What you need to know about bringing home your piggie!
Pigs are by nature prey animals. This can make integrating your piglet into your household tricky. Pigs must build a bond of trust with his person before they will allow you to touch and hold them. When first getting your piglet hold them in the car on the way home. Pigs are clean animals and will very rarely make a mess where they are laying, but bring a towel just in case there is an accident. When you get home hold your piglet in the crook of your arm for as long as they will allow. When they want to get down take them to a quiet small space. * We put our piglets in our back pantry 5x5 area and put up a old wooden baby gate. You may then sit with them in this space. You will want to reach out for your piglet, but just sitting with them will pay off. They will climb back up on your lap as they did on the ride home. Next, while they lay on your lap and sleep firmly stroke their backs. Doing this while they are sleeping will desensitize them to your touch. It is their natural instinct to run from human touch. Soon they will allow your touch and climb on your lap all the time.
Setting up their home inside your home:
You will want a spot that is small and calm, where they can be contained. If litter box training place your litter box ( I suggest a concrete mixer tub you can get at local hardware store and then cut a u shape out of one side. It will contain the pellets better and is heavy enough they generally won't be able to flip.) The first few times you fill with pellets (wood pellets from local farm store works the best) dump a cup or two of water into the tub and place in the most inhospitable spot in their room. Pigs do not like their living quarters to be a mess so if you keep it small and put their litter box in the drafty corner furthest away from their bed they will use it right away. Keep them contained in this area until they are settling into their new home. Once they began to trust your touch you may let them out of the room to roam around the house. Our 8 week old piglets will be out all day without making a mess. They will go back to their litter box to do their business.
If you are not litter box training and your piglet has not had any other socialization I would suggest starting with the litter box and then moving it closer to a door and then outside the door until they are going outside. Our pigs that live in our outside barn started with litter boxes and eventually house broke themselves to go outside. We have a barn of pigs that doesn't smell AT ALL of pigs!!!
Pigs are curious little toddlers with snout made of steel! Your piglet will be curious and chew on things much like a puppy. Make sure your house if piggy proofed! They are different then a puppy in that they have a strong snout they will use to push and flip what they can. If possible find a waterer that is attached to the wall or offer water multiple times throughout the day to prevent turned over water bowls.
Pigs full grown will have the intelligence of a 3 year old. They will pick up on training and words very quickly. They also never forget, so do not hit your piglet in the face or snout to discipline them. Simply say the word "NO" and push them away. You will also want to use caution while using treats for training and not feed from your hand, this may contribute to a pig getting "nippy".
I CAN NOT stress enough the importance of socialization. My first piglets I did not do enough of this with. They will follow me and allow brief touches, but that is it. I find it is hard to socialize an older pig. We will offer socialization for your piglet, a jump start in the right direction. Email us for details!! Jessicapodany@gmail.com I have also found that piglets younger then 6 weeks are harder to gain trust from. It is best if you don't get your piglet until it is a confident 6 week old!
A neutered/spayed piggy is a happier milder pig! If you are not planning on breeding I would suggest doing this. We can castrate your boar before he leaves us, you will have to make an appointment to spay your gilt.
What to feed your piggie!
Mini pigs need mini pig feed! Do not buy grower pig feed from your local feed store. We feed our piglets Mazuri youth until they are 6 months old and then switch them to Adult. Follow the guide on the bag for feeding directions. If you have any questions please email us about feeding your piglet. Jessicapodany@gmail.com Your pigs diet may also be supplemented with fruits/veggies and a small amount of carbs as treats for good behavior. Please avoid feeding your pig the seeds/pits of fruits and veggies.
Vaccinations and treatments will vary based on your location and situation. Contact your local vet for more info on what vaccinations are appropriate for your situation.
Dippity Pig Syndrome:
I first experienced this when my girls went through their first heat cycle. I knew nothing about this and I really thought something was terribly wrong with my pig! This condition is thought to be caused by stress, illness and/or sunburn. A pig with Dippity will exhibit weakness in their back legs (possibly dragging them), extreme pain with movement and lesion to their back that resemble shark fins. These lesion may bleed or weep. If you pig develops Dippity pig the best thing you can do is to place them in a calm dark place where they can lay quietly. It is also helpful to place them on a non-slip surface. Usually 24-48 hours after symptoms appear they will start to decrease and your pig will be up and moving again. The lesions are generally late to appear and are the last thing to go away after Dippity Pig.