Homesteading is fun and rewarding when you raise your favorite animals. Have you ever thought of raising multiple animals in the same space?
Can animals such as goats and pigs live together? You are just about to find out.
Goats and pigs can live together when you strictly follow some tips. These two animals are very different from each other and some precautions must be considered.
How can you raise goats and pigs together? How risky is it? Continue reading.
Can You Raise Goats and Pigs Together?
Raising goats and pigs is not as easy and fun as you may think, especially when you make mistakes. A few mistakes can cost you the health or life of your goats or pigs.
You should make a few considerations before raising goats and pigs together.
Consider the Breed of Your Goats and Pigs
Goats and pigs have numerous breeds within each species. Some pig breeds behave like their wild cousins, while some goat breeds can be a bit aggressive.
To prevent constant fighting between your animals, you should raise non-aggressive breeds.
Some easier goat breeds to raise with pigs are:
- Nigerian Dwarf
Some recommended pig breeds that you can raise with goats are:
- British Lop
- Middle White
- British Saddleback
- Oxford Sandy and Black
There are other non-aggressive goat and pig breeds, but make sure that you do not raise any aggressive breed with the other animal.
Difference of Feeding Behavior and Food Digestion in Goats and Pigs
Another challenge that you will encounter is the manner in which goats and pigs eat and digest their food.
Goats are browsers that go and search for leaves, grass, and leafy forage that they will eat. Pigs, however, destroy plants and other items they come across.
As herbivores, goats can eat leaves, grass, and other plant products. As omnivores, pigs can eat plant products as well as animal products including earthworms, bugs, larvae, little mammals, eggs, etc.
In terms of their nutrient needs, there is a great difference in the protein requirements of goats and pigs. The table below shows the crude protein needs of goats and pigs:
|Growing Stage (Weight)||Crude Protein Requirement for Goats||Crude Protein Requirement for Pigs|
|Weanling (up to 30lb)||14%||22%|
|Weaner (up to 60lb)||12%||18%|
|Bucks and Boars||11%||14%|
As you can see from the table above, pigs have a much greater protein need than goats. This means that aside from their natural diet, you should not give the same kind of processed feed to goats and pigs.
Goat pellets are made from alfalfa, grass, grains, and other ingredients. Goat pellets also contain fewer proteins than the protein needs of pigs.
Processed feed for pigs, however, has a lot of proteins and may contain a few animal products such as mealworm larvae, fishmeal, etc.
While you can occasionally feed your pigs with goat pellets, you should not give your goats any processed feed for pigs.
Similar food ideas for goats and pigs are:
As a tip, remember that you should allow your goats and pigs to search for their natural feed. If you must give them processed feed, separate their feed.
Housing Goats and Pigs Together
Housing goats and pigs is not much of a challenge. Goats need 10-15 square feet per goat in their pen while pigs need 8-10 square feet per pig in their pen.
As a tip, you should partition the barn or pen so that your goats and pigs are separated.
You should reduce the rate of contact between your goats and pigs at night (when you are not watching).
Remember that the pens should be well-ventilated and with enough bedding.
Preventing Fights and Competitions between Goats and Pigs
The first step to prevent your goats and pigs from fighting is to raise non-aggressive breeds. Other tips to prevent fighting are:
- Have Enough Food: When there is enough food, competition will reduce and your animals will not fight.
- Have Enough Space: The larger the yard and pen, the less contact your pigs and goats will be forced to have and it will make them fight less often.
- Raise Goats and Pigs Together from Young Ages: If you raise your goats and pigs as weanlings, they will grow up familiarized with each other and will not fight.
Awesome tips, right? Make sure to do all you can to prevent your goats and pigs from fighting.
Preventing Disease from Transmitting between Goats and Pigs
As mammals, goats and pigs share similar diseases such as bacterial diseases, nematodes, fungal infections, etc. To prevent your animals from transmitting diseases to other animals, follow the tips below:
- Isolate Sick Animals: You should isolate a sick animal, treat it, and make sure that it is healthy before you release it.
- Call the Vet or an Expert Homesteader: Whenever you see weird symptoms in your animal, call the vet immediately. If a vet is not available, call a local expert homesteader.
- Have Enough Space: Remember that the larger space, the less contact your pigs and goats will have. This will help prevent some airborne diseases that are better transmitted in close proximity.
Remember that you should isolate any sick or weak animal.
Tips to Raise Goats and Pigs Together
Here are more ways to raise pigs and goats successfully:
1. The Larger the Space, the Better
This point cannot be overemphasized. If you know that your yard and pen are not large enough to raise multiple animal species, raise just one species. Goats need space, pigs need space. Together, goats and pigs need much more space.
2. Separate Mother and Baby Goats from Pigs
Pigs are omnivorous and they can eat small mammals and birds. If left unattended to, your pigs could eat the kids of your goats. You should separate mother and baby goats from pigs so that the pigs do not eat the kid.
It is also recommended to prevent baby goats from other animals to prevent the spread of disease to the kid.
3. Fence the Perimeter
Pigs are destructive, so you should prevent them from going out of the premises. Make sure that the space is well secured. Aside from the destructive nature of pigs, fencing also prevents thieves and predators from entering the yard.
With all the tips mentioned above, you will raise pigs and goats without a single challenge.
Related Questions and Answers
Here are answers to a few questions that you might ask:
1. Why Do Pigs Have a Higher Protein Requirement Than Goats?
If you check the table containing the protein requirement of goats and pigs, you’d notice that pigs have a higher protein need than goats. Pigs require more protein than goats because goats are ruminants.
As ruminant animals, goats have a lot of bacteria in their rumen that helps them to digest food quickly. The rumen bacteria also help goats digest cellulose (a dietary fiber that non-ruminant animals cannot digest).
2. Why Should You Raise Goats and Pigs?
When you consider the precautions and steps necessary to raise goats and pigs together, you may wonder why you should raise both animals. Well, goats and pigs have similar benefits. They can be raised as pets, or for meat.
You should have strong reasons for raising one or more animals. The best reason to raise both goats and pigs, however, is a variety of harvestable products.
3. Can Goats and Pigs Breed?
It is very rare for goats and pigs to breed. It is unnatural and should not happen.
Scientists, however, have experimented on breeding goats and pigs.
4. Can Goats Live with Cows?
Goats and cows are very compatible with each other. Goats and cows are both herbivores and ruminants.
Goats and cows can live together and even eat the same feed.
5. Can Pigs Live with Cows?
Pigs can live with cows, but you have to separate their processed feed (if any). To raise pigs and cows successfully, follow the same precautions as when raising goats and pigs together.
Have you found the answer to your questions?
Goats and pigs can live together. To prevent challenges, however, you need to separate their processed feed rations, give them enough feed and space, and prevent pigs from reaching mother and baby goats.
If you raise non-aggressive breeds, you will enjoy raising pigs and goats together.