Finding out why pigs are lying in the mud is not only interesting, but also useful in creating the conditions for their maintenance. Everyone knows the opinion of the pig as the dirtiest and unclean creature, "the pig finds the dirt." Even in the Christian religion, sinners are likened to dirty sows; in Islam and Judaism it is forbidden to eat pork meat. Let us try to figure out whether pigs are really such haunters of purity and lovers of dirt.
Do not mess, and clean
Anyone who has been engaged in pig breeding for a long time will rather say that the piglet is the cleanest animal. The pig loves order, divides its home into several zones - a bedroom, a toilet and a dining room. She will never defecate in a place for rest and feeding. Even the little pigs crawl away from the sow for “big” and “small” needs.
It turns out that pigs are good swimmers, they swim with pleasure. On the other side of the planet - on the Pacific Islands, diving piglets live. They descend to a depth of 15 meters behind the fish.
Pigs accurately determine the degree of contamination of water, these wisper are very sensitive to its quality.
It is unlikely that a pig as a dirty animal could become sacred, as it was, for example, in ancient Egypt. In the sarcophagi of the pharaohs found figurines of pigs decorated with precious stones.
Pigs were also loved and respected by the ancient Romans and Greeks.
Dirt as salvation from heat
The theory of cleanliness is questionable when you see pigs in the dirt near the farm. Wild boar also likes dirty puddles. However, this is not a matter of cleanliness, but thermoregulation - the ability of animals to maintain body temperature at the same level. In pigs, it averages 38.5 degrees.
Unlike other animals, the pig is very sensitive to heat stress. Its physiological cooling capacity is limited. The reasons for this are:
- underdevelopment of sweat glands;
- small surface of the lungs;
- features of the structure of the nose and head;
- low ability to dissipate its heat;
- rare coat of most breeds.
It should also be borne in mind that heat in the body produce muscles. Pigs accumulate a large layer of fat under the skin, which is an obstacle to the transfer of heat to the environment.
Overheating is deadly
Signs of heat stress in piglets are increased water intake, urine excretion, felting on the floor, slowness, rapid breathing, numbness, trembling, convulsions.
On hot days, pigs lose their appetite, which leads to a reduction in the average daily gain (up to 100 g or more).
Heat stress often reduces the reproductive capacity of sows, the percentage of fertility, the size of offspring, and the mortality rate of newborn piglets increases.
Hot weather in pigs causes oxidative stress at the cellular level, damage to important proteins and lipids, which breaks the immune system.
Also observed vascular and heart failure. All these processes are associated with the body's response to fever, its attempts to adapt to stress.
Walking pigs in the heat often leads to heat stroke with a lethal outcome.
Heredity, parasites and enemies
In the absence of a river or pond, pigs are forced to wallow in the mud. Mud bathing creates the effect of a refrigerator, slow and effective. Mark Bracke wrote about this. He tried to turn the theory about why pigs love dirt.
In his opinion, the pigs first accustomed to mud baths, and only then because of this, the number of sweat glands decreased. Looking at the relatives of piglets - hippos and whales, the scientist concluded that they were hereditary to water.
In addition to the desire to cool, a pig lying in the mud is credited with other reasons for this behavior. For example, with the help of this, it can change the smell, disguise itself from predatory animals. This may be part of the process during the courtship period.
Perhaps a pig lying in a muddy puddle is disturbed by parasites. Dried mud disappears with fleas and other small bloodsuckers. In the animal world is a frequent occurrence.
We washed the pigs back to each other
Summer pasture is recommended to be placed near the reservoir in which clean pigs can bathe.
This also hardens the body. Bathing sow is less threatened by various diseases. However, it is forbidden to immediately go into the water of a heated herd - they may catch a cold, and pregnant females - to abort. Pigs should rest for 1-1.5 hours before bathing.
Some farmers poured pigs from a hose - this also seems dangerous, especially for pregnant individuals.
If there are no natural reservoirs in the pasture, it is necessary to organize artificial ones: wells, pools. Well water is preheated by the sun in tanks up to 15-20 degrees.
Before farrowing females in the waters do not bathe. They are washed in the shower with warm water (20-25 degrees) or washed every 3-5 days. After that, pigs need to be protected from wind and scorching sunlight. It turns out that they are similar to people by reading the article "The similarity of humans and pigs," you will find out exactly what.
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