We’ve all seen a little pig rolling around in the mud and loving every second of it. But the question comes up “why do they do it?” Many people think that it’s because pigs are dirty animals. This is not the case, pigs are actually very clean animals. In this article we dig in to why do pigs love mud.
They loved to be covered in something
Pigs love to covered in something at all times. This typically is mud however if mud is not available they will try and cover themselves in whatever they can find. The reason behind this is simply because it helps them avoid sunburns. Many pigs (especially your pink varieties) can easily sunburn. And if you’ve ever had a sunburn and couldn’t get out of the sun you know how bad it hurts. So they will cover themselves in whatever they can find to help protect their skin. As I said before, many people think that pigs are dirty animals. This is not true at all. If you have ever spent any significant time around a pig farm then you probably will notice that they keep their “bathroom” as far away from their eating and drinking area as possible. You can watch them root around in mud for hours and it’s quite entertaining to watch.
Pigs and hogs have very few sweat glands in their bodies. So, unlike humans they are unable to sweat when they get too hot. So to help keep their bodies at a cooler temperature they will roll in mud since the moisture helps keep it cooler for a longer period of time. Nowadays many pig farmers use misters or sprinklers to keep the animals cool. The problem with this is that pure water evaporates much faster than the water in mud does. Our hogs typically will lay in a mud hole the majority of the day if they can. We don’t discourage the practice, in fact, we encourage it. We want our animals to be as natural as they can be which is why we keep them in dirt and not concrete pens.
When a pig is covered in a nice thick layer of mud it helps discourage bugs from biting them. Since typically there is a fair amount of food around them it tends to attract flies and other pests that irritate the pigs skin. By covering themselves in mud they give themselves a barrier against those kinds of pests.
So now you can tell somebody the answer when they ask “Why do pigs love mud?” I also did a video on this exact topic on YouTube which you can watch below. Feel free to share this article if you found it informational or helpful.
In Today’s world many people want to live healthier and be
more self-sustainable. Part of this
process is hatching your own chickens.
You could want to do this because the hens you have now are getting
older and aren’t laying as well or because you want more eggs for your family
and friends. In this article we go
through the process of incubating your eggs step-by-step.
Get an Incubator
The very first thing you need to do is pretty obvious. Before you can incubate eggs you have to have
an incubator. There are tons on the
market from small home incubators which you can get in some places for as
little as $40 or large scale commercial incubators which can cost in the
thousands. It just depends on how many
eggs and what features you want. You
can even make your own incubator if you want.
The process is rather simple and you can use something as easy as a
Styrofoam cooler. Just add a heating
element, ensure you have holes for air to circulate through, and add a gauge to
show you temperature and humidity. The
two most important things to remember are:
Ensure adequate air circulation
Ability to maintain temperature
And ability to maintain humidity
If you keep those 3 things in mind you should be just fine.
Gather The Eggs
The next step is even easier than the first one. All you have to do here is gather the eggs
that you want to incubate. You want to
ensure that they are recently laid (within the last 24 hours is best) and are
relatively clean. DO NOT wash the eggs before putting them into the incubator. If you must store eggs for a day or two
before you can put them in the incubator then store them in a warm place with
the narrow side of the egg pointed down.
Remember though, the fresher your eggs are the better your hatch rates
tend to be. When I’m incubating eggs I
typically will have the incubator set up before I go out and collect eggs. As soon as I come back I take the ones I want
to incubate and put them immediately into the incubator.
Egg Storage Reminders
Store Less than 10 days
Maintain temperature between 55 to 65⁰ F
Keep relative humidity at 75%
Turn eggs stored more than a week
Handle all eggs with care!
If the eggs are cracked, misshapen, soiled, or unusually
small or large do not incubate them. It’s
rare that these eggs hatch and they can potentially contaminate the good eggs.
Setting Up The Incubator
This part is critical to your success rate. If you are hatching chicken eggs you want to
make sure that your temperature stays at 99.5 degrees F if you are using a
forced-air incubator. If you are using a
still-air incubator then you want you’re incubator to stay at 101.5 degrees
Fahrenheit. You also want your humidity
to be at 40 – 50% for the first 18 days of incubation.
How Often Do I Turn Eggs
Up until day 18 of incubation you will want to turn your
eggs at least 3 times per day (5 times is even better). Many people lightly mark an “X” on their eggs
so that they keep track of the turning.
If you have an automatic egg turner your life is much easier. When you are turning your eggs manually, make
sure that your hands are washed and clean before each session to avoid
transferring bacteria and oils onto the egg.
What Temperature Do I Incubate Eggs At?
Well that all depends on what type of egg you are
incubating. Chicken eggs should be
incubated between 99 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit (99.5 is considered ideal) and
the incubator should hold between 50 and 65% relative humidity (60% is often
considered ideal). The below table shows
the details of various types of eggs for incubation:
If the humidity is too low there are a few problems that can
occur. Some of these are:
The air cell to be too large at the time of the
The contents of the egg will be too viscous for
the chick to turn
The membranes will be too tough for the chick to
The navel will not close properly
Too little water to evaporate from the egg
The air cell will be too small for the chick to
reach during the hatching process
The chick will drown or be too swollen with
water to turn in the egg
The yolk sac to be too large for the navel to
As the incubation period progresses the air cell of the egg
should become larger because of the balance between temperature and
humidity. During incubation chicken eggs
loose on average 12 to 14 percent of their total weight due to
The final 2 to 3 days of incubation, when the chicks hatch
out of the shell, is what’s known as the Hatch Stage. During this time do NOT turn the eggs, the eggs can be transferred to a dedicated
hatcher for the last 3 to 4 days of incubation.
If you don’t have a hatcher then remove the eggs from the turner and lay
them in the hatching basket, or place them on a cloth or rough paper (not
newspaper) in the incubator. Make sure
that the cloth or paper do not cover any vent holes or touch the water or the
heating element. During this stage you
want to increase the temperature by 1⁰F and increase the relative humidity
to 65 to 70%. You can do this by adding
a wet sponge or wet paper towels to the incubator. The chicks should start to pip within a day
of the incubation period listed for the species above.
Hatching from an egg takes a great effort therefore the
chick will take long rests. The entire
hatching process takes 10 to 20 hours.
Do not worry about how long it takes the chicks to hatch unless more
than 20 hours have passed. Eggs that are
not hatched 1 day after the predicted incubation period should be
discarded. Do not help a chick to free
itself from the shell. Chicks that are
unable to hatch on their own usually die.
If you help them and they do survive they will usually not thrive. Dispose of weaker deformed chicks
humanely. These chicks should never be
used for breeding because these traits could be transmitted to their young.
Once chicks successfully leave the shell, increase the
ventilation in the incubator and leave them in it about 2 hours or until their
feathers are dry.
When more than 90% of the chicks are dry, remove them from
the hatcher. Move the chicks to a warm
brooder and give them water and feed.
Leaving chicks in the incubator for too long can dehydrate them.
Placing new Chicks with other Chickens
New chicks will want to be kept separate from any other
chickens that you may have until they have gained all their feathers. Once this has occurred you want to keep them
in an area where the chickens can all see each other but not touch. This will introduce the new birds to your
current flock and minimize the chance of injury or death. After a period of 30 days you are usually
safe to let the new chicks go into the coop with their new flock and enjoy
their lives. Remember: Chickens have a hierarchy which has to be
established. Some chickens will pick on
the new chicks which is normal. Keep
your eyes on them to ensure no injuries occur.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something from
it. Please feel free to share it on your
favorite social media channels.