5 Little Known Facts About Mini Pigs
My family lives with 3 Juliana mini pigs in our two bedroom condo. So, we are constantly having wacky interactions with our cuddly porcine companions. Everyone knows that pigs are highly intelligent, clean, and loving companion animals, but there are likely some things you don't know about life with pigs.
1. There is Never a Lonely Trip to the Kitchen
Try opening a cabinet without having at least Millie (our youngest mini pig) arriving in short order and you are expecting a miracle. Even just taking a few steps towards the kitchen results in her peaked little ears becoming erect with attention. And once you open the fridge, forget it. You are likely to have three sets of intently staring eyes begging you to toss a carrot or slices of apple their way.
2. Pigs Would Make Great Spies.
Any chance they get, pigs love to hide under blankets, pillows or other items. Millie once even burrowed into the couch (which had been ripped by Pumpkin, our 6 year old pig). We came into the living room to find Millie under a huge pile of stuffing she had pushed out to make room for herself in this newly discovered hiding place.
3. They Love to be Cozy
Not an hour goes by that Millie and Charlotte are not shoving each other out of the way so that they can be closest to momma Pumpkin. Her belly is like a sauna. And so whoever is not closest, will usually start near the rump and use their snout to slowly move their competitor out of the way. This looks like they are rooting dirt only the dirt is a pig that is awkwardly being lifted up and down over and over until they find themselves ousted from the coveted position closest to mom. Their behavior is exactly what you would expect from siblings vying for mother's attention.
4. They Love Communicating With Each Other and All Have a Different Voice
You don't have to be in the room to know who is talking. It is easy to tell if it is Pumpkin, Charlotte or Millie that is speaking. And they communicate back and forth in their piggy language with great fluency. Millie's voice is a low pitched grunt, except of course when being lifted up. Then she becomes a full fledged siren. Charlotte has more of a high pitched squeal. And Pumpkin has a very deep wump sound to her voice. We even find that they will communicate across the house without being able to see each other. When Charlotte was little, we would take her to another room to play with her while her mom rested. But, when she was ready to be back with her mother, they immediately started speaking to each other and you could tell that it was anything but a simple language.
5. Pigs Have a Hierarchy of Who is Top Pig
When you live with pigs, be prepared to be challenged for a position in the hierarchy within the herd. Yes, you are part of their herd (which in the pig world is called a sounder). So, be prepared to play a game called 'Move the Pig'. This is where you show your position by gently moving the pigs to establish that you are above them in the hierarchy. Otherwise, you may find yourself getting hit with a side swipe of a pig jaw. And it isn't necessarily size that determines the order. Charlotte, Millie and Pumpkin are continuously renegotiating their position within the herd. Fortunately, they have thicker skin and can handle their version of pig fighting.