Pigs are incredibly intelligent animals who have been taught to navigate mazes, turn on air conditioners and even play video games. Every day, we witness how clever they are firsthand!
So, what does a pig think about?
Food! Early in the morning when the pig residents hear the breakfast bell ring, they are quite vocal (just ask staff who live on-site). They run to the feed yard and get to work. The pigs enjoy fresh produce and pig pellets moistened with lots of water. Some pigs can be territorial about food, so each pig is served breakfast in their own bowl.
After eating, many explore and graze their wide-open pasture. Pigs like to root or dig around with their nose. Rooting allows pigs to cool down, communicate with one another, and search for food. Pigs look for seedlings and nuts. Who doesn’t like a post-breakfast snack?
When they are not eating, or thinking about eating, pigs are often deepening bonds with one another. Most pigs are tactile animals, and enjoy the physical company of others. If you walk through the pig barn, you will find pairs (or more) of pigs sleeping side-by-side. They also enjoy company from their human friends, sometimes trotting to meet them and give an eager greeting.
A pig’s behavior can vary depending on the weather. In the spring and fall, pigs love napping in the sun, and in the summer months they often lounge in the pig pond.
In between naps, some Animal Place pigs are being clicker-trained! Peaches the piglet and her siblings are learning to associate the clicker sound with different tasks. Right now, they are learning to spin and to touch their snout to a hand. Clicker-training provides enrichment for the piglets.
Want to show compassion to pigs? Leave them off your plate! Just like a companion animal, pigs want to live free from harm.
– Claire Couron