A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

FAQs - Pig Questions

The second in the FAQ series - piggy questions:

Q:  Is it fun having a pig?
A:  Yes!!  But - I will say - it's not all fun.  Pigs are stubborn, bored pigs are naughty.  Having a pig is a lot of work - but yes its fun and I do love Winston to pieces.

Q:  Are pigs mean?
A:  In general I would say no.  Winston is not mean - but he can be snitty when he doesn't get his way. Since pigs live in hierarchical societies he spends a lot of time trying to be the top pig.

Q:  Do pigs get along with other pets?
A:  Yes - he gets along well with the cats.  He and Ollie can often be found playing together.  Winston gets along great with Emma but you have to be very careful with dogs and pigs together.  Dogs are natural predators and pigs are natural prey.  Emma being a herding dog makes her a good candidate for being with Winston.  It's recommended that you never leave your pig and dog together unattended. Winston is fascinated with the ferrets and when he was little they used to play but now that he is big I don't let them interact at all.

Q:  Can they be house trained?
A:  Yes!  For the early part of his life Winston used the cat box (only pine litter - never clay) but now that he is a big boy he goes outside with Emma to go potty.

Q:  Are pigs smart?
A:  Amazingly smart - far smarter than the dog.  This is both good and bad - he can learn new things quickly but also think up lots of trouble.

Q:  Are pigs dirty?
A:  No - not at all.  He is one of the cleanest critters we have.

Q:  Are pigs destructive?
A:  They can be.  Winston is a chair tipper and he has eaten holes in the carpet.  This tends to happen when he doesn't get the attention that he needs and he gets bored.

Some interesting things about pigs:

They can't sweat and they get over heated easily.  They can get a sunburn and need sun screen or mud to roll in to protect their skin.  Pigs need routine maintenance - eyes cleaned out, ears cleaned out and hooves filed to prevent the need to trim them.

All in all - having a pig is a blast.  Our family wouldn't be complete without our Winston!

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