Who doesn’t love snuggling into a warm bed on a cold night? For many of us, this may involve crawling between clean sheets next to our partner or curling up in a mound of blankets with our pets and falling off to sleep. For our pig friends, this evening ritual looks a little bit different.
Samantha is one of our elderly pigs, she also happens to be an amazing and creative nest builder. Each day you can find her in her paddock gathering weeds and grass and clumping them up into her nest. On the colder nights we get here in Florida, she will carry her gathered treasures and place them along with the straw in her shelter.
Samantha is also known for bringing nesting materials to her human caregivers. She is always concerned with our comfort at the end of the day as well. Not all of our pigs are excellent nest builders, some of them just cuddle up in a nest of a friend at night.
Pigs are one of the smartest animals and even through thousands (seriously!) years of domestication have retained many of their wild needs, like creating a nest.
Pigs deprived of the ability to express their natural nest-building instincts – like in a factory farm setting – have been documented to develop stereotypic behaviors like biting bars, pacing, chewing on nothing, and other repetitive behaviors.
At Kindred Spirits Sanctuary, our goal has always been to rescue farmed animals and give them space and an environment to let them practice the behaviors that make them happy and healthy – even (or especially) if they are just a little quirky like Samantha.