Pigs can be a lot of fun to watch, especially when they’re playing. This behavior should be encouraged as it helps them have a happier life, for this reason in this article I share some of the things pigs like to play with.
What do pigs like to play with? Penn State zoology researchers taught pigs to fetch frisbees and balls. Basketballs, soccer balls, and footballs are the right size for pigs to play with. So you can introduce these toys to their daily activities and they will love it.
Pets have been shown to enjoy “pet puzzles.” These are puzzles designed for pets to play with, and pigs enjoy them just as dogs do.
Since pigs are more intelligent than dogs, they enjoy the dog puzzles as much or more than dogs will. You can find several examples of pet puzzles online.
Some pig handlers make a “rooting box” by filling a kiddie pool with balls, shredded fabric, or river rocks. Hide some dry snacks in the pool and let the pig enjoy finding them.
Pigs enjoy splashing in the water, so why not fill a kiddie pool with water and let them swim?
Increase their fun by throwing in some weighted toys or small pieces of fruit. They’ll enjoy diving whether for the toys or the fruit.
What Games Do Pigs like to Play?
An animal researcher at Penn State who worked with pigs observed pigs can be trained to play joystick-controlled video games.
For example, some farmers ironically trained their pigs to play the game “Pig Chase.” Some of the activities they enjoy, such as fetching frisbees and balls, can also be made into a game.
What Makes Pigs Happy?
Pigs will enjoy rolling in a mud pit, especially during warm weather. Mud is good for their skin and for helping them cool off. B Pigs also enjoy being massaged, especially on their bellies.
Pigs also respond happily to music, and mother pigs have been observed “singing” to their piglets.
How to Keep a Pig Entertained
Pigs are very intelligent, and they need to be entertained for them to keep from becoming bored.
Pigs love to forage (dig to find things they like). Bury some treats (dry cereal, sunflower seeds, or popcorn) inside their troughs, within layers of hay. They will enjoy looking for them.
You can also allow pigs to forage in sand pits. They will enjoy looking here, too – but if you choose sand, don’t choose moist treats like fruit. If treats are moist, they attract and stick to sand, and you don’t want your pig to eat too much sand.
Make a treat knot chain, take a long piece of clean fabric and place a treat about six inches from the end. Tie a knot with the cloth around the treat. Continue down the cloth with several knots and treats. They will love it!
Hanging or hidden treats, you can place treats on the ends of strings and hang them all around the yard. You can also hide some treats in the yard inside water bottles that have holes cut in them.
What Do Baby Pigs like to Play With?
Piglets enjoy playing as much as adult pigs, and pig handlers can and should learn how to play with their piglets. Here is a guide to playing with piglets:
1. Piglets will hear and smell you before they can see you.
When you come near a piglet, speak in a low-pitched gentle voice and move slowly; so they don’t get scared. Don’t crouch down because you may need to move quickly away – so you don’t want your movements restricted.
Don’t make eye contact; that would frighten the pig. Slowly extend your hand with the knuckles downward. The pig will say “hello” by sniffing your hand, so be sure your hands are clean before you greet a pig or piglet.
Let the pig sniff and explore your fingers. The pig might attempt to bite your fingers, but don’t let it do so.
You should clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide if a pig bites you. After that, apply betadine (iodine liquid). You should also be sure you are up to date on your tetanus shots before you play with a piglet.
2. Be Sure Piggy is Ready to Play
A piglet is all about the basics, even if he enjoys playing. Be sure he has eaten, had water, used the bathroom, and knows he has a comfortable bed to lie down in.
3. Get the Pig’s Attention
Wiggle your fingers to get the pig’s attention. You could try holding a small treat in your hand or between your fingers. Once the pig is used to approaching you, you can begin giving it small toys or a small ball to play with.
4. Call The Pig By Name
Continue to interact with the pig using its name – if it has one. If it hasn’t yet been named, you can say “here, piggy-pig,” etc. Some pigs will respond to kissing noises; if your voice and snapping your fingers don’t work.
5. Let The Pig Circle You
After the pig sniffs your hand, they may want to explore you further and learn about you. Pigs do this by walking around you. Stand still while the pig does this. The pig might sniff or try to bite your clothes or shoes, especially if they smell like pig feed.
6. Pat the Pig Slowly
Once the pig has sniffed and walked around you, place your hand slowly on the pig’s back. Pat its back and rub it softly. If the pig runs away, try a few times again.
7. Give the Pig a Belly Rub
If your previous actions have been successful, gently rub the pig’s belly underneath. Increase the pressure from your hand. The pig will usually enjoy this and may tip over on its side in happiness.
While you are doing this, be sure to keep an eye on your fingers. Even if the piglet is comfortable with you, it may still nip at your fingers.
8. Play With Your Pig
Your piglets will enjoy the same games and toys as a puppy. Once they get used to being with you, you can play those games with your piglet.
9. Keep Trying
It can take a while until the piglet is comfortable with you. If you try all the actions above and the pig hasn’t warmed up to you, leave the pig and return later to try again.
Conclusion: What Do Pigs like to Play With?
Pigs enjoy playing games. They enjoy playing some of the same types of games as dogs. Pigs need to have activities that keep them entertained, or they will get bored. Many of the things which entertain pigs involve hiding treats.
Piglets can learn to play but will need to be approached carefully. So be patient when you’re teaching them how to play.