We are very honoured and proud to present to you Chatty the Big Pink Pig - major NZ celebrity. Chatty is most famous for starring in an ad for Vodafone in 2015, but since then has built up a following of more than 15,000+ on Instagram, where she regularly posts pictures of her meals, what she's doing every day, and of course lots of selfies.
Since finishing up her last television project (for now), Chatty has been living at Soulhaven Sanctuary with her parents James (who works at our Kapiti store) and Ray.
We asked James what his best tips for rearing happy pigs like Chatty, and here's what he had to say:
"A really important thing to know if you are thinking about getting a pig is that they are really intelligent animals. They can be trained very similarly as dogs can be. Chatty sits, stays, lies down, and a few other tricks on command. Pigs love to be trained and get a lot of enrichment from the challenge. A bored piggy is not a happy one. So spending as much time with them, or having multiple pigs, is best for their emotional needs. Presenting pigs with challenges, puzzles, and things to destroy… Like boxes filled with treats, or (as we did on a special occasion) giving Chatty a piñata that made her work for her reward. Foods that take time and energy to get at, like whole watermelons or pumpkins or anything that rolls when touched is a nice challenge for a pig."
"Pigs are very destructive by nature, and like to root up the earth. So providing ample space for their needs and being prepared for that area to be dug up is pretty important. It is really good for the pig to be allowed to do this as it is its natural behaviour. You will have a healthier and happier pig for it. Therefore, I would advise against nose rings if possible. Pigs can be trained not to root as well. Chatty has her own area where she can do whatever she likes. But she also is allowed in other areas and has been trained to only graze and munch on the grass, weeds, and herbs, not to dig up the earth or ransack the garden."
"Pigs love food so they are a great way to take care of any organic food scraps!"
Chatty with some organic squash - soaked in off, curdled goat's milk (DELICIOUS!)