Communitcating with the pigs during my daily routine of feeding, bedding up and mucking out has paid dividends as the pigs have grown over the weeks and months that I have been raising them.
I constantly talk to the pigs as I go about feeding and mucking out so that they get used to me and recognise my voice. I also talk directly to the pigs individually and I think that this has helped to make this litter of piglets very friendly and good natured. When I talk to the individual pigs I will try to get closer to their heads so that they know I am talking to them.
Physical contact with the pigs is also a good way of communicating with these animals. Patting them, rubbing their sides and tummies,tickling them behind their ears, stroking their heads and rubbing under their chin as well as stroking their nose and face helps the pigs to know that I am not a threat and helps to establish a relationship between as so that the animals can trust me.
Some of the pigs have been given names as they have distinguishing features that make them stand out and I do believe that the pigs with names are more friendly towards me.
My sows also respond to my voice and will get up if they hear my voice. One of the sows is more dominant and will show aggression towards the other sow at feeding time. If I call her name in a raised voice the more dominant sow will stop her aggressive behaviour.
As I only have a small number of pigs, I am able to invest alot of time communicating with these animals. I believe that it has helped me to work along side these animals as they have grown, without myself being injured or bitten. I would recommend making communicating with pigs part of your daily routine if you have a small number of pigs.