Coyotes are notorious for causing many livestock deaths, costing millions of dollars in damage every year.
Pigs aren’t generally as affected by coyote predation as other farm animals, because of their size.
But will coyotes attack pigs if they got the chance?
Table of Contents
- Will Coyotes Attack Pigs?
- Coyotes Have Attacked Pigs Larger Than Themselves
- Some Pigs Are More Vulnerable to Attacks than Others
- Pigs Kept In Herds Are Less Likely To Be Attacked By Coyotes
- Whether Coyotes Attack Pigs Depends On Environmental Circumstances
- Will Coyotes Attack Wild Boars?
- How To Protect Pigs From Coyote Attacks
- Related Posts
Will Coyotes Attack Pigs?
Pigs are usually too large for a coyote to attack, but they will be targeted occasionally. Coyotes usually prey on smaller animals, like rabbits and rodents, but pigs aren’t out of the question.
They are more likely to attack pigs in groups of two or more coyotes. Coyotes don’t usually hunt in packs, but sometimes they’ll work in small groups to take down larger prey.
Otherwise, adult pigs are usually too big for one coyote to take down. Coyotes will eat piglets, however, if they are not well-defended by adult pigs.
They will also take advantage of sick pigs that can’t move or fight back effectively. That being said, some coyotes are more desperate and bold than others.
See Also: Do Coyotes Eat Possums?
Coyotes Have Attacked Pigs Larger Than Themselves
Two coyotes were caught attacking a pig that weighed around 75 pounds. Ultimately, they didn’t kill it because a dog came to its rescue and defended it against the coyotes.
Stories of coyote attacks on large pigs are rare, however.
Some Pigs Are More Vulnerable to Attacks than Others
Younger and smaller pigs are, of course, at higher risk of coyote attacks. Some pigs are also less aggressive than others and may be worse at defending themselves against predators.
For example, show pigs, although healthy and muscular, are generally more pampered and sometimes bred to be less aggressive. They won’t be used to facing threats.
Coyotes were suspected of killing two show pigs a few years ago – although they weren’t confirmed to be the killers, they easily could have been.
Coyotes go after animals that look easy to kill – if a pig gets scared and acts like prey rather than standing tall and acting aggressively, it will be more tempting for coyotes to attack it.
Pigs Kept In Herds Are Less Likely To Be Attacked By Coyotes
Pigs have evolved to live in groups – they are protective of each other and are socially cooperative. When living in a herd, they are more likely to successfully defend themselves against coyotes.
Many farmers have kept herds of hogs in areas where coyotes roam around and had no issues with predation.
Whether Coyotes Attack Pigs Depends On Environmental Circumstances
Coyotes don’t generally attack pigs, but sometimes they do – it depends on the area and the time of year.
In some places, coyotes can get large enough to attack a pig. And during certain seasons, limited food availability may make coyotes desperate enough to try killing a pig.
Coyotes in the northeastern states and eastern provinces are the largest, with some adults weighing up to 50 pounds. The larger the coyote, the more confident it will be in taking down a pig.
During the winter and spring, when other food sources are scarce, and protein is required to raise pups, coyotes may be motivated to attack pigs if they’re easy to get to.
Some coyotes are not only larger but also bolder than others. In general, they don’t hunt in packs, but in some areas they have been seen working cooperatively with each other in groups as large as 30 – with this extra support, the coyotes may hunt for larger prey including pigs.
If a pig wanders near a coyote den during the pup-rearing season (which falls between April and June), then coyote parents would threaten it and attack it, just like any other intruder that comes too close to their pups.
Will Coyotes Attack Wild Boars?
While a coyote might attack the occasional domestic pig, wild boars are out of a coyote’s league in terms of prey.
They are aggressive, large, and equipped with impressive tusks. Livestock pigs usually have their tusks removed, so they lack that extra defense compared to wild pigs.
But coyotes sometimes prey on juvenile boars if they get the chance.
In one study, wild pigs made up 5% of coyotes’ diet in the spring and winter – but these pigs were likely already dead since coyotes often scavenge for prey remains to feed themselves.
This is more common in areas where invasive wild hogs are regularly hunted by humans and left at their kill sites.
How To Protect Pigs From Coyote Attacks
The harder you make it for the coyotes to reach the pigs, the less likely they’ll be attacked.
Adult hogs are pretty good at defending themselves, but if you have pigs that are on the smaller side, or the coyotes in your area are bold, you’ll want to put some effort into protecting them from these predators.
An effective way to stop coyotes from reaching your pigs is to enclose their pen with an electric fence. The fence should be 4-6 feet to make sure the coyotes can’t jump over it.
Alternatively, you can keep the pigs in a safe barn at night, or train a guard dog or donkey to protect them.
Coyotes do not attack pigs very often, but it can happen if the coyotes are bold, and hungry, and the pigs are easy targets.
It’s best to protect your pigs by putting an electric fence around their pen if you’re concerned about coyotes.