Meet your new roommate

December 28, 2009 | Marilyn Johnson

You may have heard about our newest addition to the farmyard, Auggie the pig. He is a cutie! Originally, he had been living elsewhere on grounds while he was in quarantine (which just means he is kept away from the other animals while we monitor him to make sure he is healthy). Once he was ready to move to his permanent home in the farmyard, it was time to introduce him to his new roommate, Miss Piggy.

We decided to record the initial meeting between Miss Piggy and Auggie. It is normal for pigs to fight when they are first introduced. They have to figure out who is going to be the “boss.” The keepers first experienced this type of difficult interaction when Miss Piggy met our last pig, Squealer. Although it was hard to watch Auggie go through the same introduction, we know from experience that it is best to just let the pigs hash it out. If we tried to separate them every time they weren’t getting along, then the fighting would escalate each time we tried to re-introduce them. However, by keeping them together and monitoring them closely for the first week, they will eventually work through the initial rivalry and eventually become companions.

Although Auggie is much smaller than Miss Piggy, he is also faster! Which means, fortunately, he did not sustain any injuries during the introduction. We are pleased to tell you that now, about 2 weeks since their introduction, they are sleeping side-by-side in their hay at night and are getting along quite well!!

You can hear some of the commentary from the video, which is an array of different keepers talking while they watch the introduction take place. All of the keepers working that day, along with Sherry and her daughter, were monitoring the pigs while they were first introduced. You may be able to hear Sherry mention the word piloerection, which is one of Larry’s “Big Words of the Month.” You can also hear Sherry say at the end of the video that Kent would need to check on them every 15 minutes while he was cleaning the farmyard that morning.

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