Pigs killing small animals?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by linchiq, May 17, 2005.

  1. linchiq

    linchiq New Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    On Sunday our dairy goat had quadruplets. We put them in the holding pen next to the one the pigs are in until we can get them outside. There is cattle panel in between the two pens. We did not think a thing of it.

    Today I got home and one kid was in the pen with the pigs, dead and disemboweled. A second one was out of his pen and out of the pig pen, in a general area with his tail bitten nearly off and one ear bloody, and scratches all over. We are hoping he will make it -- we docked and disinfected the tail and cleaned him up the best we could.

    Needless to say we have rearranged the pens. But we are just completely brokenhearted that this could happen. Is this "normal" behavior for adolescent pigs? (I would say they are about 65 lbs)
  2. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

    Jun 29, 2002
    River Valley, Arkansas
    I understand that this can be normal behavior. Our wieners have fee choice feeding so they are never hungry and maybe that is why the chickens can be in their pen and not be eaten.

  3. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Its not a matter of how much feed they get. All it takes is for one to snap at a bothersome chicken in their feed. Once they taste blood they will always crave it. We had a couple of butcher pigs that got a hold of a duck and at EVERY little piece of it: feathers, bones, feet, etc. The ducks used to swim in their mud hole. After that they killed or attacked any poultry that entered their pen. Pigs are quite notorious for this kind of behavior. Live and learn, its part of nature. At least you have two kids that were left untouched. I have heard of adult pigs taking down half grown calves and full grown sheep. I had thought about putting weanling pigs in with my sheep but after I heard that I made a small seperate pen for the pigs.
  4. QueenB04

    QueenB04 Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    Our pigs have only had on incident involving a chicken and thankfuly it wasn't on purpose. Our chickens get in with our pigs all the time, and when my boar was younger he killed a hen by playing too rough. He never bit he chased her and slung his head and laid on her, it was too late by the time we got in the pen. We have found a snake that was rather unlucky, but it was fine by me as I'm not partial to them around them house anyways.
    Our puppies are in the pen next to the pigs and we have small gauge woven wire but where the pigs had stuck their noses through the bent to wire and the puppies often sneak in with them. They adore the puppies and have never once hurt them or given them a cross bark. The puppies have even got in their trough while they are eating and they have never shown agression. This however does not mean they can't or won't, and the puppies from day one have learned that they need to give the pigs a wide birth, but thankfuly they are very well mannered and easy going.
    My boar was bottle raised, and the sow we got at 12 weeks so we were able to have hands on contact with them from a young age and that has helped tremendously. But these are also our breeder pigs, so we expect them to be more mild mannered vs. short term feeder pigs.
    I'm sorry you had a bad experience, and I hope things work out better for you. Like another poster said though, once they taste blood the usually build a taste for it, and feed does not matter.
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    New Zealand
    I'm sorry about your bad experience and you've learnt a hard lesson. Under no circumstances should pigs be anywhere near calving cows, lambing ewes, kidding goats or any other animal about to or having just recently given birth. Pigs have an extremely keen sense of smell that makes up for their lousy eyesight so although these kids were a few days old, the pigs would have still been able to pick up on the birth smells. Added to that the pigs are penned so are probably somewhat bored and these kids would have given them a bit of diversion.

    In the hundreds of pigs I've owned, only one ever killed another animal and that was a duck. This boar had been very tolerant of the ducks sharing his dinner but on this particular night, enough was enough and chomp. It taught the other ducks a lesson and he was able to enjoy his food without interference from them on and nor did he ever eat another duck.

    Pigs are not hunters by nature, they are scavangers and if they are being sufficiently fed and occupied, they will not attack a larger animal such as a sheep or calf. However, they are meat eaters and are drawn by the smell of blood which is why wounded and birthing animals should be kept well away from them.
    Pigs are a highly intelligent animal and penned pigs become very bored. To that end I free-range as many of mine as is possible and graze my sheep with them.

  6. castiglione

    castiglione Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    There's this one website on common predators of livestock...one of them is the "wild pig", which ranges from "real" wild pigs to escaped, feral domesticated pigs.

    Apparently, they will feed on lambs, kids, etc. in addition to chickens and so forth.

    They even had a picture of a kid or a lamb after a pig did a number on it...I think the only thing left reasonably intact and recognizable was the head.
  7. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2002
    That is so sad. I'm so sorry :( Having raised pigs and goats also, I can relate.
    Pigs will do that. I raised wild pigs and will do so again soon. There's no rhyme or reason to it. I had a sow who loved chicken, turkey, and duck when she was young. They would fly into her pen and she would attack them. My boar never hurt them and let them feed out of the same bowl. Later in the sow's life when she was penned with other sows, I thought she would teach the behavior but to my surprise she never killed another chicken or duck and they were always going into their pen to eat the pig feed. I even fed chicken parts from freshly butchered chickens and the sow and sounder never made another kill. I don't think it is a lack of food or hunger; I think it might be boredom or perhaps the lack of a certain natural outlet. In the wild, they will scavenge and kill but killing I would think would be harder given a more level playing field; a wild turkey will likely fly away from a pig. In captivity we run into problems like what you experienced. The only solution is to pen ithem so as to avoid any type of contact. Your pigs will probably try again if given the chance.
  8. pekin84

    pekin84 Member

    Feb 18, 2005
    I'm sorry you lost your newborn kids.

    Last year our pigs ate six of our turkeys. They are omniverous animals, what else can we say.

    We watch our 2yo like a hawk - I am scared to death she is going to wander back there.