One day a large black pig was seen wandering around Beltsville in Prince Georges County, Maryland. The neighborhood kids started chasing him, as he ran across streets, through yards, probably terrified. Eventually an animal control officer arrived and tackled him. Poor Tetsuro spent a few lonely months at the local 4H club, while the shelter tried to find him a home. He was going to go to the Mini Pigs sanctuary, but due to a number of serendipitous turns of fate, he was delivered to my farm on a hot Tuesday afternoon in June.
It was the combination of sharp tusks and strange noises that led me to believe that perhaps he wanted to eat me for dinner. For days I put down his food and backed away nervously...until I realized that he was not only not aggressive, he was afraid of ME. Slowly we began to get to know each other -- at first he'd let me rub his ears, then after a while I could pet his shoulders. Now, Techa (his nickname) and I are best buddies. When I arrive home he comes running, grunting and wagging his long beautiful tail back and forth, moving his head from side to side as he smiles at me (or is it the prospect of dinner?).
Techa is clearly very, very intelligent. He has selected a very choice corner in the barn for his bed - and has gathered 6 inches or so of pine shavings to create himself a soft mattress. From time to time he will bring other items in to supplement his bed, including the horse blanket! He is very friendly toward the other animals; the sheep still start and run when he grunts but equines and goats are now at peace with him, and all species graze and nap together.
Techa's only bad habit is, well, part of his nature: pigs like to root and wallow. Rooting is when they use their nose to dig - they have very sensitive noses (he can smell dinner from hundreds of feet away, it seems) and they look for food in the ground. Unfortunately, for me that translates into a pock-marked front lawn. Wallowing is when a pig finds a nice wet, preferably muddy, spot to roll around in - this helps them keep cool and prevent bug bits. Techa has created 4-5 such spots around the property. More power to him!