With heavy thighs atop dainty trotters, satisfyingly curly tails and love heart snouts, pigs are trotting their merry way into the affections of people the world over. Here at Edgar’s Mission, we’ll take any excuse to celebrate pigs, so we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on our resident porcine princes and princesses on (America’s) National Pig Day.
Pigs are considered one of the smartest species to roam the earth, but we’re just scratching the surface on understanding their worlds and capabilities. If you’ve never had the pleasure of spending time with one or more of these affable creatures, you won’t be privy to their remarkable intelligence, persistence and playfulness.
Candice Croney, animal behavior bioethicist from Oregon State University, realised that “pigs are able to make comparisons and grasp the relationship between those objects based on color, odor, or location.” This means pigs are able to work through an abstract problem to find a solution, for example if there are 9 yellow balls and 1 pink ball, they’re able to pick out which object is the odd one out without being given any direction.
Every day we see the intelligence of pigs shine first hand. In Piggy Paradise we had a self-service shower installed so the pigs can have a rinse off after a long day of foraging and wallowing. They are incredibly clean after all, even piglets shortly after birth will leave the nest to do their “business” – and we don’t mean wheeling and dealing.
They also have an irresistible desire to play, piglets learn to be more confident and outgoing, while older pigs can become bored and depressed without access to a comfortable space to frolic and play in. Their childlike playfulness keeps them young at heart and helps strengthen the bonds between companions. And perhaps the sweetest thing about pigs is their devoted connection – they will often find one life partner they sleep with, snout to snout, every night.
 Hatkoff, Amy 2009 “The Inner World of Farm Animals” Stewart, Tabori and Chang, pp. 95
 Hatkoff, Amy 2009 “The Inner World of Farm Animals” Stewart, Tabori and Chang, pp. 116