Pigs are often mislabeled as being greedy, dirty, and smelly animals by people, but what you never hear about is their incredibly loving and caring personalities, and the host of amazing and adorable things which they love to do. Pigs are actually exceptionally intelligent clean creatures who never make a mess where they sleep. Unfortunately, many pigs are unable to show off their natural instincts and behaviors as they are forced to live confined in cramped and unclean factory farms. To see some of these activities for yourself, take a visit to a farm animal sanctuary where you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse of pigs enjoying life to the max.
1. Get Belly Rubs
Find the right spot on a pigs belly and he’ll drop to the ground and roll onto his side for a belly rub. Some pigs like this more than others, and the ones who are particularly fond of getting a good belly rub have been known to drop to the ground expectantly at the feet of their companions, waiting for the rub to begin!
Just like cats and dogs, pigs love to find a quiet spot to sprawl out on the floor with the sun on their back. One thing they have to be careful of, however, is that they don’t get sunburn in the intense summer heat, as their skin is very similar to a humans and is susceptible to burning.
3. Build Nests
One of the most natural instincts of a pig is to build a nest. They like to feel warm and cozy at night, and will spend hours dragging sticks, leaves, and hay into a pile to make a nest. When sows are ready to give birth, they make a huge nest ready for the piglets to live in for the first couple weeks of their lives.
Pigs may not be able to fly, but they can certainly swim! In one island in the Bahamas, there is a whole colony of pigs who love to swim in the sea, and it is certainly not a talent that was developed for survival. They lay in the sun on the beach and they go for a relaxing dip in the sea.
5. Mud Bath
One of the ways in which pigs like to cool off is to take a mud bath. They find a shallow muddy wallow and roll around in it until they are caked in mud, and then they trot off to find a suitable place to sunbathe once more.
6. Snuffle for Food
One of the daily delights which a pig enjoys is a good old snuffle in the mud. Despite being fed a healthy portion of fresh fruit and veggies in the morning, a pig will not be content with his day until a large amount of fresh soil has been snuffled through, and a tasty snack of tree root has been devoured.
7. Try New Things
While pigs love to have their daily routine, they also crave new experiences. Whenever there is a change in their environment, such as a new item, a cleaned out house, a new animal friend, or a new area to explore, they are the first to investigate. When they live in a monotonous environment where they do not have any stimulation, they become easily depressed.
8. Play with Balls
One way in which pigs create their own stimulation is by finding things to play with, and a ball is the perfect playmate. They love to follow the ball, and at our sanctuary, we’ve even had a whole huddle of pigs running down the hill after the ball.
All images: Abigail Geer