Life with Pigs
Life with Pigs
6 of the Best Things About Life With Pigs
by Rousseau Ysabella Grace Phillips
#1 I love when Charlotte jumps up on the couch and then cuddles up in my lap. Then, longing to be with her sister, Millie comes and nudges in behind me, squealing until she gets comfortable. And sometimes if you are lucky Pumpkin decides that since her babies are there she’ll join them.
#2 You can never go to the kitchen alone. As soon as Millie hears any kind of noise from the kitchen, she comes running. Soon after Charlotte comes and they both stare up at you waiting for treats. Their faces are so cute as they longingly wait for something to eat. If you start giving them food, Pumpkin will stand up on the couch and wait for you to deliver her some food. She always seems so happy to have a personal delivery service. Sometimes Pumpkin will even come join her babies at the kitchen and all their faces will look up in unison.
#3 You have never seen the pinnacle of cuteness until you have seen piggy cave. Piggy cave is when all the pigs crawl under the papasan chair cushion. It’s absolutely adorable when you lift the cushion and all of their faces peek out at you. Sometimes Pumpkin and Charlotte with be hidden under the cushion and Mille will try to find them. She’ll scream and look everywhere for them, until she finally squeezes under the cushion and gets cozy.
#4 Usually the pigs are lined up with Millie in the middle. This is when the belly rub domino effect happens. When you give Pumpkin a belly rub she will either roll over onto Millie or reach out her legs and kick her. This causes Millie to roll over, Charlotte who is already getting a Mohawk feels Millie kick her and so she rolls over too. Then you have to figure how to scratch them all.
#5 Our pigs are usually clean and for some reason, naturally smell good. We hardly ever have to bathe them. The myth about pigs being dirty isn’t true, our pigs prefer air conditioning over mud any day. The only time they get into mud is on hot summer days when they’re outside. Pumpkin will root out a small hole in the cool dirt for her to lie in. Charlotte and Millie will do the same thing. But even after that, the mud will come off when it’s dry.
#6 Our pigs are very calm and relaxed, as long as they have all their meals promptly given to them. Our pigs will lie around on the couch all day and snuggle together. Sometimes they can be caught sunbathing with our dog Emmie. This doesn’t mean that they’re lazy, Millie, the youngest, has lots of energy. This sometimes annoys Pumpkin and Charlotte. But most of the time they can be found cuddling up on the couch.
Are You Making These 5 Mistakes When Training Your Mini Pig?
by Christian Voltaire Phillips
1.Rewarding Them for Inappropriate Behaviors
If your pigs go somewhere they're not supposed to, or try to rip your couch, don't give them treats to get them to stop. This merely reinforces the bad behavior and makes them think it's a good idea. Wait until they have stopped and are doing an appropriate behavior before giving any form of positive reinforcement.
3.Letting Them Think They are Dominant
Pigs have a hierarchy and do things like move other pigs out of comfortable places to claim dominance. If you let them push you around, it will be very hard to train them to avoid future bad behaviors and possibly even aggression. Prove you are the top pig by moving them (it is a game called ‘move the pig’ where you just move them from where they are in order to show that you are ‘top pig’). This is especially important for people with kids. Children must show their upper position in the hierarchy to ensure that your pig will not later try to be aggressive towards or dominant over them.
4.Feeding Them from the Table
If you feed your pigs from the table, you're practically asking for them to beg. Charlotte, Millie and Emmie don’t beg at the table, though they do sit underneath the table in the hopes of stray food falling to the floor. And, I’ll admit, I’m often guilty of being the reason they hold on to such hopes.
5.Laugh at Bad Behavior
Pigs are as smart as toddlers, so they think you laughing at what they do is a sign that they are doing something that you like. For example, if they rip your couch and then burrow into it and you laugh, they think it's something they should do again to humor or please you. Again, make sure not to reinforce bad behavior. This is hard when they are just so cute when doing many of their behaviors you want to discourage.
Pet Pigs Make Funny Sounds
by Rousseau Ysabella Grace Phillips
2. One of our other pigs, Pumpkin makes the cutest happy grunts when she’s getting a belly rub. Sometimes she will even make these noises at meal time. She’ll stop eating and freeze, then she’ll start doing the same happy grunt. We call this delightful sound the happy wumping.
3. We met a new pig named Elden. He is only 7 weeks old. He is the sweetest little guy and seems to always be posing with a smile. When he gets a belly rub he makes quiet little oinking noises. After each oink he lets out a deep breath.
4. Sometimes when Pumpkin is angry or wants something she’ll jump off the couch her loud stretched out angry grunt. She’ll make this noise while she marches to the kitchen and to get there she’ll squeeze through the space in-between the window and the table.
5. When we first got Millie, Charlotte was sad and jealous. So she made a high-pitched squeal, which made it sound like she was crying. Now Charlotte is used to Millie and they snuggle together
6. And finally they all make the cutest chomping noises when they eat. Hard foods like carrots are especially noisy and fun to watch them eat. If it is something juicy like a strawberry, Millie will have juice all over her chin. And sometimes if Charlotte or Millie walk by Pumpkin, they will end up with juice on their heads.
Five Things to Love About Pigs
1. Pigs Love to Cuddle.
There is nothing as endearing as lying down on the couch only to have our pigs come and pile on top of you. My favorite is when Charlotte puts her face right up against mine and snuggles in sound asleep. I love hearing her deep breaths that say she is so content sleeping there. And while pigs do have more bristle to their hair, it is also very smooth against your skin when you cuddle up close. So, you don't have to worry about being poked.
2. Pigs Treat You as an Equal
As Winston Churchill once said, "I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." And this is so true. Unlike a dog, pigs do not worship humans as gods. They definitely view you as their equal. If you are good to them, they are good to you. They do often want to make you happy. And I've seen pigs be reprimanded vocally by their human companion and seen them go off whining and sulking. They definitely show a whole range of emotions and you will often feel like someone stuck a human inside a pig's body.
3. Watching Them Eat Never Gets Old
Pigs love food! In fact, I've yet to encounter any living being that enjoys anything as much as pigs seem to enjoy food. Pumpkin even has food induced bouts of ecstasy. Mid-meal, she suddenly freezes, gets her happy mohawk, and starts grunting happy grunts. It looks like she is in a happy coma. You just have to wait it out if you need her to do something. I usually have to pick up her food to keep Charlotte and Millie from eating it because she simply cannot move during these occurrences. And the smacking of their lips as they chomp on food is just plain adorable. Carrots and crunchy snacks are especially fun to watch them eat.
4. Pigs Sleep Through the Night
Aside from Millie, who likes to change positions in the middle of the night, most pigs will soundly sleep through the night. Often settling in around 7 PM, pigs are known to be good sleepers. When our girls cuddle up together for the night, unless someone makes noise in the kitchen implying snacks are to be had, it is quite unlike the girls are going to do much until morning. Millie is the only exception. She occasionally wakes up and has to change positions (and she makes sure everyone knows what she is doing by making as much noise as an entire farm of pigs). Otherwise, you mostly just get to enjoy the sounds of pigs deeply breathing in and out. So peaceful and calming!
5. The Always Smell Good and Stay Very Clean
We have lived with pigs well over a year now, and have maybe needed to give them a bath twice. Pigs always seem to have a nice clean smell to them. And their fur seems to resist getting dirty. Even after laying in mud (which our girls don't do very often), they seem to magically shed any dirt that was attached the minute they dry off. If your pigs live indoors most of the time, they will prefer air condition and a couch to a mud puddle. The only time our girls dig into the mud is when they are stuck outside on a warm day. Once, while at Colonial Williamsburg, Charlotte had herself coated in mud and yet by the time we got home that day she seemed nearly as clean as when we left.
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.