Monday, August 24, 2015

Chickens Dining With Pigs

A common question I field from homestead wannabes-- can chickens and pigs coexist? As with most of my answers about homesteading questions, "it depends". 

Most of the people I've chatted with that have both pigs and free range chickens, they say that they have had no problems. But then keep in mind, the pigs are well fed and never go starving. In my own current experience, I've also had no casualties with pigs and chickens being together. 

In fact, my chickens quickly picked up on the fact that I feed pigs "good stuff" and regularly try to crash the party. 

And while the pigs won't let the chickens chase them away from the food nor allow the chickens to eat directly out of their feed bucket, they take no mind of the chickens eating the bits on the ground.....or for that matter, on the pigs themselves! Pigs are sloppy eaters when it comes to wet food. So it's nice to see the chickens clean up the food that otherwise would go to waste and cause an odor. 

But I learned that its not always a safe situation. Hungry pigs will sometimes hunt, catch, and eat live chickens. Yes, live. Back in NJ I knew of a pig that stalked hens, and when successful, ate them live. And once the pigs learn to eat chickens, they won't stop. At least that's what I've been told by the chicken-eating-pig's owner. Thus I'm careful to keep my pigs well fed. I'm on pigs #5 and #6. So far they have all coexisted with the free range birds. 

By the way, I've also been told of incidents where hungry pigs caught snakes, cats, puppies, and small dogs. So the common denominator is hunger. I plan to keep my own pigs happy with full bellies! 


  1. It has been said that at breakfast, chickens contribute, but pigs are committed - but I guess at the communal trough, chickens can get involuntarily committed...

  2. We have a feral pig who came into our fenced property when just a baby, and we still have him a year later--well fed on mac nuts. He hangs around with our 3 feral chickens, and perhaps it's a symbiotic relationship as they're after the same protein source (worms). Anybody need a pig?