How to Take Care of a Pig
1 April, 2014

If you are thinking of bringing a pig into your home, there are some basics that you need to know to make your pig thrive.  Pigs can be great pets and provide your home with joy and liveliness.  However, if you have very young children, it might not be the best pet for your homes as pigs can be confusing and intimidating to young kids.  Yet, with the proper housing and a clean environment, your pig can thrive and become a great part of your family.

Build an enclosure for your pig

First, you will need to design and build the correct enclosure for your pig. You should determine if you are going to build a house for your pig so it can escape the rain and cold weather. Remember, a pig has very little hair, and it is sensitive to heat and cold in the same way a human would be.

Try to design the enclosure so that the pig can keep clean. Pigs are not as filthy as most people think and they need separate areas for sleeping, relieving themselves, eating and playing. While pigs do like to roll around in mud, it’s usually to keep cool on a hot day.

Cover the ground inside the enclosure with plenty of straw, leaving just enough dirt uncovered for a little mud. Straw can help to absorb the odors of urine and feces and provide warmth for pigs as they sleep.  Build your enclosure from sturdy materials. Pigs can dig under fences and push over flimsy walls in just a few minutes if properly motivated.

How to feed your pig

You should feed your pig a combination of grains and protein. Pigs love corn, barley, wheat; the rest of his or her diet should consist of protein-rich foods, such as dairy products like cottage cheese, whey, yogurt, milk powder or even ice cream.  They also like fruits and vegetables.

Provide plenty of fresh water for your pig, ensuring that you replace the water daily to prevent parasites or insects from getting inside the water bowl or bucket.

Create a separate sleep spot

Make sure your pigs have their own dry and sheltered sleeping spot where they can enjoy hay as their bedding. Piglets burrow into a deep litter of hay to stay warm. An adult pig will be satisfied with wood shavings (not sawdust).

Pigs love human connection and/or touch

Scratch your pig on its back or belly. Pigs loved to be scratched and often scratch themselves against anything that doesn’t move. Excessive scratching, however, could indicate a disease or insect bites. If this is the case, take your pig to a veterinarian that knows how to care for pigs.

Most pigs don’t like their feet touched. If you need to trim your pig’s hooves, it’s best to scratch its stomach first to get it to relax a bit.

Make sure to play with your pig

You should play with your pig and give him toys, such as buckets, balls and chew toys. Pigs are very playful animals, but they get bored quickly so rotate the toys on a regular basis.

Pigs are smart and curious creatures

Remember that pigs are very smart and curious. Once they learn how to do something (pull up the carpet, open the fence door, and so on) they won’t forget, and you need to stay one step ahead of them. They can also be very sneaky and might try to manipulate you to get their way.  So, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get out or do something that you might not like!


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