Can Chickens and Pigs Live Together?
Yes, pigs and chickens can coexist in the same environment. As a matter of fact, it is common to find pigs, chickens, and other farm animals living perfectly together. However, there are some guidelines you need to follow to ensure that these two kinds of domestic animals are living side by side in harmony.
Do Chickens and Pigs Get Along?
Chickens and pigs do get along and there are many benefits of keeping them together such as parasite control, space-saving, land use, and protection from predators. Although these two farm animals get along, there are a few things to consider when keeping them together.
Here are the top considerations for raising chickens alongside your pigs:
Raising Chickens and Pigs Together
There are many things you should do to ensure that your pigs and chickens are comfortable together. In particular, you must put some precautions in place to safeguard your chickens against your pigs and vice versa.
Below are some of the helpful steps that you can take to avoid problems between your birds and pigs:
1. Keep Your Pigs Well-Fed
The most important step to take is to ensure that your pigs are well taken care of in terms of feed and water. Food is precious to all animals and it helps control aggressive behavior that results from fighting over available food resources. As such, make sure to supply your pigs with enough food.
The same case should apply to chickens although they don’t eat as much as pigs. Also, pigs tend to eat almost every potion of their food, meaning that they won’t leave much for your chickens.
Bear in mind that the main problem comes about as a result of pigs finding food that doesn’t belong to them. In this case, your pigs are likely to turn to your chickens’ feed and eat it all up if they don’t get enough of their usual ration. Apart from that, pigs have a tendency of becoming defensive and ultimately aggressive with their food and water.
2. Watch for Aggression
To raise chickens and pigs successfully, you must always watch out for signs of aggression, especially from the pigs. In case you spot any aggressive behavior, you should step in immediately to investigate why it happened. Maybe a particular chicken, usually an irate rooster or pig, does not want to coexist with other animals in the same space.
Some breeds of chickens seem to be more aggressive than others and this is also the same case with pigs. In this regard, you should do extensive research to choose the most appropriate and friendly breeds from both sides and place them together.
3. Provide Enough Space
Besides food, space is essential for your domestic animals, especially pigs and chickens when kept together for a long time. Pigs need more space to move around while looking for food.
Chickens, however, need enough space so that they can comfortably free-range during the day when looking for insects and worms to feed on. So, if you decide to raise pigs and chickens in the same area, make sure to provide them with enough space to avoid common conflicts of animals fighting for their respective territories.
4. Proper Disease Control
Both chickens and pigs are prone to different diseases. The good news is that you may not have to spend sleepless nights worried about the two types of animals transferring disease between themselves.
What you should know is that the risk of diseases will be lowered significantly because your chickens will reduce fly populations, thus disrupting the parasite life cycle. On the other hand, you need to be a little bit careful not to allow your flock of chickens to graze with any pig that is under medications or given chemical dewormers.
Doing so can easily impact your flock of birds and the quality of their eggs.
4. Feed Chickens Separately
Even though pigs and chickens can stay together peacefully, they need to be fed separately. It doesn’t matter if your birds get into your pigs’ feed because they will be looking for grain and some scraps.
The main problem may arise when your curious birds decide to get in your hungry pigs’ way during feeding time. Most likely that would be disastrous on the side of your chickens because the pigs may attack them.
Find better ways to keep your pigs out of the chicken coop. Your pigs are likely to force their way into your chickens’ feed. In extreme cases, they would get tempted to eat freshly laid eggs. So, you need to keep the nesting boxes and feed well out of your pigs’ way.
Benefits of Raising Pigs and Chickens Together
Here are the main benefits of raising pigs and chickens together:
1. Control Parasites
One thing you need to do about raising pigs and chickens in the same place is that both animals are not prone to the same type of parasites. Their eating habits are also different. Chickens spend most of their time foraging for bugs, worms, and many other pests left behind by pigs.
On several occasions, you may come across your chickens eating external parasites such as lice off the pigs’ bodies.
On the other hand, pigs play a critical role in rooting up and turning over the soil to expose or push some common parasites deep down into the soil. When this happens, the main beneficiary is your chickens. That is why you may have seen your chickens following pigs closely to forage for grubs.
2. Save Space
When keeping animals on your farm, you must know that space of essence. This applies to keeping both chickens and pigs in one location. When you raise your pigs and chickens together, you are likely to save a substantial amount of space.
Plus, your daily duties to look after these animals will be reduced significantly. You will only have to go to the paddock to give your pigs and chickens food or water. However, you will need two separate feeding places for your pigs and chickens since the two kinds of animals don’t eat similar food.
3. Proper Land Use
Raising pigs and chickens in the same yard can promote pasture utilization. The presence of these animals on your farm gives you a great opportunity to make the best out of the available pasture.
Chickens and pigs don’t necessarily graze in the same manner. For instance, pigs will just root and turn over everything coming their way while chickens will spend most of their time scratching and picking out tasty worms and morsels on their paths.
Pigs will as well leave behind a great amount of rotting food and manure for the chickens to enjoy pecking through to expose tasty grubs or microorganisms.
4. Protection from Predators
Chickens are usually vulnerable to predators of all kinds. So, raising pigs alongside your chickens will certainly help deter predators Some of these notorious predators include dogs, foxes, hawks, coyotes, and weasels.
Luckily pigs are prone to a very small number of predators. Occasionally, you might find coyotes preying on piglets but not a fully-grown sow. For that reason, keeping chickens and pigs together can greatly reduce the impact of predators on your flock of birds.
Will Pigs Eat Chicken Eggs?
In some instances, pigs can and will eat chicken eggs, and hungry pigs will eat even chickens. When pigs are hungry, they are likely to turn to anything that comes their way. These cases are extremely rare, so you should not be worried about raising pigs and chickens together.
Do Chickens Eat Pig Poop?
Chickens can indeed eat your pigs’ poop. Not only do they eat pigs’ poop when they get the chance but can eat other animals’ poop too. This is actually one of the gross things that your chicken can do.
They do so while thinking that the poops might have some nutrients they need. This behavior should not worry you at all although there is always a risk of them picking up parasites or bacteria. If you can find a way to prevent your chickens from eating pigs’ poop, then you should do so as soon as possible.
Do Pigs Eat Baby Chicks?
Given the chance, pigs can eat baby chicks. Pigs eat nearly everything they can get across. Since baby chicks are not able to move very fast, they can become potential prey to hungry pigs, especially when they get closer to the pigpen during feeding time. Keep away small chickens from the pigs to protect them
Can Pigs Get Sick from Chickens?
In some cases, pigs can get sick from chickens. Very few bacteria, viruses, or some diseases can easily cross from chickens to pigs and vice versa. But that’s not always the case although some can easily spread between the two animals and even get to humans.
You can prevent the transmission of diseases and parasites between your pigs and chickens by providing enough space for the two to roam freely.
It is absolutely easy to keep pigs and chickens together although it is never always that perfect. Some risks should be expected from time to time. Therefore, you have to be a little bit cautious when leaving these two types of domestic animals together.
With a little budget and planning, there is a big chance of raising pigs and chickens without experiencing many problems all along.