Does anyone have experience combining pigs with ducks on pasture? I have 33 layers and want to get 2 pigs some time in the next year or so.
Would there be conflict over water or food? Would electric poultry netting keep both ducks and pigs inside? We live in a suburban environment next to a busy road so we need to be sure the pigs won't get out.
Any other ideas on breeds, what age to get them, or other pigs tips is welcome!
I don't have first hand experience with pigs and ducks together. But I do know that your pigs will eventually (probably very quickly) eat the eggs if they are not very secure off the ground. Where do the ducks lay?
Jack Edmondson wrote:I don't have first hand experience with pigs and ducks together. But I do know that your pigs will eventually (probably very quickly) eat the eggs if they are not very secure off the ground. Where do the ducks lay?
The pigs I've had experience with would eat the ducks soon after the eggs, if they let them lay any eggs.
Pig breeds will be important if you don't want the pigs bothering and/or possibly eating the ducks.
My KuneKune pigs don't bother my ducks who pop into the pig paddocks whenever they like. And the pigs can't leave to get to the duck eggs.
So creating a creep for the ducks to have separate access to water and safe nesting would be ideal.
Also the ducks will muck up the pig water if it is a open waterier. Might want to look into pig nipples and watering systems.
Personally I would want field fencing along the road side as back-up to my electric netting. And make sure you buy the 3"x3" chicken electric netting because any bigger and ducks and piglets will pop through. Get a good energizer with more joules than you think you need.
Right now I have a sow with her 9 piglets in a fenced in area with a newly hatch ducklings (1 day old) and their mom. Everyone is doing fine.
We have ducks and pigs together out on pasture without problem. Chickens, geese and sheep too. They just need a place to have their offspring that is private. Pens on the other hand are a disaster for the weaker animals because the pigs may corner and kill them. Part opportunity, part situation, part boredom. Idle snouts are the Devil's work.
I think it started with an unintentional crushing, but I'm not sure. It could have been an owl attack overnight. We have an owl that will just eat the heads off of the ducks and chickens. The pigs may have just finished them off.
I never saw any aggressive behavior from the pigs towards the ducks or chickens, and in fact, they are downright cute together.
I also have had ducks pasture with the pigs with no issue. Pasture space is key and a laying area for the birds that the pigs can't get to. You don't want to set the precedent that the ducks are food.
My ducks eat whatever supplement grains are left over from the pig troughs and think the pig holes are ponds to swim in. Consequently any white ducks are white on top and mud coloured on the bottom but very happy.
I have also had some stubborn free range Muscovy that insisted living in the winter grow pen where they can come in and out of the barn as they please with the growers 80 - 250 pounders and they did fine and didn't get eaten.
Years ago, I was delivering hay with my grandfather from his place in South Dakota to a farmer in Iowa. Having off-loaded the hay and with the truck empty, he stopped at a friends place where there were a half-dozen ewes that Grandpa had bought at the sale barn a week earlier. We loaded them in the back of the old hay truck. He was taking them back home to South Dakota that night. That same farmer had 3 massive old sows that he wanted to take to the John Morrell packing plant in Sioux Falls. So grandpa agreed to load them into the back of the truck with the sheep. It was a crazy chore getting those three massive mama hogs into the truck, but we finally managed to get them up the ramp and into the back with those sheep.
The drive from his farm to the John Morrell slaughterhouse was about 45 minutes or so.
When we got to Sioux Falls and opened up the back of the truck, two of those ewes were gone. GONE. Nothing but a little blood on the bed of the truck. Those sows ate two of them, bones and all. Even their skulls were gone.
A big mama sow will take your hand off without so much of a tug. Big boars are even scarier.
I'm not sure that I'd want to put my trust in their good manors. Pigs are omnivores. They are criminals of opportunity. When in doubt, they'll put it in their mouth and take a chomp on it to see if they like it.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada