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Pigs uprooting clover: Why?

 
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I have witnessed pigs uprooting white clover something fierce.  They don't seem to do that anywhere else in the pasture.  But where there is white clover, it seems they go down ten inches.  Anyone know what they're going after?  is it the root nodules, or perhaps some kind of bug or worm that associates with the clover?  
 
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Are they eating the clover as well as rooting it up? Could they simply be over enthusiastic about eating?
 
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To me, they are pigs doing what pigs do.

I have heard from others that pig rooting can cause a lot of damage.

We have a problem I was going to start a thread about until I figured out that there is not much I can do about it.

I really don't want pigs on my patio. They rooted into the cedar leaf dropping until it almost looks like a miniature meandering creek bed. I assume they were after bugs, mice, or whatever might have been under the leaf droppins.

It also looks like they tore up an outdoor carpet to get to what was under it.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:To me, they are pigs doing what pigs do.



Agreed!  After several decades of witnessing pig behavior, I've given up trying to figure out why the do what they do.  Sometimes I think they are just "messing with my head"....and doing something just because it's wacky behavior and is sure to make me confused!   Why might it be that at some point during the summer, one of them collects all of the garden hoses and stuffs them in their bedding???  It can't be for the comfort!

There are occasions when we can solidly point to the fact that they were rooting up burdock root or one was creating a nest or depression in which to nap, but other than that, what they may be obtaining from....say....your clover roots remains a mystery.  On our 'stead this year....plenty of clover, no rooting there.  So maybe some grub or worm..... or fountain of youth under that clover in your situation. LOL..... it's just how they are.  
 
Christopher Shimanski
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Matt McSpadden wrote:Are they eating the clover as well as rooting it up? Could they simply be over enthusiastic about eating?



They are eating the clover as well.  
 
Christopher Shimanski
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These pigs have an enormous pasture.  Each animal has about 5 acres of pasture to themselves, so it's not like they're hurting for forage.  but they seem to just destroy the clover, and not much else gets dug up.  It all gets grazed, but nothing like what happens to that clover.  
 
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Maybe rhizobia are tasty?  Just like us, animals are very good at selecting foods high in energy.
 
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I have more experience with wild pigs than domesticated pigs but it still sounds to me like Anne nailed it. Pigs doing what pigs do.  
 
Matt McSpadden
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Joel Salatin says that animals always eat dessert first, which is why he puts more animals in a small area to force the competition and force them to eat a wider variety of plants and get more nutrients before moving them to a new spot. If the animals are on say a 1/10 of an acre they will quickly eat all the dessert first and have to move on to the other stuff. If they have 10 acres all at once, they will go eat all the dessert everywhere first and then eventually come back to other stuff. I'd be curious what they do once the clover is gone.
 
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