Yes, pigs eat snakes. Pigs are voracious omnivores and will eat just about anything. They kill snakes out of instinct, leading to the belief that they are immune to snake venom.
If a snake bites a pig, the pig rarely gets terrible effects. Hogs and wild boars attack snakes that they see. Because they are not afraid of snakes, they have a reputation for being called snake killers.
Do Pigs Eat Venomous Snakes?
Pigs can eat some species of venomous snake. There is a legend going around the internet about feral hogs being effective controls for rattlesnakes.
In the story, farmers say that feral hogs are the driving force to the dwindling population of rattlesnakes. They say that rattlesnakes do not rattle because they know that they make noise.
If they make noise, it will get the attention of feral hogs. And when the wild hogs find them, they will kill the rattlesnakes.
One doctor said that the story went viral in the ranching and hunting community. However, he said that he does not give much credence to this kind of observation. According to the doctor, rattlesnakes have been using rattles for thousands of years.
He does not believe that feral hogs cause rattlesnakes to stay silent. However, he believes that wild hogs eat rattlesnakes.
Read Also: Are Pigs Cannibalistic?
Do Pigs Hunt Rattlesnakes?
Pigs don’t specifically hunt rattlesnakes, but if wild pigs or boars come across a rattlesnake, they may attack if they see it as prey or food.
Being omnivores, pigs are foragers. They are not hunters like predators. In the story earlier, wildlife biologists do not see a link between hogs and rattlesnakes.
It is not unusual for rattlesnakes to stay silent. Rattlesnakes are vipers, and what this means is that they are stealthy hunters. They want to go near their prey, and then they attack. Rattlesnakes rattle because they feel threatened. If anything, they will rattle if they see feral hogs.
Read Also: Are Pigs Omnivores?
Are Pigs Immune to Snake Bites?
No, pigs are not immune to snake bites. Although there are some animals that have developed immunity against some types of snake venom, pigs are not one of them.
Pigs being immune to snake bites is nothing more than a myth. The reason pigs rarely get affected by snake bites is their thick skin. Pigs have a thick layer of skin, and it is thicker than most animals.
Pigs have a thick layer of adipose tissue. Because of this, it is difficult for the venom to seep into their bloodstream.
Wild pigs, on the other hand, have thick hides. This hide is very tough to penetrate. It is for this reason that there are some manufacturers of leather that use pigskin. Hunters also use large caliber bullets for hunting wild boars and feral hogs.
A wild pig has skin that is as thick as armor. While domestic pigs do not have the same thick skin as wild ones, they are still ferocious enough to attack a snake. In This video on YouTube, it is evident that pigs are not scared of snakes:
Can a Pig Kill a Snake?
Yes, pigs can kill snakes. The way they do this is the same as how they forage food. Pigs have teeth and powerful jaws that can bite and kill a snake.
Like most animals, have premolar, molars, canines, and incisors. It takes only one bite to deliver a deep wound to the snake and even human beings.
Although pigs do not bite and lock like a dog, they do a head swipe after biting, and this head movement is what makes their bite powerful. In addition, the movement causes their teeth to slice on flesh. In humans, pig bites can cut the skin like a knife.
Since pigs have thick hides, a snake can deliver a bite, yet it’s not going to penetrate the pig’s skin. Since the pig is not affected, it is going to bite the snake over and over again. Snakes are mostly small. As such, they do not have what it takes to overpower a pig physically.
In a situation where there are many pigs, they will take turns biting the snake. It is this consistent attack that kills the snake. In a video where pigs were attacking a snake, people could see that the poor python, despite its size, was helpless against the pigs.
Read More: Are Pigs Stubborn?
Snake Bite Symptoms in Pigs
The signs of snake bite or envenomation on pigs are the same with humans. Many farmers don’t worry about snakes biting their pigs because pigs have much thicker skin than other animals.
When a snake is successful in delivering venom, the pig is unlikely to survive. Again, this depends on the volume of venom that the snake released and whether the venom made it to the pig’s bloodstream.
In the wild, it’s not unusual for large animals to survive snake bites. Some snakes deliver dry bites, and it is one of the reasons animals survive snake attacks.
Pigs are not immune to snake venom. There are several reasons pigs do not die of snake bites. Most adult pigs can also handle the toxicity of the snake’s venom even if the venom enters the bloodstream.
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Summary: Do Pigs Eat Snakes?
Pigs eat snakes. However, pigs do not hunt snakes. Pigs are brushes omnivores that forage for food. They are not hunters like predators.
When pigs see snakes, they attack the snake out of instinct. But, on most occasions, they kill the snake for food. Pigs have powerful bites that can tear flesh off the snake.
Pigs are not immune to snake venom. However, they have thick skin that protects them from snake bites. Some adult pigs also have enough power to resist venom from poisonous snakes like the cottonmouth and the rattlesnake.
Stuart is the editor of Fauna Facts. He edits our writers’ work as well as contributing his own content. Stuart is passionate about sustainable farming and animal welfare and has written extensively on cows and geese for the site.