DIY Rooting Mat, Rooting Ball, Rooting Toys Tutorial
Photos & ideas courtesy of Sarah Sandin
Making your own enrichment toys at home is easy & low cost. Providing your pig a variety of toys, textures, and objects to manipulate will enrich your pig’s quality of life while reducing boredom, destruction, and aggressive behaviors. Get creative with these simple steps!
Choose materials. Whether you choose a ball or a mat, there are a variety of bases and fabric choices. Use what suits you best. For rooting mats, some people choose a sink mat or rubber rug with holes, found at home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. Pictured is Sarah’s choice of a plastic shelf designed for in a cabinet. She simply took the bottom off to work for her mat. She found this at Target next to the sink liners for a very reasonable price of $6.99.
Cut fabric into strips & tie on. Fabric choices vary by individual. Choose what works for you & your pig. Choose a length suitable for tying.
Safety first! Always consider the safety of your pig. It’s important they are not able to loosen and ingest the fabric pieces, so check the toy frequently. This should be done with all toys regardless of if they are homemade or store bought. Be vigilant because pigs will ingest things they shouldn’t. These indigestible materials can become stuck in the digestive tract, blocking the intestines causing an impaction. If this occurs, surgery will be required to save the life of the pig. Carpet eating is a common cause for obstruction and surgery, so keep that pig busy, safely!