogs, moreso than pigs. They need to know not to stick their fingers in the pig's mouth, but they would need to know to not do that with ANY animal.

    As far as the kids getting attached to them, that would not concern me. My husband and I were both raised to understand from a very young age that certain animals were food and that they were going to die and we were going to eat them. We were sometimes reminded that "fluffy" was now providing us food and yes, it did bother me in the beginning but I got over it and I'm not scarred (-: I did cry when I was little and "my pet" had to go to market, but in 4-H that meant getting a check and I sure didn't cry when we got those checks (-: I am thankful that my parents raised me this way, I am now finally to the point where I can chop the head off a chicken and process it completely all by myself.

    I believe that's some of the problem with a lot of people these days, they'll go right on to mcdonalds and buy that hamburger and not think anything about eating it, despite how THOSE animals were raised and treated before they died (not to mention what they were fed), but those same people look at me like I'm a barbarian for killing and eating my own animals, which I loved, named, and carefully cared for every single day. Maybe if they grew up like I did, they'd understand. I always go out of my way to educate people who think like that, as I believe they just don't have any comprehension of where that mcburger came from.

    <sigh> if my dad were on this list, he'd be sure to tell you the story about how I rode the first pig I raised backwards at the fair. He just loves to tell that story <groan>