Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Potty Training Pigs Helps Cut Water Use by 50%, Prevents Water Pollution (Video)

by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California

pig on farm photo
Photo via Maurice

Taiwan's 6.5 million pigs are a source of river pollution. But one Taiwanese farmer has found that potty training is porkers goes a long way in both conserving water and keeping it clean. He's trained his hogs to use a litter box, and has had such great results that he's starting to advocate the practice to other farmers.

Earth Times reports that Chang Chung-tou, owner of Shantung Animal Husbandry Farm in Yunlin county, started training his hogs 6 years ago after neighbors complained about the stench and pollution coming from the pig waste. He set up small litter boxes - about 4 meters by 6 meters for every 40 pigs - and trains them while young to use them.

The litter boxes have wire mesh so the urine seeps through, and the fecal matter is vacuumed by a special machine so the area is kept waste-free. The farmer has realized a 50% savings in water use. But possibly even more importantly, the success of his efforts has not only helped him avoid fines for pollution by environmental authorities, but the authorities are encouraging other farmers to follow his lead and start training their own piglets.

WATCH VIDEO: Positive Poop - All our favorite clips about great ideas dealing with waste, human and animal.

It helps that pigs naturally like to be in a clean environment, and are easily as smart as dogs. They pick up on the potty training quickly, and the feces can be used for fertilizer, biogas or, after special treatment, fish and pigeon feed.

This isn't exactly the system the farmer in Taiwan has, but the video below gives you an idea about just how capable pigs are when it comes to potty training: