When a pig has attitude

Jea

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We have 3 pigs, two barrows and a gilt. They are each about 250lbs. Two of them are very social. Barking at us, laying down for belly rubs, and just very happy pigs. One of them, the biggest, seems mean. He seems to challenge us if we go into their area. I think he's the alpha of the group and he is not social with us at all.

Anyway to socialize a pig that doesn't seem to like people? How do we handle an alpha that seems like he's sizing us up?
 

Baymule

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Anyway to socialize a pig that doesn't seem to like people? How do we handle an alpha that seems like he's sizing us up?
Eat him.

I raise feeder pigs every year for the freezer and raise a couple for sale at the same time. After dealing with unsocial pigs that wanted to take a bite out of me, we built the Pig Palace. Their shelter has a window in it, an opening, that we can feed through and no longer have to go into the pig pen with a bucket of feed, trying to fend off obnoxious pigs. Their water is in a blue plastic barrel with a short pipe extension with a hog nipple on the end of it. Pigs can no longer knock their water tub around or lay in it. I don't have to go in their pen at all to care for them.

Pigs are brilliant smart, their intelligence level is higher than a dog's. Just look at how successful they are as feral hogs. They are also very dangerous. Some pigs are friendly, but you get one that is not friendly and he can really hurt you.

What are you raising these pigs for?
 

Jesusfreak101

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Sorry i realize you probably want a different solution then eat him however. If he really is challenging yall there is no winning. Even small breeds of pigs such as my kunekunes can do sever damage. My mother had a friend who had heart attack fell into his pig pen and he didnt make it out. Pigs as smart and sweet as they can be will eat some one and one that shows signs of human aggression can make a nightmare come true. As much a i love my sweet gentle pigs my kids still are not normally allowed in there and if they are in the pig yard its with me and i stay between them and the pigs and ours will flop over for belly rubs as well. Please be very careful with these pigs and remember they are animals and will act like the animal they are no matter how well you train them.
 

farmerjan

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Except for a pet, a barrow is useless for anything. If you have one that is aggressive, butcher is the ONLY ALTERNATIVE. You will not socialize a hog at that size. If you get caught, all it takes is one bite by them that draws blood, and you will be lucky to get out with your limb, or alive.
They are animals like @Jesusfreak101 says.... they do not reason or think of loyalties.
As @Baymule asked... what breed are they and what is the purpose for them? Pigs/hogs make great "tillers" for the garden, and they can have great dispositions for pets..... but they are still governed by animal instincts. 2 are company, 3 can be a crowd....
 

Jea

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Except for a pet, a barrow is useless for anything. If you have one that is aggressive, butcher is the ONLY ALTERNATIVE. You will not socialize a hog at that size. If you get caught, all it takes is one bite by them that draws blood, and you will be lucky to get out with your limb, or alive.
They are animals like @Jesusfreak101 says.... they do not reason or think of loyalties.
As @Baymule asked... what breed are they and what is the purpose for them? Pigs/hogs make great "tillers" for the garden, and they can have great dispositions for pets..... but they are still governed by animal instincts. 2 are company, 3 can be a crowd....
These are idaho pasture pigs. We originally got them because we have a lot of woods with a lot of brambles and wild areas. We thought that they would clear a lot of the back area and we were interested in having this intelligent animal that was as smart as a dog. I originally went to a farm rescue that had pot belly pigs but the sow was not friendly and the person working there said she "had to be worked with" but we didn't feel qualified to rehabilitate her. I think i watched one too many homesteading videos with happy, nice pet pigs. That same day, we went to a hog farm that sold hogs for meat and were told that the gilt was so social and sweet she really should be a pet (and we agree) she is so friendly and will sit on command, will lay down on command for belly rubs, etc.

When we went to get her, she also had 2 brothers and we didn't want her to be alone. One brother was smaller and is pretty shy. He is bullied by the other two, the other brother is huge and from day one as a piglet he would never let us touch him and didn't want us near him. We would push on his shoulders to move him when he was smaller and he would squeal and run away, but now he stands there just looking at you and he's not moving for anyone. He also seems to not want us in the space any longer and seems to crowd . They have 3 separate fenced areas to rotate in and root around. He's just so big now and not easily approachable that we aren't qualified to get rid of him. We need someone who knows what they're doing, so I'll call around.

thanks for the advice
 

farmerjan

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If you get rid of the aggressive one, the more shy one might come around better. Are you going to breed the female? Will the place you got them take her in to breed or rent you a boar for a month?
I have heard about them and they are supposed to be well adapted to pasture raising. That is good.
I think that if you get the bully one put in the freezer, he will be good eating for you and you will have 2 others that will be much more people oriented.
I raised Hamps, and Durocs, and crosses with Berkshires for years. Kept 10-12 sows and had a couple different boars over the years. ANYONE that was aggressive was on "the list".... sold the one Duroc boar that topped the scale at 905 lbs when we shipped him and I cried because he was such a good dispositioned boar hog.... I gave a pass to a first time sow that was nervous but not really mean acting.... but if a new momma made any aggressive moves towards me, she was gone when the pigs were weaned. They all knew I WAS NOT THEIR ENEMY.... but still they are hogs.... just like some of our cows are really wonderful... and all our bulls are the kind I will go out in the pasture with a bucket and call to come... several will load on the trailer out in the pasture with a bucket and some feed..... BUT you still never completely turn your back on any of them....
 

Baymule

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You can load them in a trailer by putting feed and water in it. Let them get used to it a couple of weeks, then shut the door. If you have to take them all for a ride, sort out the bad boy at the slaughterhouse and take the other two back home. Give them boiled eggs for treats.
 
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