Pon­der­ing Porky’s pet po­ten­tial

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

www.huha.org.nz

PET PIGS: Kunekune pigs are ideal pets.

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