10 Reasons Why Pigs Are Awesome

Last week I made a presentation to my class to show them how awesome pigs are. I used photos of our pigs Anna and Maybelle. After the presentation I gave the class a coloring sheet of Anna and asked everyone to draw the costume they think she would wear for Halloween. Everyone in my class loved it! They couldn’t believe how smart and cool pigs were. They also had some funny costume ideas.

1. Pigs love to show love.

Pigs choose a best friend to hang out with each day. Together they eat, play, and sleep, cuddle up nose-to-nose. They listen to music, forage for food and groom each other to show their affection. Pigs can form close bonds with people, too. They love when their human friends give belly rubs and massages, and rub with their snouts to show their love right back.
Anna & Maybelle showing their love

2. Pigs love to play.

Playing is just as important for piglets as it is for human kids. It helps them to become social and teaches lots of life skills. When a pig is ready to play he will run towards his friend, sway his head and hips back and forth, and spin around in circles. He may even let out a little bark! Pigs love to play chase, play fight, wrestle, and push balls around with their noses. They love to play with toys and will use all kinds of cardboard boxes, blankets and even hay to entertain themselves.

Pig meets dog

3. Pigs prefer to be clean.

Pigs may roll around in the mud but it’s not because they enjoy being dirty. Pigs have no sweat glands and so they take mud baths to stay cool and keep their skin protected from the sun. But when they’re not in the mud, pigs love staying clean by bathing in their ponds or water troughs. In fact pigs are so clean that they won’t go to the bathroom anywhere near their sleeping or eating areas.

4. Pigs are very chatty.

Pigs can make over twenty different sounds to say hello, explain how they’re feeling, or let us know when they’re ready to eat. Mother pigs have a special call to let their piglets know when it’s time to suckle and they sometimes they sing to their babies while they nurse. Leader pigs make loud growling sounds when they want to show their rank in the pecking order.

Anna & Maybelle!

5. Pigs make the best mamas.

Female pigs burrow and build nests for their family and friends to sleep together. A pig society is matriarchal and piglets are cared for by all female relatives. They know how to make a cozy home for their piglets and stay with them for weeks, keeping them safe, letting them suckle, and teaching them how to survive. Mother pigs get anxious when they’re separated from their babies and they mourn the loss when their young are taken away.

Mamma and babie pig

6. Pigs are athletic and fast.

Pigs can run up to 11 miles an hour. Only a few days after birth they can be up and running all around. If they recognize a voice or see someone they know, they will race over to say hello. When they start to grow bigger and chubbier they run a little less, but are known to sprint when the time is right.

Anna and Maybelle rush through the snow

7. Pigs have strong snouts and sharp hearing.

When a pig isn’t busy sunbathing he is out rooting and foraging. Pigs turn their grass fields into dirt patches with their strong, shovel-like snouts. They can smell roots (and truffles) deep below the ground and dig through the dirt to reach them. They also use their noses to move straw, create their nests, and to hold grip over their food and toys. Their large, flappy ears give them incredible hearing and they can localize sound better than most animals in the kingdom.

Pig snout

8. Pigs are individuals.

Pigs have individual personalities. Some are playful, others are more shy. Anna is playful, alert and very funny. She’ll lie watching you tinker around in her stall and you truly feel like you’re being appreciated. Maybelle is the perfect partner for an afternoon snooze. She is sweet, sweet, sweet. All pigs are highly sensitive and have been known to become anxious and depressed when mistreated or trapped in small spaces.

Anna and Maybelle show off their individuality

9. Pigs are compassionate.

Pigs show distress when they see another animal or human suffering. They can feel happiness, sadness, grief and pain, and they are aware of their losses and suffering. But even after they’ve been mistreated and they can learn to forgive and trust again. They welcome gentle touches and recognize the good in good people.

Tracey comforting Maybelle

10. Pigs are super-smart.

Pigs are the fourth most intelligent creature on earth. Scientists have learned that pigs are smarter than some primates and even some three-year old children. They have been seen using tools, following commands and recognizing themselves in the mirror, just like magpies, chimps, dolphins and people. Pigs can be taught to sit, jump and fetch, and can recognize their own names. Anna and Maybelle come running when they’re called and have shown us that they’re smart enough to crack open a pumpkin and rip open gifts from santa!

Anna and Maybelle playing

Coloring Contest: Draw Anna’s Costume for the Chance to Win Prizes!

Pig Coloring Sheet Thumbnail

Download Printable Version

After hearing about just how awesome and smart pigs really are, my class got creative imagining what Anna would dress up as for Halloween. Most animals probably don’t like wearing costumes but some do. Our dog Smudge loves the extra attention! We decided to virtually dress up Anna this Halloween. We’d love to see what you imagine for her. Print out this coloring sheet and let your imagination run wild. Take a photo of your completed coloring sheet and post it to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #oinkortreat for a chance to win an Anna and Maybelle Tote Bag stuff with treats for our Sweet Shoppe! To enter, post your drawing by midnight on 10/30/2016. The winner will be announced on Halloween day!

Coloring Contest Prizes

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