Just like cats and dogs, pigs need environmental enrichment to help them thrive and keep them from becoming bored, frustrated, or fanatical. They are highly intelligent animals. There are many ways of providing enrichment to pigs to engage their natural behaviors and excite their intelligence.

1. Straw

Straw is easy for pigs to manipulate and root in. It can be used as bedding or can be mixed with feed to allow pigs to dig for their food. Burying food in straw gives them the opportunity to play and forage to their hearts’ content.

2. Root Veggie Garden

Rather than simply supplying all of their food in one place, let pigs forage. They are natural foragers and love to dig up different root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and beets. Access to root vegetables from the garden allows pigs to engage their rooting ways and use their smarts and senses to find their food. Try burying some root vegetables in your pigs’ pen and letting them dig for them using their snouts.

3. Chew Toys

Most pigs love toys. But unlike dogs, they prefer their toy be kept clean; otherwise they lose interest. Pigs have to throw things to the back of their mouths to chew. Their front teeth act as scoopers. They are at risk of choking on items like whole potatoes or tennis balls. I make sure my pigs’ toys are at least the size of jolly balls.

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