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A Natural DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PIG

30.8.2012

Rooting, rolling, wallowing – how pigs would like to live

What would a day in the life of a pig be like if it could live as it wants and according to its natural needs? Let's start in the morning: 

Pigs like to sleep snuggled up together in their nest. In the morning, they get up together and do their business in an area reserved for depositing faeces and urine away from the sleeping spot. Pigs spend some 70 percent of the day exploring their environment and looking for food. Distressed fattening pigs raised in intensive farming without straw or litter act out substitute behaviours such as rooting in the content of feeding troughs or rubbing their snouts in repetitive movements over the concrete or slatted floor.   

Pigs have a taste for treats and a broad food spectrum: among other things they eat grass, fruits, nuts, leaves, herbs, mushrooms, roots, tubers, worms, snails, larvae, carrion, vertebrates, as well as larger animals such as fawns. In intensive farming, pigs are normally fed twice a day with unvaried uniform feed which usually takes them only about ten minutes to eat.    

Around midday, pigs like to rest for several hours or dedicate themselves to extensive bathing, wallowing and rolling around. In the early evening hours, they set up their sleeping nest by bringing together fresh material such as grass, leaves and thin twigs, in which they nestle comfortably. All these natural needs of the domestic pig are strongly or totally suppressed in intensive animal farming.  

Tip: the natural behaviour of pigs can best be observed on so-called 'life farms' or farm sanctuaries that keep the animals in conditions suited to their species and do not slaughter them. Visit a farm like this and see for yourself how a day in the life of a 'natural pig' unfolds. 

Pigs spend 70 percent of the day exploring their environment and looking for food

Pigs spend 70 percent of the day exploring their environment and looking for food.