Looks like we are going to be bringing home two donkeys tomorrow and am looking for anybody that has experience with donkeys and pigs together.
There are 4 pigs that are free range. Right now they have access to all 7 acres. I can close the gate to confine them to the lower pasture and put the donkeys in the upper pasture so they can all become acquainted with each other. Oh, I forgot the three sheep which I can also put down below with the pigs during the acclimation period. I don't foresee the sheep and donkeys being any problem together.
The donkeys are going to be "protection" for the sheep and pigs as we have had a horse attacked by a cougar on the property before. They aren't going to be able to do their job if they are all in separate pastures.
Anybody have any experience with donkeys and pigs together? Did they get along or did the donkeys view the pigs as a threat. The pigs are for food and will be slaughtered in the fall so if necessary they can all be kept separate but I would really like all of them to be able to run together. Is my thinking unreasonable?
I know somebody on COTH will know and tell me if this will work or not.
Last edited by shireluver; Jun. 12, 2012 at 06:51 PM.
I'd make sure you do the introductions thoroughly. The donkeys will need to understand just whom they are protecting .
Sometimes our guardian friends will go after the very animals they are supposed to protect so be sure that your donks don't harass or attack the pigs and sheep. Doesn't always happen but it's good to be aware of the possiblities.
First off, thank you for thinking of the safety of your pigs even though they are for slaughter! In the area where I live, I've met my fair share of folks who couldn't care less about the comfort and safety of their foodstock. And as the very proud owner of a pet pot belly who lives in my house and is currently sound asleep on the couch, I can tell you that the pigs greatly appreciate it as well.
That said, my limited experience of housing a pig with a donkey (or any equid for that matter) is a no-go. I had a mini-donk on my property as a border this past winter and she HATED my pig. Now, they both have HUGE personalities and are very opinionated ladies, so that probably didn't help much! But the donkey was as aggressive towards my pig (through the fence, she was never allowed in the pasture!) as she was towards my dog (again, through the fence). My horses tolerate her (she spends all of her time glued to my side or grazing near by, so if I'm in the barn, so is she), but like all those of the porcine persuasion, she is very food-driven and will steal from them if the opportunity presents. That's where things can potentially get ugly. Thankfully, my horses all know who's "boss" and their interaction with her is VERY limited and monitored closely, but I would never trust them in a pasture together unsupervised. In all honesty, I suspect she could inflict as much damage on them as they could on her.
But that's JMHO! YMMV!
Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.