Mac has always been a bit of a pig, I love my horse, but it’s true. I have owned him since 2007 and he has always seen his cozy run-in shed as the perfect place to poop. He would literally stop eating his hay outside, and walk inside to do his business! When I started using hay nets, I eventually had the idea to hang the nets inside, cause of course you are not supposed to shit where you eat, right?
Apparently Mac did not know this, cause he kept on doing just that. Until about a month ago when he started walking all the way to the opposite end of his run! What changed? Due to an injury he sustained in early May, Mac -who had never been in a stall for more than a couple of days at a time- was on stall rest, 24/7 for about a month, and was turned-in at night for another month after that.
Although it is hard to say for sure why his behaviour changed all-of-a-sudden, I am guessing despite his stall being cleaned daily, and having fresh clean shavings added as needed, he just got sick of the mess, and now takes any chance he gets to put his manure elsewhere.
I would not call it training exactly (and certainly would not suggest doing it for that reason), more like a happy accident, but regardless I found it was a very interesting change of behaviour.
So now I only have one little piglet, Maggie has easily one-up’d Mac by regularly pooing right beside her water, and of course occasionally IN the water! 🙄