Pigs and chickens can live together, yes. In fact, it’s not uncommon for chickens, pigs, and other animals to coexist perfectly fine on a farm. There are a few things you need to be aware of, but it’s not that difficult.
Do Pigs and Chickens Get Along?
Raising different animals together is often not without its challenges. In fact, raising a flock, group, or any number of the same animal together comes with its own challenges - chickens included.
But with a little planning, keeping an eye out for any signs of problems, and managing your animals, there is no reason why chickens and pigs can’t live in harmony.
In fact, there are a number of benefits of keeping these two animals and letting them share the same space.
Some Benefits of Raising Chickens and Pigs Together
You'll Save Space
Pigs and chickens both benefit from the more space you can give them. So, if you have both of these animals, or are thinking of raising both, the more space you have for them to roam the better.
If they can share the same space, that instantly opens up a lot larger of an area for them both. Plus, it’s pretty cool seeing these two animals interact with each other. Especially when chickens hitch a ride on a pig’s back!
Extra Predator Defense
Chickens are one of the most vulnerable backyard or livestock animals when it comes to being preyed on. Birds of prey, coyotes, bobcats, and even smaller animals like raccoons, badgers, and foxes can all wreak havoc.
Having some large potbellied pigs patrolling the grounds is a bit like having large bodyguards around!
An Increase in Pest Control
Pest control is one of the best benefits of raising backyard chickens. Guinea fowl in particular are very effective at gobbling up just about any bug, insect, parasite, or any creature small enough to eat.
Pigs will also eat just about anything that gets under their snout. The best thing about pigs is they’ll dig up turf and turn over loose soil (not ideal from a landscaping perspective) and unearth more tasty bugs.
Related - Want turkeys too? Here's a look at how chickens and turkeys can live together.
Precautions When Raising Pigs and Chickens Together
You can’t just throw pigs and chickens in together and expect it to be plain sailing. Here are a few things you need to be aware of to avoid problems:
Separate Their Food
Food is precious to animals, and most aggressive behaviors will stem from fighting over food. It’s always advisable to keep their food separate from one another.
It’s not so much an issue if your chickens find the pig trough. Pigs don’t leave much food behind, and your chickens aren’t likely to eat much of it.
The problem arises when pigs find food that isn’t theirs because they’ll eat it all up in a hurry. Not only that, but pigs can also get defensive and aggressive over their food too.
Make Sleeping Quarters Out of Bounds
Roaming around together is fun for all, but different animals also need their own space. Again, pigs are the main offenders. The main thing is not allowing them access to your chickens' coop.
They’ll eat eggs, tear the place up, and generally cause a ruckus. It shouldn’t be too hard to fence off their access, pigs aren't the most agile of creatures to put it politely.
It’s a little harder to keep chickens out of the pigpen or pigsty though. But they can’t cause as much trouble, so it's not such a big deal if you can't.
Keep an Eye Out for Any Signs of Aggression
This is a big one. If you spot any signs of aggression you need to step in and isolate why it happened. It will often be down to a particular pig or chicken, usually a rooster.
Some breeds of chicken (and individual personalities) are more aggressive than others. The same can be said for pigs. If you have the option to choose the breeds you’re introducing, do your research and opt for docile, friendly breeds.
Will Pigs Eat Live Chickens?
Pigs will eat live chickens in some instances, yes. I’ve heard about it a number of times over the years. So I know it happens.
I don’t know the exact circumstances, so I can’t say whether or not it was avoidable. What I can say is that I also know plenty of people who keep chickens and pigs together without any issues.
This leads me to believe that the factors I mentioned above contribute to how likely these two animals are to coexist without issue. If it does happen, it puts a quick end to any dreams you had of
Can Chickens Eat Pig Poop?
Unfortunately, of all the gross things chickens do, eating the poop of other animals is one of them. They will eat pig poop if they feel like it, or think there are some nutrients in it for them.
For the most part, there isn’t an issue with them eating the poop of other animals. There is always a small risk of chickens picking up bacteria or parasites, so if you can do anything to stop them, you should.
Can Mini Pigs and Chickens Live Together?
Mini pigs also called micro pigs or teacup pigs are pigs that have been selectively bred to be much smaller than their full-size counterparts.
Micropigs have become much more popular as pets rather than farmyard animals in recent years. Mainly due to them being so much more manageable (and kinda cute).
These little miniature versions of pigs make for much better companions than standard size pigs. There is a much lower risk - if there is any risk at all - of them harming chickens.
In fact, the tables might be turned. A bossy rooster is more likely to terrorize a mini pig than they are to terrorize a hen.
In Summary - Can Pigs and Chickens Live Together?
Absolutely, chickens and pigs can live together. This doesn’t mean it’s always going to go perfectly though, there are some risks and precautions to be aware of.
With a little planning, there’s a good chance it’ll all work out. You may even witness a chicken hanging out on a pig’s back and pecking at insects they can’t reach!
Image credits - Photos by Kenneth Schipper Vera and Christopher Carson on Unsplash