wikiHow to Play with a Piglet

Two Parts:Inviting a Piglet to PlayFinding Creative Ways to Entertain a Piglet

Almost everyone knows how to play with a puppy or kitten but, would you know how to play with a piglet if you had the chance? Like most young mammals, piglets are playful when they are young. You can play with a domesticated piglet or a farm pig as long as you're sure it is safe to do so.

Part 1
Inviting a Piglet to Play

  1. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 1
    1
    Crouch down so that you're on the piglet's level. Pigs are prey animals and may feel threatened by a human standing over them. Try to sit on the ground next to the piglet or even lay down in front of the piglet so that you are on the same eye level.
    • Make eye contact with the piglet and speak in a low calm voice. Piglets can be startled by a high pitched or sing song baby voice.
  2. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 2
    2
    Hold your hand out in front of you. Stick out your arm and hold your hand out with your palm facing up and knuckles facing down. Keep in mind that it might take your piglet a while to feel comfortable, especially if you just got him.[1]
    • Make sure that the piglet has all of his basic needs met before you try to get him to play. Check to see if he has water, a bed, and food to eat.
  3. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 3
    3
    Wiggle your fingers to get the piglet's attention. The piglet should be looking curiously at your hand, from a distance. You may also consider wiggling a treat or a toy in front of you to get the piglet’s attention.[2]
    • Try offering the piglet a piece of fresh fruit or a tennis ball.
  4. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 4
    4
    Call the piglet in a calm, playful voice. Use the piglet’s name if it has one and you know it, or just say, "here piggy-pig". You can also try snapping your fingers, and/or making kissing noises to get the piglet’s attention.
    • Keep in mind that many farm pigs are not named because they will eventually be slaughtered. If you are trying to play with a piglet on a farm, try to avoid giving it a name or you may become too attached.
  5. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 5
    5
    Keep it up until a piglet approaches. It might take some time for the piglet to feel comfortable enough to approach you, so try to be patient. If the piglet does not seem interested, leave him be and try again in a few hours.
  6. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 6
    6
    Let the piglet sniff your fingertips. He or she will probably try to nibble on your fingers. Be careful because it is possible that the piglet will mistake your fingers for food and bite them. If the piglet starts to nibble a little too hard on your fingers, pull your fingers away.
    • Keep a first aid kit handy that includes a bottle of betadine and peroxide just in case you get bit. Clean bites with peroxide then betadine (iodine). You should also make sure that you are current on your tetanus shots before playing with a piglet.
  7. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 7
    7
    Allow the piglet to circle you. If the piglet gets close to you, then he may want to investigate you further before deciding to trust you. Try to stay still while the piglet circles you. Keep in mind that the piglet may try to nibble on your clothes and shoes, especially if they smell like feed.
  8. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 8
    8
    Reach out slowly and put your hand on the piglet's back. Pat and rub the piglet’s back gently. If the piglet runs away, start again at the beginning and repeat the process until the piglet is comfortable being touched by you.
  9. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 9
    9
    Give the piglet a belly rub. Start at the sides of the piglet’s belly and then move in towards the center of his tummy. Rub the piglet vigorously on its stomach and if you're lucky, he or she will tip over in delight.
    • Remember to watch your fingers. Even if the piglet is comfortable with you, she may still try to nibble on your fingers if they smell like food or if she gets curious.
  10. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 10
    10
    Play with the piglet as you would play with a puppy. Once the piglet is comfortable with you, you can try playing games with her and introduce some toys as well. Piglets love to play lots of the same games that dogs enjoy.

Part 2
Finding Creative Ways to Entertain a Piglet

  1. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 11
    1
    Create a rooting box. Pigs love to root around in the mud for roots and other tasty treats. If you have an indoor pig, then you can create a place for your piglet to root in your home by making a rooting box.[3]
    • To make a rooting box, place some fist-sized rocks into a large wide box and then add some treats, such as dry cereal and popcorn for your pig to root around and find. It is important to use only fist-size or larger rocks in a rooting box or your pig may accidentally inhale them.
  2. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 12
    2
    Make a mud pit. Pigs love to roll around in mud. If you keep your pigs outdoors, then you might consider making a small mud pit for your piglets to enjoy. Add some water to a patch of dry dirt to create mud and then lead you piglet over to the mud so she can investigate it.
    • You might also consider filling a kiddie pool with a bit of water for your piglet to cool off. Make sure that the water is not too deep. Your piglet may not know how to swim yet.
  3. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 13
    3
    Play fetch. Pigs enjoy interactive games such as fetch, so try tossing a stick, a tennis ball, or a Frisbee to see if your piglet will retrieve it. It might take him a few tries to get the idea, but once he figures out what you want him to do he should start to bring the item back again and again.
    • Piglets also enjoy pushing balls around with their noses. Try giving your piglet a big bouncy ball or beach ball to push around her pen or around the house if she is an indoor pig.[4]
  4. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 14
    4
    Give your piglet some newspaper. Pigs also like to shred paper, so your piglet might enjoy having a few sheets of newspaper now and then. Try laying out a few pages and then let the piglet investigate them.[5]
    • You can also try giving your piglet cardboard boxes, magazines, and other types of paper to shred.
  5. Image titled Play with a Piglet Step 15
    5
    Swap toys often. Pigs are intelligent animals, so like dogs, they get bored by playing with the same toys over and over again. Try to swap out your piglet’s toys once every few days to ensure that she will always be entertained.[6]

Tips

  • Piglets (and any animal, for that matter) are more likely to warm up to you if they think you've got food for them.
  • If it's a hot summer day, splash the piglet gently with water from a hose. Do so gently and start on the feet. If you do it too quickly it may cause shock which can lead to death.
  • Piglets absolutely love being scratched/rubbed on the soft skin behind their ears and also eating grass or any kind of plant
  • Pigs and piglets like to be rubbed in between their ears.
  • If you are going to give the piglet a treat, put it in your palm with your fingers extended as far back as they will go. This is the best way to do this, because the piglet may, in his hurry to gobble up the treat, accidentally bite your hand.

Warnings

  • Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap after you play with a piglet. Since pigs don't have sweat glands, they like to wallow in the mud to cool off. Mud can contain bacteria that you don't want to eat with your next meal, so wash up!
  • The piglet may bite if s/he feels threatened. Make sure that the piglet warms up to you being near before you touch him/her.
  • Most piglets will end up heading for the slaughterhouse, and you should always keep that in mind and try not to become too attached. However, while the piglet is alive you will have a duty to make her life as pleasant as possible. Not only do pigs enjoy human contact, but more importantly they have to be handled routinely so that vet checks and eventual slaughtering will be less traumatic for everyone, including the pig.
  • Make sure that the mother pig is secured in a pen before attempting to play with her babies. Mother pigs can be very protective of their Piglets and think that you're trying to have them for dinner. The last thing you want is a 300 lb. pig charging at you.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Pigs