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Can my 3 large whites be kept with cattle?

 
matt dee
Posts: 37
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Hey
I bought three large white pigs yesterday. I made them a run, but im learning now it might be too small! The run is in a small field. Around once every week or two Cattle go into the field ( 5 cows, calves and 2 bullocks) and they stay for a day or two. Sick animals can be put in for up to a week. If i let the pigs have the whole field willthe cattle harm them? Or might they harm the calves?
Thanks:3
Greatly appreciated
The pigs are two month old males and are castrated
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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I've heard stories of pigs nursing off of dairy cows, and of pigs eating a calf as it's born, but I think with full grown cattle and/or larger calves they should be fine. Just keep an eye on them and watch the cattle for cuts on the legs. My pigs are pretty peaceful but they're pot bellies, not bred to grow fast at all costs. Some of the modern breeds are pretty violent and dangerous. We used to visit a farm that had some sort of large white pigs and they were covered in scrapes and bruises - used to throw each other against the wall for fun, I guess. If your pigs aren't suited for interspecies grazing, you could always pen them and feed them lawn clippings and waste from the garden, etc. and go for a more heritage breed next time around.

As for the cattle harming the pigs, if they've had the opportunity to watch them through the fence already there's a lot smaller chance of that. I saw some baby goats run into a field of black angus once and the entire herd of cattle chased those poor baby goats all over the place. But I've never seen cattle do that before or after, and I think with the pigs they'd probably decide they're not dangerous and just ignore them. But it would be good to stick around and keep an eye on things the first few times they're together.
 
Adam Klaus
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Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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short answer is dont do it, not worth the risk.
here's why- those rascally ravenous pigs will at least try to nurse your cows. sounds ridiculous, i know, but thats how hungry pigs are. the cows' teats will get torn up, big time. not nice at all.
you are much better off sequencing the two, with pigs coming thru a pasture just after the cows. this benefits everything-cows, pigs, pasture.
in nature cows would not stick around where the pigs are, no chance. when we fence them in toegether, it might seem like blissful polyculture, but really it is quite un-natural.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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We've kept our pigs, sheep, ducks, chickens and geese together for years. The only problem is that during birthing times the animals need privacy. Sows naturally seek out the margins of the pastures to build nests, poultry build nests hidden in the brush, sheep need to be separated from the pigs during lambing. Other than that no problems. These are animals that have been raised together. Animals suddenly introduced may have issues, same as if you introduce two dogs suddenly.
 
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