Escape Route

Whey Rock Escape Route

Pigs are not actually all that intelligent despite the anthropomorphism put forth by Hollywood. The fact is, pigs are very, very good at being pigs. But pigs are not dogs and pigs are not humans. Some things are way out of their ken. Something they do not understand well is sharp drops into water. This can be the death of them.

Another pig will push them into the trough in its effort to get to the water or whey. Or a pig will simply reach too far, over tipping and fall forward. Either way, they can end up drowning or chilling if they don’t have an easy route out that fits with their ways of thinking.

The problem is the sharp edge, the drop off and the smooth bottom in a fluid filled tank. They go into an instinctive, panic mode where they will just keep trying to kick off and slipping, falling back and repeating until they are exhausted. They never sit down and examine the problem, they just panic and react instinctually trying to run and jump.

For this reason it is important to setup escape routes for them from the troughs that work with their ways of thinking. The pigs need traction and ideally a slope to walk up out of the trough. Thus the rocks in the picture above. This takes away from the volume of the trough a little bit but it saves pig lives.

Another especially dangerous setup for a pig is a deep barrel waterer that it can plunge head down into. For this reason we fill waterers like that with a few rocks if the opening at the top is large enough that a pig might plunge in. Alternatively we make the hole on the barrel waterer small enough that the pigs can only stick their snouts in to drink but can’t go further. This keeps the pig out to begin with.

This is ergonomics as applied to pigs.

Outdoors: 70°F/50°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/63°F

Daily Spark: Some people try my patience. For that I say thank you for they make me a better person.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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1 Response to Escape Route

  1. Patrick says:

    It’s funny how everyone we talk to and finds out we have pigs eventually says, “pigs are so smart!”

    A little inquiry and you find the persons making that exclamation have almost never seen a pig close up, spent any time near pigs, or even touched one. The closest the most experienced get is some farm-tour/petting zoo – or perhaps a state fair when the pig house was on the shortcut route between the midway and the funnel cake factory. And they held their nose the whole time while telling the kids, “don’t touch any pigs or you’ll have to wash up before the funnel cakes!”

    Sometimes I am pretty sure I know of another species the pig is smarter than, though…

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