Living on the homestead, I’ve seen a wide variety of animals, but I didn’t expect to see a family of Javelina eating my fermented chicken feed when I walked out the door to feed the chickens this morning. They just looked at me and meandered away into the brush. I wish I could have grabbed my regular camera, but I didn’t have much time to snap the shots.
Javelina are not wild pigs even though they have that pig look to them. They are actually in the peccary family. They tend not to be aggressive unless they feel cornered or threatened. They’re more likely to run away than charge. They will go after dogs which means Wiley can’t go out with me while they’re around. (Wyatt is not allowed off leash as he has low recall due to all of the animals in the area.)
Fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds… the Javelina forage for their food and will take advantage of an easy meal. They will damage flower beds and gardens, so gardens need to be protected from them. Bird feeders are fair game if they can get to them. Water sources are precious in the desert, so they’ll happily drink any water they find out on the homestead.
Like with any wild animal, you shouldn’t be feeding the Javelina as it can cause them to lose their fear of humans. They can become a real nuisance on the homestead plus they can transmit rabies or distemper to pets, so you don’t want to encourage their presence.
In Arizona, Javelina are considered big game, so it is unlawful to kill them without the proper permits even if they have become a problem on the homestead.
For now, it looks like the Javelina have decided to call our homestead home, so I’ll need to be more careful about where I keep the chicken feed. It’s currently in containers with lids, but these guys had no issue with removing the lids. I’ve decided that keeping the feed in the garage is probably the best course of action until I figure out a more secure feed storage location closer to the chicken coop.