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PostHow to Keep your Pigs Clean (John Heelan, UK, 01/23/17 3:59 am)
Martin Storey's piece (21 Jan) reminded me of when we kept a few pigs in our farming days for family consumption. We found that the secret of having clean pigs relied on the way they were managed, as they are basically clean animals if managed properly.
For example, when introducing them to a sty, we found that it was best to put them in the opposite side to the slatted area where they would defecate. As a result they would scurry to that area, defecate from the stress of being moved, and thereafter always "go" in the same place. We also found that when we replaced their straw bedding, they preferred doing it themselves, enjoying themselves ripping up the straw bales, tossing them in the air and thus distributing the straw around the sty. My wife told me once that when she was coming back from market with a new set of piglets crammed into the back seat of her vehicle, she heard another driver comment when both were stopped at traffic lights: "Aren't those children ugly!" (smile)
JE comments: Piglets in the back seat? In the US, you would get stopped for not having them in an approved child seat.
Pigs and cleanliness invite a nature-nurture debate. John Heelan teaches us that pigs are only as dirty as the people who keep them. So when we say "filthy pig," are we really pointing a finger at ourselves?