California Potbellied Pig Association, Inc
Pig Side Scratcher (Shoe Cleaning Brush)
"Heaven help us now if hogs had kept all five fingers."
Potbellied Pig-Life Enrichment
In the following pages you will see some simple and innovative ways to enhance your potbellied pig's living environment. We are very fortunate to have in our potbellied pig community, a person who has dedicated herself to finding ways to improve the lives of our wonderful companions.
Jane McPherson lives in Northern California with her two potbellied pigs, Napoleon and Pancho. She adopted Napoleon through the CPPA in the spring of 2005, and then rescued Pancho from an abusive situation in the fall of 2006. Although she knew little about pigs before stumbling upon the CPPA’s website in 2004, she has since dedicated much of her time learning everything she can about these wonderful animals.
Jane studied at the University of California at Davis and received her bachelor’s degree in Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity in the fall of 2005. She worked as in intern for the San Diego Zoological Society’s Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program in Maui, where she had the opportunity to be involved in a comprehensive enrichment program developed for the endangered Hawaiian Crows at the facility. She then went on to work as a research assistant at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Great Britain, where she studied marking techniques for endangered amphibians.
While working with captive wildlife, Jane saw the importance of enrichment and realized that these same measures could be adapted to suit the needs of potbellied pigs as well. After having witnessed the deterioration of people/pig relationships due to misguided, misinformed people and under stimulated, unhappy pigs, Jane felt compelled to try and help both pigs and owners by writing this article. It is her hope that this article will help pig owners to understand why enrichment is such an important aspect of pig husbandry and that it will assist them in implementing enrichment programs of their own.
Two more of our CPPA members, Kelli and Michael, came up with these ideas for two of our rescue pigs that they have made a wonderful and joyful part of their lives.