|Young Mulefoot (about 60 lbs.) finding acorns that other pigs overlooked.|
A mother pig and twenty piglets weighing around 75 lbs. each were in this fence for a couple of weeks before the other two group of pigs arrived (its about 35 acres in size- so there is plenty of room for this many pigs!). The original group had been foraging fairly well. Despite the fact that we gave them their own special pan of grain and milk, the Mulefoot youngsters immediately began digging, and finding acorns right outside of the Pig Palace, which should be the most thoroughly searched for nuts. These little guys sure do now how to forage!
The other group of pigs that we moved into this section is a group that was born on our farm to sows we raised from piglets. We have watched mother pigs teach their piglets to forage. The sows root with their noses, and push the tiny piglets into the ground they have just opened to let the piglets discover what they have uncovered. This is a group of very skilled foragers. Their foraging ability seems to grow with each generation, as mothers pass on their knowledge to their offspring. Our goal is to breed a line of pigs that are exceptional foragers, who will eschew grain for what they find in the forest.
We are hoping that in addition to sows teaching babies to forage, these three groups will share knowledge and become exceptional foragers.
|Young Mulefoot in Search of Acorns|