A pig of a day

The sun is shining, the temperature is in the mid-20s and our Berkshire pigs need to cool off. Yes, it’s another job for Two-Legs. Once or twice a day I go out with the buckets and a watering can to replenish the wallows and give the pigs a shower. Delilah, who’s out with a litter, is fortunate to have a wallow to herself.

Daphne and Daisy have to share one, which means Daisy gets the mud and Daphne gets to squeal about the unfairness of it. Well, at least until I go out and refresh the mud to make space for two. Daphne doesn’t like showers—she snorts angrily and hides in her house—but all the other pigs love being showered with a watering can.

Gus enjoyed a roll in his wallow, rubbed himself vigorously on his favorite scratching boulder and collapsed in a heap beside the gate to his field. He was having a tough day.

5 Responses to “A pig of a day”

  1. Just wondering????If it’s 20 ‘ where you are why do they need to cool off?
    I don’t know anything about pigs except they are good eating..

    • Temperatures above 22-23C are hot for a pig, particularly if the sun is shining and there’s no wind. Pigs don’t sweat except through their snout so they have no in-built means of cooling themselves through evaporation. They also have a high ratio of bodyweight to skin surface area, making them prone to overheating.

      To regulate their core body temperature, pigs can pant, they can move to a shady spot or they can wallow in water and mud (as the moisture evaporates it cools them, just as sweat does on humans). Wallowing is the most effective—and most enjoyable. The mud also acts as sunscreen (pink pigs in particular are very prone to sunburn) and gives them some protection from biting bugs.

      Besides, the pigs love a good wallow and most love a watering can shower. And I like having happy pigs.

  2. > which means Daisy gets the mud and Daisy gets to squeal

    Fortunately, they seem to look quite differently on the image :)

    Great to see someone taking good care of his livestock; it’s not hard to guess who had the toughest day!

  3. I’m enjoying your posts as usual, and would like to nominate you as a ‘versatile blogger’ on Minutiae – if this doesn’t make you happy as a pig in mud, please let me know and I will delete the reference!

  4. I know this may seem like a silly question but my sow is in heat and won’t let the boar mount her but keeps trying to mount him( he really does not like it) what do you think is going on???

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