Piglet Care Information
Congratulations on your new piglet! This care sheet applies to most pigs in general. However, each piglet has its own personality so you may need to change a few things to make it work for you and your new piggy.
Before getting into the details of piggy care, there are a few important things to remember!
- When holding your new piglet, if he/she starts squealing, DO NOT put him/her down. They will learn that they get what they want when they squeal. Only put them down once they have settled down and are quiet.
- Pigs are always hungry, no matter what size. Don’t give in to their begging! Keep your piglet on a healthy, balanced diet.
- Pigs are extremely intelligent and will try to train you. Make sure that YOU are training the PIG.
- Your piglet is young. At this time, piglets are offered ¼ cup of Mazuri Mini Pig food mixed with ¼ cup yogurt and milk (to make it soupy) twice a day.
- For the first few weeks, offer your piglet ¼ cup of mini pig food twice a day. As he/she gets older, refer to pg. 31-32 in the booklet you received for a guide on how much to feed.
- **Note: You can switch to other types of miniature pig food – but do your research first on nutritional value and switch your piglet from one type of food to another very slowly by mixing the two foods together.
Getting Your House Ready
- Set up a small area like a laundry room or bathroom for your piglet to stay in for the first week or two. Have a dog bed or cozy blanket for them to snuggle in, a litter box, and 24/7 access to fresh water.
- For the litter box, we recommend using pine pellets – you can purchase these from Tractor Supply. DO NOT use cat litter – pigs can eat it and get very sick. Pigs do not like to use the restroom in their bed and they learn very quickly to use a litter box. You can train them to go inside or outside, it typically takes 1-2 days for a pig to fully learn potty training.
- If pigs go a long period of time without water, they can get dehydrated and sick – make sure to have plenty of access to water in a bowl (or two) that they can’t tip over. Unlike some animals, it is critical for pigs to have water available at all times. Many people are not aware of this, but pigs do not have the ability to sweat. As a result, it is crucial that they are given the opportunity to have water whenever they like. If they do go a long period of time without water, introduce water SLOWLY – by soaking bread in water and feeding it to them. If they suddenly drink a large amount of water, they can get extremely sick.
- When you have heard the term pigs in a blanket before, it probably referred to the diminutive snacks, but there is a bit of truth to this common phrase. One thing that pigs love more than anything is a soft, warm blanket. While they do not have a preference for any particular pattern, it should be thick enough to offer a nice layer of comfort. Ideally, you should have several in multiple areas of the home, so they can feel cozy wherever they are.
- One thing that makes pigs different from other animals is their level of curiosity. It is very common for them to get into things in the same way that a small child would. This is why it would be in your best interest to toddler-proof your home. The last thing you want is for your pig to get into something that can hurt them, like cleaning supplies and/or prescription medications.
Welcoming Your New Piggy Home
- When you first bring your piglet into your house, they will probably be a little scared or skittish. They are in a new place with new sounds, smells, and people. The first thing you need to do is place your piglet in its temporary home (bathroom, laundry room, etc.) and walk away. Let the piglet settle in for a bit and get to know his/her new area.
- Everyone will be very excited to meet the new family member, but you don’t want to stress your piggy out. Sit down with the piggy and slowly offer him/her a few small treats. Pick up your piglet and hold them close to you and snuggle them. He/she will probably squeal the first few times you pick them up!! Pigs don’t really jump, fly, or climb, etc. so they aren’t very used to being off the ground. Make them feel secure when you hold them and they will settle down. Reminder: DO NOT PUT DOWN A SQUEALING PIGLET. They will learn to squeal and get their way. Once they settle down and get quiet, you may put them down as a reward for good behavior.
- Offer your piglet belly scratches or side scratches. This is a very good way to bond with your piggy! As they get more comfortable with you, they will begin to follow you around more and will learn to love your attention.
- Introduce other pets to your piglet SLOWLY. Pigs will bond to other animals faster than they will to humans. You want to make sure that you are your pigs’ best friend. ☺ Also, you will want to ensure that your pig and other pets will get along. Let them meet through a baby gate or fence first so they can smell each other without any chance of harm.
- Pigs are very fond of music and the sounds that come from the television. In fact, there are some shows that your pig may like watching on a regular basis. When you are leaving the house to go to work, school or anywhere else, you should leave the television on for them. This will keep them thoroughly entertained while you are away and it will decrease the chances that they will get into anything and have you coming home to a huge mess.
- Our vet does not recommend any vaccinations for pigs – check with your personal vet to see what they recommend for your area.
- Most feed stores carry deworming agents. Ivermectin and Panacur are both deworming agents that we recommend. The easiest way to deworm your pig is to measure the amount of dewormer and then put it on a small piece of bread and let the pig eat the bread.
- Just like our fingernails and toenails, your piggy’s hooves will grow, if you have a concrete patio outside for your piggy to play on or if you take your pig on walks on a concrete sidewalk, their hooves will naturally trim themselves down.
- If you ever do need to trim your piglets’ feet, never trim between the toes and trim very small amounts at a time.
- While your pig is young, start handling their feet so that as they grow up, they will be used to you messing with them in the event that their hooves ever do need trimmed.
Halter / Leash Training
- Collars don’t work well for pigs, there are harnesses that are made specifically for pigs. Once your pig trusts you and is comfortable with you, you can start halter training him/her. You will want to do this slowly, for the first day, just let them see it and smell it but don’t try to put it on them. You want them to know that they don’t need to be afraid of it.
- On the second day, show them the harness again and go ahead and put it on them. Please know that they are going to squeal and be uncomfortable at first. That’s okay, it’s new. Let them wear the harness for a few minutes and run around with it. This will show your piggy that they can still move around freely.
- Over the next few days, repeat the process of putting it on and letting the piglet run around until they are used to the harness. Once they are okay with having the harness on, go ahead and leash them up. Gently guide them in the direction that you want them to go and whenever they follow you, give them small rewards. These rewards could be your words, petting them, and actual treats. Pigs are very smart and will catch on to new training very quickly.
- Never leave your harness on your pig. Always take it off after a walk to reward your piggy for your walk together. They will learn to look forward to walking with you!
- Your piglet needs to spend time outside to play and explore. They will root around so keep them away from your flower garden if you want it to stay looking beautiful. Pigs need at least 30 minutes of outside playtime and sunshine each day!
- Your pig will shed a lot of its fur in the summertime, if you let your piggy spend a lot of time outside, put sunscreen on them and baby lotion to keep their skin from getting dried out and sunburnt.
What Size to Expect for Your Pig
- The size your pig grows to will all depend on genetics. We have 3 different breeds of pigs at our farm: Mini Pigs, Mini / Kune Pigs, and Wooly Kune Pigs. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have more than enough space to accommodate their growth.
- Mini Pig:
- These piglets can be anywhere from 40-70 pounds when full grown.
- Mini / Kune Pig:
- These piglets can be anywhere from 50-150 pounds when full grown. They can be expected to be similar to the size of a Basset Hound.
- Wooly (Mangalitsa) / Kune Pig:
- This is the largest breed of pig we have at our farm. They can be expected to be anywhere from 100-200 pounds when full grown.