A pigs natural habitat is wooded area’s and river valleys. Areas inhabited by pigs in the wild always contain the following:
Pigs choose to have separate areas for feeding, resting and defecating. Good pig sties should allow sufficient space for pigs to create such zones.
- Early morning
Pigs will naturally seek out food in the morning and evening. Good pig raising systems will provide feed in these time periods as they match the pig’s body clock drives.
A pigs social organisation is highly developed. Within hours of birth social dominance relationships formed. These establish stable social heirarchies whereby
It is in a pig’s nature to live in stable family groups with clearly established social hierarchies. Good pig raising systems should respect this instinct by ensuring pigs are kept in stable family groups from birth to slaughter.
The basic social unit of any grouping of pigs is:
The natural family grouping of pigs is one that has 1 - 4 female sows with their offspring. Pig raising systems should raise pigs in small 'family' groups and should consider allowing female sows and offspring to live together.
Pigs have no sweat glands apart from disc on snout. To keep cool and maintain their skin in good condition pigs will:
External supports are needed by pigs to cool down and maintain skin health. Good pig raising systems will ensure mud wallows or some other means are available for cooling off.
Pigs like to keep in physical contact with each other. They often sleep and rest lying together, both for companionable reasons and to help reduces heat loss during cold weather and night.
Pigs are highly social and seek out physical contact with one another. Open pen systems that allow pigs to have physical contact with other pigs in a stable family hierarchy respect this instinct.
When defecating and urinating pigs:
Pigs choose to defecate and urinate away from areas where they live and sleep. Good pig raising systems will ensure sufficient space to allow pigs to urinate / defecate away from the main feeding and lying down areas.