Pigs are mammals and chickens are birds, pigs have babies while chickens lay eggs, pigs’ sizes are dominant over chickens’s sizes. So since they are considerably different from each other, is it fine for them to make neighbors?
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Can pigs and chickens live together?
Yes, it has an opportunity to bond pigs and chickens together. However, there are always pros and cons when taking any challenge, so let’s find out to see whether pigs and chickens are a well-matched couple.
Pigs can become protectors
Chickens have weak self-defense. They are usually the target of predators such as foxes, hawks, dogs, etc. Fortunately, pigs are much larger to scare and threaten predators.
So that is why we should consider letting pigs and chickens together. Pigs’ protection can prevent chickens from being attacked and hunted.
Though in some situations, baby pigs still are able to be ambushed, predators will not aggress with full-grown pigs to get into trouble.
Enrich chickens’ food
We all know chickens love snacking insects, worms, and bugs. Luckily, pigs often dig into the ground to look for their food.
Pigs root the soil by shoving their snout into the soil then flipping it up. It is a great chance for chickens to access some delicious food that supplements chickens’ diets with rich protein content. (Source)
Chickens are able to comfort pigs
Pigs are keen on playing in the mud and usually have trouble with their back itch. Since pigs can only reach itchy areas by their short tails, it seems to be hard for them to itch other further places.
In that case, chickens can probably tackle this problem. They also can help your pigs have fewer skin problems. So is there a very interesting benefit?
Pigs can eat chickens’ egg and even live chickens
One of the most concerning problems is that pigs can eat both chickens’ eggs and chickens.
Pigs are also omnivores like chickens and they have a taste of chickens’ eggs. Even chickens are able to eat their own eggs, it is not surprising that pigs can do that.
In some cases of pigs’ severe hunger, they are able to attack your chickens and pick them as one of their dishes.
Both pigs and chickens are resistant to diseases quite strongly. But there is no guarantee that they are not infected. Though in comparison with chickens, pigs probably get sick less, they can spread out the disease once they have health problems.
Chickens often look for food and pick up them from whatever they see. It is normal to see chickens consume their own droppings or other animals’ feces. So they can carry the flu and transmit to pigs.
On the other hand, chickens are also able to get sick by consuming infected pigs’ sweat, saliva, etc.
Pigs and chickens’ diets usually consist of more than 50% cereal grains so it is still possible for them to eat each other’s food.
However, each animals’ feed is produced to suit their health condition and it is not good for them to consume the feed of each other for a long time.
Chickens are famous for stealing their companies’ food and they totally can eat pigs’ feed instead of their food. Pigs seem to ignore that problem and it can lead to a negative health issues for chickens when consuming too much pigs’ feed.
In addition, chickens’ diets are not suitable for pigs. Since chickens need more calcium to promote their laying and eggshell sturdiness, pigs are not necessarily consuming too much calcium.
In the worst case, it can cause some dangerous health issues for pigs.
What should we do to pairing pigs with chickens?
Checking the swine breeds thoroughly
As we mentioned above, pigs are able to eat chickens. However, it is more exact if those pigs belong to aggressive types. Therefore, it is essential to look into and choose some mild swine breeds to keep safe for your chickens.
You can refer to some types of swine breeds like KuneKune, Tamworth, Red Wattle, etc.
Giving an enough generous space
Sometimes, pigs can get interested in chasing chickens when feeling dull. You have to provide them with a larger space enough to help chickens run out from pigs.
Keeping your pigs full
There will be a serious disaster if you do not feed your pigs sufficiently. They can be severely hungry and find your chickens as a delicious meal.
Keeping in mind that pigs are omnivores and they are able to eat anything in sight when starving food.
Preventing wild boars from accessing your pigs
Pigs can imitate other pigs’ behaviour. Wild boars can snack on chickens normally, so you should allow them not to learn that bad habit. It not only keeps your chickens safe but also is beneficial for your pigs’ manner.
In some rare cases, pigs may attack and taste chickens. Make sure to isolate any pig-eating chickens to prevent other pigs from seeing and copying that action.
Introducing pigs and chickens as soon as possible
The younger the pigs are, the higher acceptability there is. It is a better idea to introduce younger pigs with your chickens as it would be easier and have more time to get used to their companies and adapt with a new environment as well.
You totally have the room to let pigs and chickens live together if you have an understanding about caution and know how to deal with it.
Those pros and cons listed would be beneficial to help you make a right decision and raise pigs with chickens harmoniously.