Pondering Porky’s pet potential
WHEN you think pet, images of the friendly labrador are conjured, along with Snowy the cute kitten or Joey the noisy cockatiel.
But a lot of New Zealanders are keeping pigs as pets and here are some tips if you are thinking about getting one. Do pigs make great pets? It depends on your situation. If you live in suburbia, then no. If you are able to give them a country lifestyle and lots of care, then yes.
Is it true that pigs are as intelligent as dogs? Apparently more so. It has been revealed that pigs rank fifth on the intelligence list after people, primates, dolphins and whales, and parrots and ravens. How much room do pigs need? Lots. Pig pens will not do. In fact there are more than 600,00 pigs being kept in factory conditions in New Zealand.
Pigs are happiest in large interesting paddocks. They are very playful, social and intelligent. What do you feed a pig? Pigs eat a lot and it can be very expensive to feed them properly.
Plenty of fruit and vegetables,
Does it matter what kind of pig you have?
Yes, different breeds can have very different personalities and requirements.
Kunekunes are the easiest to care for as they are quite lazy.
Large white (or pink) pigs are very food driven – they can snatch and grab if not trained well. They also need sun block in summer.
It is illegal to keep a captain cooker as a pet in New Zealand.
Assess your situation before getting a pig.
Pigs are intelligent and should be treated with respect.
Besides needing plenty of paddock space they need social stimulation.
Pigs have a life expectancy of about 15 years.
PET PIGS: Kunekune pigs are ideal pets.