- This topic has 12 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 11 years, 3 months ago by Anonymous.
- April 5, 2008 at 9:32 am #39554KristinParticipant
File this under weird. A couple weeks ago we had a loose pig that would not go back into her pasture. She was in heat and there was a lot of snow on the ground and so she wasn’t even feeling the fence. This has happened before and usually they just wander around for a while and then go back to their pasture at night. This poor pig, though, wandered into the horse pasture and all three horses charged her. It was a noisy, squealing, thumping spectacle. Then our old gentle Sam horse picked her up with his teeth (she weighed a good 300 pounds) and flipped her in the air. Tore a nasty chunk off of her back. I think they would have killed her if Mark hadn’t run in. As it was she was in rough shape and we slaughtered her the next day.
I’ve never seen our horses behave like this before but I guess it explains why we never have any coyotes around the barnyard.
-KristinApril 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm #46343goodcompanionParticipant
Too bad you don’t have a video to post on youtube. Animal violence always seems to be a big hit.April 5, 2008 at 1:26 pm #46345JeanParticipant
I was reading on another forum about a horse/pig encounter and it did not end at all like yours. It was only 1horse and 1 pig. They became friends.
It is good to know that horses will attack something strange in their field. We have a bobcat that cuts through our property and I have been nervous about our minis. I have been telling the family not to worry that Bess would take on a bobcat if she needed to. Now I have some information to back up that statement.
JeanApril 5, 2008 at 7:43 pm #46341Carl RussellModerator
We have always raised our pigs around the horses, and never had a problem.
In fact, the horses hang over the fence to “talk” to the pigs.
Our sow got out last month, walked right over her fenced, and scared the turkeys into the woods where three of them were killed by coyotes!!!
I mentioned your experience to Lisa and she cited a Monty Roberts newsletter where a rider was expressing concern about her gelding acting very aggressive (stallion like?) when approaching a farm where a pig was penned near the road. His response was that the horse was probably having a predator-related response. He suggested putting an aromatic substance on the horse’s nose to block the scent.
That got me thinking that many predators will roll in the offal of a kill. Smelling like carrion and guts, they can parade their prowess around the pack. Sometimes pigs can have pretty nasty odor, even when eating only vegetarian. Also in winter the horses may have been more threatened, because of reduced mobility, or just seasonal issues. Anyway, it seems as though they had an uncontrollable response to something, and I have a hard time believing that it was just the sight of the pig.
Weird is right. I hope she tastes good!!! CarlApril 6, 2008 at 10:45 am #46346Lane LinnenkohlParticipant
Pigs are omnivores and scavengers, but not predators in the sense that they do not hunt their prey. They can of course be come aggressive and dangerous, but that is strictly defensive behavior.
Our horses tend to be afraid of our pigs, can’t remember a time when they were aggressive towards the pigs. But they’ve never ended up in the same pasture with each other either.
LaneApril 7, 2008 at 12:12 am #46342Carl RussellModerator
I didn’t mean to insinuate that pigs were predators, rather that because they don’t even look or act like predators, perhaps it is the smell that may in some cases smell like what predators often smell like, and that it stimulated an instinctual response. Otherwise it just seems so out of character for any horse I’ve known. CarlApril 7, 2008 at 1:55 am #46348scott stevensParticipant
As for the coyotes, I had a gelding pastured by himself out behind my neighbor’s house. Neighbor watched out her window while he chased a coyote out of the pasture one day. That horse was very accustomed to dogs, and not scared of them at all, if one came running out of a driveway, etc. when he was going by, it never fazed him.April 7, 2008 at 9:46 am #46347Lane LinnenkohlParticipant
@Carl Russell 1320 wrote:
I didn’t mean to insinuate that pigs were predators,
I know you didn’t. I was responding to the bit from the Monte Roberts newsletter. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
LaneApril 7, 2008 at 5:03 pm #46344goodcompanionParticipant
For some reason this reminds me of an 18th century English sport called owl ducking. An owl and a duck were tied together and placed in a cage with only deep water beneath and no perches. The owl would try to keep the duck aloft and kill it with beak, talons, but would be working with the disadvantage of having no place to perch. The duck would try to dive, and once in the water, stay submerged, thus drowning the owl. Bets were placed on either the duck or the owl at odds depending on respective sizes, previous victories, etc.
Horse pigging? Pig horsing?November 27, 2008 at 6:06 pm #46352AnonymousInactive
There is a good video somewhere of a mule stomping a mountain lion to death….pretty good whoopin’ too…November 28, 2008 at 11:06 pm #46350Git-Up-DocParticipant
Here in Nova Scotia there was a case of a Tamworth sow killing a bobcat.
I can’t find the actual article but heres what I read.
The farm that raises these pigs allows them free access to pasture and a sort of nest box or something similar for the sows to have their piglets in. The pigs were a few weeks old and were running around the pasture. The bobcat was watching and made its move on the piglets, at which time they ran to safety to their box. The bobcat followed but once inside found itself in the crosshairs of an overprotective sow. Protecting her babies she flattened the bobcat.
Shows the maternal instinct of this breed and possibly all pigs allowed to have range.
I think one of the piglets died of an infection from being scratched or bitten by the bobcat and the sow had a bit of swelling on its face but still lives to raise another litter.November 29, 2008 at 4:02 am #46349TaylorJohnsonParticipant
I had two different mules that would stomp and bite a bear when it was dead on the ground. It was kind of funny because the guys that did not know the mules well were scared of them after seeing this happen ( it was a true display of power how mean a mule could be ) . Before they seen them act this way they were just all over petting them feeding them then they would see them grab a dead bear by the neck and shake it and stomp it they would be a little leery. I would have to get them to come back over and play with them again and see that they were good boys not killers 🙂 . Those mules names were Buck and Peewee , they were the reason at least 10 guys I know bought and still have mules. My horses are not afraid of coyotes one bit but when the wolves start to hole they pay attention and get real close to the house , it is like they know that those are bad news animals. Taylor JohnsonDecember 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm #46351Git-Up-DocParticipant
I found the article of the Pig killing the bobcat:
Heather is still recovering from wounds suffered while saving her family’s bacon from an intruder last week.
Her eye remains swollen and her snout scratched, but the Tamworth pig bested a bobcat that hopped into her outdoor pen hoping to snack on a piglet or two.
Bob Ottenbrite, who operates a small free-range farm in South Rawdon that specializes in endangered breeds, discovered the 20-kilogram cat’s lifeless body during his normal checks on Dec. 17.
“It must have been a pretty good fight because she has some scratches,” Mr. Ottenbrite said Thursday of the 230-kilogram sow as she rooted in the frozen ground nearby.
“I can just picture the bobcat attached to the pig’s head, scratching it, biting at the muzzle — the pig had the bobcat in its mouth shaking it around.”
Mr. Ottenbrite said the bobcat probably spotted a piglet and sprang over the 1.2-metre wire fence without realizing its protective mother was nearby. He surmised the cat chased a piglet to its wooden shelter from which an angry sow emerged suddenly.
“When they want to move, they can move extremely quickly,” he said of the pigs.
“They are capable of doing things like this because of their sheer size.”
Most of the bobcat’s bones had been crushed by the sow’s powerful jaws.
“You can see where the pig had grabbed her neck, and that’s probably what killed her,” he said. “And then she just wanted to make sure.
“We felt very badly for the bobcat, but on the other hand, we felt good that this breed of pig still has that instinct to look after its young.”
The reddish Tamworth pigs hail from either Ireland or Britain and are more closely related to the European wild boar than Babe.
The breed is critically endangered, and Mr. Ottenbrite raises them and other types of pigs and cows in large pens, letting them feed naturally on grass. They grow more slowly than pigs sold commercially and have a darker meat that tastes better, he said.
“We only name the ones we’re going to keep for breeding,” he said. “We named them after our redheaded friends.”
After the scrap, Heather was sidelined by a fever because her wounds had been infected by bacteria from the bobcat’s bites and scratches.
“She was just lying there shaking and she couldn’t get up,” Mr. Ottenbrite said.
He gave her a shot of penicillin that perked her up so much he hasn’t been able to get close enough since for a second needle.
“By the next day, she had gotten up and she was back to normal, so her own immune system was working,” he said.
He had seen the bobcat’s tracks in the snow on his 176-hectare property but hasn’t had much trouble with predators in the past other than a bald eagle that helped itself to a chicken occasionally.
“This is the very first time we’ve seen anything like this happen,” he said. “I imagine by next year we’ll have another bobcat move into the area. They have territories.”
This bobcat was obviously hungry because it was quite scrawny and was already sporting some porcupine quills in its nose, he said.
“She wasn’t having a good week,” he said. “She just made wrong decisions.”
Mr. Ottenbrite offered the cat’s carcass to the Natural Resources Department for study. Officials there were amused by the unusual story but had no use for the animal’s remains. So he has given it his girlfriend’s brother-in-law.
“It’s actually being made into a rug,” he said.
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