When I first got a pig, I didn’t prepare as much as I should have, which left me scrambling to put up fences and get everything ready for my new pet. Caring for a pig doesn’t have to be super stressful- especially if you are ready before you bring it home.
Are pigs easy to take care of?
Pigs require more care and attention than dogs do, and if you’ve never cared for a pig before, it can be a big adjustment. Once you know how to care for pigs, it becomes easier to care for them, providing them the appropriate shelter, food, preventive medication, stimulation, and protection. Keeping pigs can be a full-time commitment.
How do you take care of a pig for beginners?
As a beginner, you need to ensure your pig has sufficient and appropriate food to eat, shelter from heat, water to cool down, the correct medication to treat injuries and illness, stimulation to prevent boredom and aggression, and sufficient space to move around in and rest in. Also, rasp tusks, trim hooves, and treat skin conditions.
Now, you are looking to bring home your pig. There are several aspects of caring for your pig that you should be aware of. Pigs have a variety of needs. We will cover their needs in this guide. You can also skip ahead if you have specific questions.
How to Take Care of A Pig?
Caring for a pig requires that you meet their dietary needs, provide them with a safe environment that is protected from excess heat and cold, and ensure their enclosure is kept clean to minimize disease. Grooming your pig is also a requirement and you should fend off insects. Train your pig if you keep them indoors.
- How To Care For A Piglet
- Pig Proof Your Home
- A Proper Pig’s Diet
- Common Health Concerns
- Common Grooming Needs & Expectations
How To Care For A Piglet
Baby piglets may need to be cared for a little differently than adult pigs. When you first bring a piglet home, make sure that it is kept in an area with a soft bed next to a pan of fresh, clean water.
Very young piglets under three weeks old may need to stay under an infra-red lamp about three feet above it to stay warm in a cold environment. For a while, they may need to be bottle-fed until it is about time to wean.
Did you know?
If a baby piglet is weaned too early from their mother, chances are they may exhibit charging or butting behavior, similar to when they were nursing. If you find that your young pig starts doing this, place a pillow between it and you to make things feel more comfortable (for both you and the piglet!).
If trying to get your piglet to transition to solid food, start with a soft bread and milk mixture. Little piglets enjoy sloppy food!
Pig Proofing Your Home for Pet Pigs
If you plan on keeping your pig indoors, make sure you “pig-proof” the home, particularly any areas that it might have access to. Pigs are naturally curious creatures, and without the right amount of stimulation or activity, they can easily turn to the furniture in your home! The following tips offer ways you can pig-proof before inviting your new family member into your home.
Make sure you cover up any electrical sockets, place secure pet gates or baby gates near stairs, and remove hazards such as cords and shaggy rugs.
Install child-proof locks on the pantry and cabinet; if your pig figures out that food is available in these places, they will certainly not resist the temptation to get them open and make a mess.
Ensure your refrigerator is pig-proof by making sure it has a child-proof feature. It may sound ridiculous to imagine a small pig getting into it, but do not discredit their cleverness!
Secure any moveable furniture items. Pigs enjoy rubbing their bodies against walls and furniture to scratch, so check that any furniture you have that can be knocked down is secured in place.
Pig Care Warning: What Not To Do for a Pig
There are a few things not to do for a pig: don’t feed them anything without checking if it’s pig-safe, avoid bedding material your pig can chew (blankets or stuffed items), keep your pig cool and avoid a sun-only spot, and don’t leave your pig in an area with no water or shade. Don’t neglect your pig by not inspecting them regularly.
How to Take Care of a Pig FAQs
Caring for your pig is a learning process, and by asking the right questions, you will learn how to be the best pig owner you can be.
What is the easiest pig to take care of?
Potbelly pigs are the easiest for first time pig owners to care for, as these pigs are not known to be aggressive, unless it’s breeding season. They are clean, grow to a manageable size, and potbelly pigs are also adorable. Potbelly pigs are easy to train, but they still require detailed care if kept as a pet. Pet pigs aren’t puppies.
What are a pig’s favorite food?
Pigs love fruit and vegetables. Take care when feeding starch-rich grain, opting for fibrous vegetables like pumpkin, beets, grapes, lettuce, cucumber, pears, apples, berries, mellons, peaches, and apricots. Remove pips and destone fruit like apricots and peaches. Corn and soybean or soy cake are also a staple in a pig’s diet.
Do pigs need a heat lamp?
Pigs, especially piglets, need a heat lamp when the weather turns very cold. Keeping pigs warm helps prevent weight loss, stops loss of pigs due to hypothermia, and prevents other temperature related issues. Install a heat lamp over your pig sties, or use a heat pad to radiate heat from the floor. Maximize your heat lamp with draft-free sties.
Caring for your pig is important to ensure they live a long and happy life as your pet, or a safe and peaceful one as your farm animal. Ensure you tick the boxes to care for your pet pig: feeding, shelter and bedding, maintenance care, hygiene, health checks, and socializing for your pig.
A pig makes a great pet, and if you put in the time and effort to train them, they can be a great house pet too.
My Most Used Pig Supplies
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A pig blanket to keep her warm. This one also has bright colors and helps to provide rooting without the destruction.
A large crate for keeping her safe in your house at night and when you leave the house. This is essential. You’ll also want a litterbox, and I like mine with a lid for nighttime. Pine shavings are best, and you may be able to find them in larger quantities locally.
You’ll also want an outdoor house to keep her warm when she gets outside time, an essential part of her development.
Dewormer- Ivermectin is the primary dewormer I use, although I do rotate with a non-ivermect ingredient once so that the worms don’t get immune to it.