09 Oct '11, 11am

Keeping pigs from boredom with plastic toy balls is apparently good for pigs. So is mud & straw & the outdoors.

Image: paulidin + Stephen Fulljames /CC BY-SA 2.0 Pigs are smart. As smart animals, they can be easily bored. Bored pigs become more aggressive, posing a danger to themselves and causing losses for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) farmers, as well as creating ethical questions about the quality of life we allow animals whose "noble purpose" is for the boss to eat, as a pig named Babe so horrifically discovered. Animal researchers in Germany are looking for solutions to the problem of pig boredom. But is this a good thing? Toys consisting of colorful plastic balls hung on springs in the pig stalls provide one solution. The researcher behind the pig toys, Uwe Richter of the University of Kassel in Witzenhausen, claims that the idea came from the famous ball pits in IKEA childcare areas, Die Welt reports. The pig toys inspired by IKEA ball pits were elected by the...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/10/can-bored-pigs-be...

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Can Bored Pigs Benefit From Toys Inspired by IKEA?

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