Many people purchase teacup pigs as pets expecting a pet that doesn’t display natural, pig-like behaviours. However, nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, miniature pigs are like regular pigs in every sense of the term, except for perhaps their size.
One behaviour that some may not expect from their pet is rooting! However, rooting is a natural behaviour and one that you need to plan for unless you want your entire yard (or house) to be destroyed.
So, what is it and what do you need to know?
What is Rooting?
Put simply, rooting is when a pig uses their nose to find grubs and other piggy “treats” from the ground. Every pig does this and if you don’t create an area for your pig to root, they will do so in your yard and dig it up.
Pigs have snouts specifically for rooting, so you shouldn’t discourage the behaviour to save your yard. Rather, you should create rooting boxes or other areas in your yard (or even inside) to keep your pig entertained. Otherwise, they will begin to root on your ankles, which can hurt, or turn to other, more destructive behaviours to stay entertained.
Creating a Rooting Box
Rooting boxes are super simple to make and can be easily constructed with wood. The box should be at least two inches high and should be filled with treats, toys, newspapers, or other “safe” finds for your pet pig. You should cover the treats with dirt or even bark to help them find treats more easily.
You can keep the rooting box either inside or outside – whichever you prefer. You may even just choose to create a patch of dirt in the backyard designated for rooting by shallowly burying the treats your pig enjoys!
How to Stop Rooting Behaviour if it Becomes Violent
Some pigs become quite forceful when it comes to rooting. Naturally, pigs root on their mothers for food so they may do the same to you. Many times, individuals bring about this problem by hand feeding their pets.
To end this behaviour, it’s important that you stop hand feeding and correct your pet if they root against you by pushing them away and sternly telling them “No!” Doing so is the quickest, most effective way to end the behaviour for good.
Rooting is Natural and Will Need to be Addressed With Your Pet Pig
No matter where you live or what miniature pig you purchase, rooting will be a behaviour you encounter. As such, it’s important that you proactively train your pet and provide a rooting box so there are no behavioural issues that arise.
By following the simple tips above, you can easily construct a box your pig will love for years to come, keeping them happy and healthy!