Reflection: Animal Communication
Little Orphan Hammies
By Alli Harrod (05/02/10 02:04:07)
Related animal: Pig

Little Orphan Hammies

Little Orphan Hammies was an entertaining way to both observe and interact with pigs. I am somewhat familiar with pigs because I had a pet (small) potbelly pig growing up and many of my friends in 4H raised pigs to show. These pigs were different from the ones that I am used to, however, because they were in large groups interacting together at the ranch. It was interesting to observe and interact with their lifestyles and see how they interacted with one another. Their "habitat" at the ranch had many various housing structures, troughs, forts, and roaming areas. I spent some time following certain pigs around in each area and was especially interested in their use of forts. I followed a pig on his/her way into a fort to see if the pig exhibited any sort of play behavior, sort of like a child with a fort, but the pig just seemed a little weary of me and then slept. It was unfortunate that many of the pigs seemed pretty weary of humans. Two pigs were main instigators that caused trouble amongst the other pigs and had to be put in a "time out" pen so that they wouldn't wreak any more havoc. There is certainly certain tonal inflections and body movements of communication between the woman who cared for the pigs and the pigs themselves. The pigs certainly knew that they were going to be put in a "time out" pen and seemed to know why (for their bratty behavior toward the other pigs.) It was quite funny for me to think of it this way. After those pigs were separated, they did not really interact with anyone but themselves. I met two particular pigs that were especially friendly. One pig was pink and seemed to like shoes a whole lot. He/She continuously rubbed his/her face on my feet and followed me and some other students around for a little while. The other friendly pig was extremely large with patches and seemed to want people to pet him/her a lot. We pet his/her belly for a while and he/she seemed content. In all, Little Orphan Hammies was a fun place to visit and an overall great field trip. I will add a picture of one of the hammies from my phone after I install a driver software for my phone to upload the pictures to my computer...

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