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Magpies pecking pigs

PUBLISHED: 17:58 25 April 2014 | UPDATED: 21:06 29 April 2014

Q - I have three mini pot-bellied pigs, and local magpies have learnt to sit on their backs and peck away at the flesh, creating large wounds. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this? (apart from shooting!)

Q - I have three mini pot-bellied pigs, and local magpies have learnt to sit on their backs and peck away at the flesh, creating large wounds. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this? (apart from shooting!)



A- These local magpies do need removing since they are affecting the welfare of the pigs. You could try and dissuade them with the use of a water pistol, which would not harm the pigs. Or you could trap them with a legal Larsen trap. This has a decoy bird compartment with shelter, food and water and two springloaded catching compartments. It exploits magpie territoriality, so once one is caught, others are attracted. Covering your pig with armour-plating is hardly practical, but if you have any of that flyproof metal screen handy, you could put this on their backs with padding underneath and tied on, taken off at night and checked regularly that the protection was not causing sores.

Send Victoria your animal health queries. Email: vetsforum.csh@archant.co.uk

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