Can goats and pigs live together? This seems like a simple yes or no question. But it’s not as clear-cut as you might think.
Goats and pigs can live together, but the risk outweighs the benefits. To put it plainly, these two creatures are not very compatible. Pigs can be very aggressive towards goats and, in some cases, have been known to devour baby goats.
Usually, you don’t observe many other animals incorporated into a pigpen. The reason is pigs are very territorial and aggressive. There are very few benefits to putting goats and pigs together in the same living area. But, if you do decide otherwise you deserve to know the pros and cons.
Pigs Enjoy Company of Other Pigs
Pigs like being in the company of other pigs. But they don’t always play well with other farm animals in their space.
Some pigs have been known to eat chickens that enter their pens. Keep in mind that pigs are omnivorous, which means they consume meat as well as vegetation.
If a pig determines that an animal is weaker than him, he will dominate that creature. In doing so, it will most likely kill or injure the smaller animal.
So pigs do very well when housed with their kind. But with goats, it’s a whole other scenario. It is quite probable that a pig kills and eats a goat sharing his living space.
The only one way that a co-existence may work between a pig and a goat. And that is if different types of animals, like cows, goats, pigs, and sheep are all raised together and sharing the same area. Various social habits can be installed if pigs aren’t the largest animal in that space.
Goats Get Along with Everyone
Goats are very social animals and get along with everyone. Goats can harmoniously share the pasture with all other farm animals like cows, horses, sheep, etc.
Although goats are very social, they are known to eat other animal’s food. This can create a big problem, if food is scarce, to begin with.
But if you provide enough food and space, goats will have no problems in coexisting with other animals. However, don’t house goats or other farm animals with predators like dogs or wolves.
Problems With Pigs And Goats Living Together
Pigs and goats are not meant to coexist. They have contrasting living habits and diets.
- Pigs are known to damage the fences in the goat’s enclosure
- Pigs destroy ‘browse’( small plants and twigs) that goats eat
- Pigs require mud holes, whereas goats have no such requirement
- Goat feed isn’t nutritious enough for pigs
- Pig feed is toxic to goats
- Pigs attack goats who are giving milk
- Pig’s teeth are sharp and can tear through goats flesh
- Pigs are omnivores
- Goats are herbivores
- If you do decide to keep pigs and goats together, then care should be taken to keep them separate during feeding time and remove feed once done.
- Keeping the two animals separate would be very difficult as pigs are very intelligent and aggressive. They know how to get what they want.
Pros of Pigs and Goats Living Together
There aren’t many benefits to having pigs and goats share the same living area. However, one benefit that comes to mind is that you don’t have to build separate enclosures.
A single living area for both can save a lot of time, land, resources, and daily maintenance.
But the two animals getting along peacefully & happily is highly improbable.
Cons of Pigs and Goats Living Together
Pigs are extremely aggressive species. They become extremely dangerous to other animals once they have tasted meat, so much so that they don’t even spare baby goats. If you want to observe their brutality, we recommend that you throw a snake in their pen.
Pigs are excellent snake killers, and they get into a battle with each other, to see who gets to eat the snake. This should just give you a general idea of their savagery.
So keeping goats and pigs without supervision is an accident waiting to happen. You just can’t trust a pig with a goat. They may seem peaceful, but the moment you are away, they will start attacking the goats.
As we discussed, pig feed can be extremely toxic to goats. It can make a goat extremely sick and maybe even death. Pigs feed is usually full of chemicals and can be hazardous to goat’s sensitive systems. Corn isn’t very useful for them either, in fact, goats could develop symptoms of acidosis by consuming too much corn.
Certain Basics To Goat Care
Goats have a lifespan of 12-14 years on average, while some can live even longer. So whether you have decided to keep goats and pigs together, there are a few things you should be aware of to take better care of your goats. Here is some basic information about these peaceful creatures.
- Goats are very social animals and they require the company of at least one other animal in their living space. Some options for your goat’s pal are sheep, horses, cows, and donkeys.
- Goats can get along with house pets like cats and dogs. But hunting dogs might assume those goats as prey and attack them.
- They like a diverse area to graze in. So while choosing a habitat for your goat, make sure it has a lot of rocks and greenery.
- Goats are curious animals, and they use their mouth as investigative tools, so be careful what you put in their habitat.
- They can feel anxiety from distress and unpleasant events. So try not to stress them out unnecessarily.
- Goats like peaceful and tender care.
- Before you acquire your goat. Check your local laws as well as zoning laws.
- Goats like it when you give them attention.
- Get the right vet who checks goats as well. Ensure the vet makes farm calls.
What to Feed Your Goats?
The first and most important thing is to arrange fresh clean water for your goats. Select a durable and heavy container, so that it doesn’t spill or break. Minerals are a vital part of your goat’s diet. So select loose or block form as per convenience.
Keep in mind that goats have multiple stomachs so they rely primarily on hay and pastures as their diet source. Goats graze at least eight hours a day. Don’t feed goats too many grains as they are full of fats and hard to digest.
The ideal pastures for goats comprise grass, clovers, occasional brush, trees, sprouts, and twigs. Goats consider tree fruit prunings, dead leaves, and wild grapevines a delicacy. You should remember to remove all poisonous plants from a goat’s grazing area.
Adult goats require three to four pounds of hay daily. Timothy hay is good all year round whereas Alfalfa hay is packed with protein.
How To Keep Your Goats Healthy?
Ideally, you should have your goats checked by a vet every month. This check-up should include.
- Ear cleaning
- Hoof clipping
- Check the body for bumps and lumps
- Checking female goats udders for hardness
- Swelling and Heat
- Check for any Discharge
- Eyes Checkup and Cleaning
- Check for Ulcers
- Check the horns
- Check the teeth
You should pay special attention to symptoms in case your goat is unwell, has loss of appetite, limping, has diarrhea, labored breathing, abnormal body temperature, and discharge from eyes, ears, or nose.
Important vaccines that your goats should have:
Goats aren’t that demanding and maintenance becomes easy as long as you give them a healthy diet, hygienic environment, and a caring owner.
Creating Safe Housing for Your Goats
Indoor Goat Shelter
Goats are usually kept in a large shed or a barn. An ideal space for one goat is around 25 square feet. The building should be properly ventilated but the draft shouldn’t hit your goats directly.
Place fresh straw beddings and remove any damp or soiled straw.
Goats Grazing Area
Goats grazing and roaming areas should be fenced. This is particularly important if you have wild animals in the vicinity. Even the stress that wild predators around can be taxing for your peaceful goats
Goats are excellent escape artists so don’t use cattle fencing. Make sure that the fences are tightly woven and at least six feet high. As some goats might try to stick their heads in it. Never use barbed or electric wires.
Tethering your goats isn’t recommended, as they can become stressed and even hang themselves attached to the rope or chain.
The ideal ratio of two goats grazing area is around half an acre. Provide them with a cool shade in hot weather.
Certain Basics to Pig Care
Pigs are very intelligent animals. They form a strict social hierarchy, followed by strong herd instincts. Pigs have very complicated personalities.
Pigs are happy with their kind, so if you are thinking about buying a pig, get two.
Pigs are Dominant Species
Pigs are known to challenge other animals as well as humans to show dominance. This behavior includes lunging or biting others, just to get attention.
Pigs assert dominance over others by playing a game. In this game, if the other pig moves away, then the charging pig wins. So if other animals move away when a pig charges, they think that they have won and are the dominant species.
How to Set Boundaries For Your Pig?
There are several ways to correct a pig’s behaviour. One method is to set boundaries with a stick and defend an area in the pigpen as your personal space. Act as if the stick is an extension of yourself and stick it into the ground. If the pig stops and doesn’t bump your stick, reward him with a scratch from your stick.
This activity lets your pig know his place and warns them that they must not invade that space unless invited.
This behavior asserts your dominance over the pig. In the wild pigs live in a dynamic herd environment, where each pig has a place. The leader ultimately decides where other pigs eat, sleep or drink water.
Setting boundaries and declaring yourself as the leader, also makes pigs feel safe. Having more pigs can also reduce this aggressive behavior, as they work out their pecking order naturally.
Do Pigs Get Along with Other Animals?
Pigs can get along with other animals, but they do best with their kind. But remember that as risky as it is to keep pigs and goats together, it is even riskier to keep pigs with dogs. Dogs are natural predators and pigs are the prey. If there is no supervision, then the chances of attacks and injuries are great.
In large spaces, pigs won’t have problems with other animals. But that might not always be the case. It all depends upon the environment and the owner’s attention.
Do Pigs Get Along with Other Pigs?
Pigs are animals with a prey mentality. It means that they will easily become threatened especially if there is a predator around like dogs or wolves.
It means that pigs will feel much better if there were other pigs around. This will help them sort out things in a herds dynamic environment.
Different species of animals don’t provide the same level of mental and physical stimulation. Pigs can become sad and bored without a companion and this could make them display destructive behaviors.
With just one pig, it is you who has to provide all the mental and physical stimulation to keep your pig content.
Can pigs and goats live together? Honestly, yes, but if and only if you follow certain requirements. But remember that goats will suffer the most in this arrangement.
Pigs and goats can only survive together if the area they are sharing is adequately large enough with ample resources. Remember that pigs will try to dominate other species in their space, so ensure that pigs and goats have limited interactions. Ideally, it could be best to define clear boundaries between them even if they are occupying the same space.