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« Piggies! | Main | Wild Black Raspberry Hunting »

June 17, 2009

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alison

I know that I read that pigs are as smart as dogs. I trained my dog to not do the things as a puppy that would not be appropriate when she was an adult. A wee puppy jumping on you is cute, a 95 lb adult not so much... I would humble suggest that you think about what it will be like when your adorable pigs are full grown, and teach them when young to behave politely.

JMHO, I've never raised pigs...but I do have a fourteen year old dog who has folks still saying "how do you do it, she listens to you"

I sincerely recommend the book "Don't Shoot The Dog" by Karen Pryor. Ignore the alarming title, it is actually a really useful book all about training theory using positive reinforcement.

Danelle

Ok, I found your blog searching for organic tick remedies for pigs. Have you encountered that problem yet? We are in Iowa and our pigs (still adolescents) are covered and earplugged by huge dog ticks. We plan on catching each or our 4 tonight and deticking but since they are in pasture that is not practical as a daily routine. Ideas?

Joanna

Hmmm... we haven't encountered a tick problem, but we do have 15 free-range chickens scouting the area for bugs of all sorts, and that has noticeably cut down on infestations. If you have the space and the ability, I would consider getting some guineas, as they live on a diet of primarily ticks. It's the most natural, organic way to control a tick problem! Otherwise, I would check out Arbico Organics- they have some flea and tick control products that are organic and safe, designed for pets, that might be acceptable for pigs. They also sell some products that are designed to be sprayed in and around gardens. Good luck!

Joanna

Thanks for the good advice, Alison! We did try using some "training" techniques to keep our piggies relatively mild-mannered, with quite a bit of success. I can walk around the pig pen without worry of being "bothered" by the pigs, doing what I need to. They do still love to chomp on my shovel when I'm on poop patrol, but we're working on it- and that's better than on my leg! They'll even let me give them a nice back scratch, too, when I'm in there.... and we definitely believe (unlike some pig farmers we've met around here, unfortunately) that positive re-enforcement goes a long way, if you're willing to take the time to treat them in a caring and humane way. Our piggies LOVE nothing better than a bucket of fruit scraps or even some freshly picked weeds... they are so easy to please!

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