The Truth About Pigs

The old adage where pigs are concerned can totally be applied here: Don't believe everything you hear. Pigs have been given a bad or skewed rap in cartoons and the media. Someone would only have to raise pigs themselves to be amazed at some of the untruth of some of the myths attached to this animal. The Porky Pig character alluded to the fact that pigs were slow of mind and many other media uses of the pig have perpetrated the myth that they are dirty and lazy. This is simply not true. Let's walk through and debunk some of these myths one at a time.

Okay, the image of a pig constantly being mud covered is indeed one point that is true. But... it's not because they like being dirty; but instead because they have a problem sweating. So when summer temperatures are sweltering, they have an incredibly hard time staying cool. Covering themselves in cool, wet, mud allows them to cool themselves down and deal with those high summer temperatures. So, this is a survival point and not a hygiene issue as perpetrated.

Also, if you watch them in their shelter when confined, they are very careful to reserve one area for excrement far away from their food. Then they allocate one area for sleeping and food. This behavior proves to most that they do take the time to separate themselves from, shall we say, the dirtier aspects of life; most would prefer to do their "business" outside if given the chance.

Well, if you're keeping your pigs in a ten by ten stall they may seem lazy to you. But, if you are raising your pigs in a dignified way where they have access to pasture and open space you would see that they are anything but lazy. They love to run, jump and play. They also are champion diggers and will eat undesirable plants in your pasture root first. This can be great in areas that you wish to get rid of harmful or pesky plants such as poison parsnip, burdock, sumac and more.

A pig owner who raises their pigs with dignity will immediately see that they aren't dumb. When being taught the boundaries of their pasture, especially one with electric fencing, they quickly get the idea that the area of fencing is off-limits. They also are more dog-like than you can imagine if you've ever raised them. They love to be trained. It's simple to teach them cues and have them laying down, rolling over (usually for a tummy scratch), moving away, or heeling. Some people have even gone so far as to take some on as pets that live in their household and are easily potty trained like cats or dogs.

They'll Eat Anything
This is not true, as anyone who's raised them would tell you. Just like your kids, there are the "Mikes" who will "try" anything; but, trying doesn't mean eating. If they taste it and don't like it they won't eat it. Some people have reported that they've repeatedly tried to get them to eat onions and it's a lost cause. This may have something to do with their wonderful smelling ability. Onions, after all, have an overpoweringly strong smell that may bother their sense of smell. But like all individuals and animals, there are some that eat one thing that others won't touch.

So take the time to really learn about pigs before you easily believe the bad press they're given. As with any animal, all they want is a loving, dignified life with rewards and boundaries given to them in a respectful way.

Learn about the animals that you eat and their habits. Find out more by checking out the reading material at Lane's Online Lawnsale.

By Christina Lane




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