BEFORE YOU BUY:
CHECK YOUR ZONING
The first and most important thing you need to do is check your zoning! Although pigs make excellent pets they are still considered livestock and many homes are not zoned for livestock. Most Apartments and Condos will not allow pet pigs. However, don't let that discourage you from asking and finding out. We would hate to home out a piglet and within a matter of months the piglet has to be torn from a home he has got used to because the zoning wasn't checked prior to adopting. It is a stressful situation for all those involved so it is important to check your zoning before you buy.
FIND A VET:
Second, make sure there is a vet nearby that will treats pigs. Most standard Cat & Dog Vets will not see pigs too. You will have to call around and find the closest vet to you that treats pigs. If one isn't nearby, are you willing to make that drive in case of an emergency?
Pigs require a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight. An underfed pig is just as bad as an overweight pig and vice versa. They require a healthy amount of pig pellets. No growers or finishers. No dog food. No left overs. No salt. Nothing high in sugar. Fruits and veggies are good! Are you prepared to follow this diet to keep your pig healthy and if not, are you prepared to keep your pig when it becomes obese? & then becomes fat blind and fat deaf?
HOW BIG WILL MY PIG GET?
All piglets are born and fit in a teacup. Some breeders will fail to mention, that they do grow up. Anyone that tells you your piglet will stay that small forever is simply lying to you. A pig on a healthy diet of pig pellets and vegetables will maintain a standard Mini Pig size. A pig fed leftovers, dog food, and is free to graze all day will likely mature at least double, if not bigger, the expected size. Skeletal structure is determined by genetics. The pigs that you will find here will vary from 13-16 inches tall. Diet determines weight. Most breeders will not weigh their pigs. Pigs are dense and you cannot compare the weight of a dog to the weight of a pig. If you want a good idea on how big your pig will mature, ask how tall the parents are. Not how much they weigh. If you are okay with their height, then it is up to you to keep up with your piglets diet. Generally you are looking at the size of an English Bulldog.
Pigs require very basic care. They do need to be dewormed every six months and their hooves trimmed. Both things can be done at home or both things can be done at your vet. We deworm at home with Ivermectin injectable which can be purchased at your local feed store. You have the option of injecting it under the skin or giving it orally. If done orally you need to double the dose. Regardless if you do oral or injection, a second dose needs to be given 10-14 days after.
If your pig walks on hard surfaces often they might naturally wear down their feet resulting in their hooves not needing to be trimmed. Otherwise, use your best judgement on when they need to be done.
Pigs are prey animals. They aren't born and immediately trust you like a puppy or a kitten. It will take time for your pig to grow a bond with you and trust you fully. Since they have the flight response they will be scared when there are quick movements, loud sounds, or hands reaching out to them. Your piglet shouldn't have free range of the house until this trust is given. Start in a small area like a puppu play pen or a bathroom and sit on the floor with your piglet. Just sit and let them come to you and explore you. You can try to encourage them over to you by offering them treats. Go slow and offer a lot of rewards for when your piglet does something you approve of.
Most piglets don't like to be held. They have to get comfortable with it and trust that you aren't going to hurt them. You need to cradle them close to your body like a baby. Don't hold them out and away from you. If your piglet screams, which is normal, let them scream it out. If you put them down you are just reinforcing bad behavior.
Most importantly, spend a lot of time with your pig! If you are very busy or work a demanding job and live alone, then a pig might not be the best pet for you. A lonely pig can get depressed or find themselves entertaining themselves by getting into mischief. It is always good to make sure that the pig doesn't spend long periods of them by themselves and if they must, it might be a good idea to get them a playmate.
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