Pigs express Running in Circles for several Reasons, Medical and Behavioral
- Aggressive Behavior
- Zoomies – Spinning Playfully
- Circling Disease
- Ear Infection
Pigs are not considered as domestic animals. They have natural wild instincts. Unlike dogs and cats, they don’t easily get engaged with humans and take them as their predators. There are many psychological and physical behaviors that pigs show. Running in circles is one of the behaviors that pigs show.
Here we will discuss some important reasons due to which pigs run in circles under the light of scientific literature.
Signs of Stress in Pigs
These are important signs which are very much helpful in assessing that if the pig is stressed or not.
Aggressive / Defensive?
According to some literature evidence, pigs circle the owner/handler when they are highly aggressive or stressed. As you know that pigs run in the bunch and any disturbance and pressure enforces them to circle their handler.
this also has been documented that when pigs are excited/playful they spin around in circles and make quick turns. This behavior is called zoomies.
Circling is a valuable tool when used intentionally in conjunction with the handler’s bubble to sort pigs, start a movement, speed up movement, shift pigs’ attention from the handler to herd flow, move pigs past barriers, and funnel movement to prevent stopping and bunching at gates
Ear Infection in Pigs
Swine experts also related spinning/circling with middle ear infections in the pigs. A pig having middle ear infection will tend to move in the circle and loses his body balance
Circling Disease / Listeriosis in Pigs
This is noteworthy that, pigs show circling behavior due to a number of reasons. But this can’t be ignored that circling may be due to some disease. Actinobacillosis is an infectious condition that occurs in pigs due to a bacterium called Actinobacillus suis. This bacterium affects almost pigs of all ages and causes circling in pigs along with other respiratory, cardiovascular signs.
Another condition is Listeriosis which is called circling disease. This infectious disease mostly infects the sows.
NOTE: There is central nervous system involvement in both of the above given infectious diseases. That is why pigs run in circles.
This is necessary to diagnosis these infectious conditions as early as possible and gets a suitable treatment plan from a registered veterinary practitioner.
Reasons for Circling Behavior in Pigs
|Pig might be scared|
|He might be excited|
|He might be sick|
|He might be depressed/ pressurized|
What Should You Do If Your Pig Is Circling
If the pig is constantly experiencing circling, then keep eye on it. Go for a thorough examination. Seek veterinary consultancy. The only vet can help you reach the actual cause/reason. Try to get treatment as early as possible.
NOTE: This becomes confusion to clearly differentiate between the circling behavior and circling due to any disease condition. So, try to find the actual cause wisely.
Gonyou, H.W. (2000). Behavioral principles of animal handling and transport. in T. Grandin (Ed.), Livestock Handling and Transport. p. 11-18.
Correa, J.A., et al. (2010) Effects of different moving devices at loading on stress responses and meat quality in pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 88:4086-4093.
Ritter, M. (2008). Practical Pig Handling Tips to Minimize Stress During Loading at the Farm. In: Hog Handling Update: Tips for Better Pig Handling: Issue 6.
Mateo, J.M., et.al. (1991). Effects of differential handling on the behavior of domestic ewes. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 32:45. 7. Brown, J.A. et al. (2006). The effects of different frequencies of weekly human interaction on handling responses in market hogs. J. Anim. Sci. 84, Suppl. 1: 301.
Farm / Miniture Pig Table 13 Breeds
|Breed of Pig||Mature Weight||Lifespan||Feed Per Day||Cost|
|Yorkshire||450 - 650 lbs||15 - 20 years||6-8 lbs||$ 60 - $ 100|
|Red Tamworth (Bacon Pigs)||500 - 600 lbs||15 - 20 years||6-8 lbs||$ 60 - $ 100|
|Duroc||500 - 600 lbs||15 - 20 years||6-8 lbs||$ 60 - $ 100|
|Berkshire||600 lbs||15 - 20 years||6-8 lbs||$ 60 - $ 100|
|Hampshire||500 lbs||15 - 20 years||6-8 lbs||$ 60 - $ 100|
|Saddleback||600 lbs||15 - 20 years||6-8 lbs||$ 60 - $ 100|
|Potbelly pigs||150 lbs||15 - 20 years||3-4 lbs||$ 300 - $ 1000|
|American Mini||70 - 150 lb||15 - 20 years||3-4 lbs||$ 300 - $ 1000|
|Mulefoot - Mini||60 - 110 lbs||15 - 20 years||3-4 lbs||$ 300 - $ 1000|
|Ossabaw Island Hog||100 - 150 lbs||15 - 20 years||3-4 lbs||$ 300 - $ 1000|
|American Guinea Hog||150 - 300 lbs||15 - 20 years||3-4 lbs||$ 300 - $ 1000|
|KuneKune Breed||140 - 220 lbs||15 - 20 years||3-4 lbs||$ 300 - $ 1000|
|Meishan Breed||150 lbs||15 - 20 years||3-4 lbs||$ 300 - $ 1000|
World Pig Breeder Associations
|National Swine Registry||United States||NSR|
|Livestock Conservancy||North Carolina||LC|
|American Mini Pig Association||United States||AMPA|
|Southern California Association of Pot Bellied Pigs||California||SCAPBP|
|British Pig Association||UK||BPA|
|National Pig Association||UK||NPA|
|Canadian Swine Breeders Associations||Canada||CSBA|
|Australian Pig Breeders Associations||Australia||APBA|