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pot belly pig owners?

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  • pot belly pig owners?

    Im considering getting a pot belly pig but i want to do my research before I do so. I've never had one, so I have a few questions to those that have/do.
    Would one be happy alone, without other pigs?
    Is it better to get a male or female for a pet?
    What do yours eat?
    What are thier living situations, small shelter, coop type enclosure with a pen?
    Im thinking of getting a couple chickens, could they share a coop and pen together?
    Are they messy, like regular pigs and make mud and muck?
    Any feedback, positive or negative about them would be a help!
    I have 2 dogs, and 5 horses, and barn cats, so there is plenty of animal interaction here.

  • #2
    First off ..... you just made my day

    I miss my piggy dearly and thank you for making me think of him again!

    I had never had one before either. And really jumped into it totally blind. As in, came home from the auction at which I was forbidden to come home with anything with a pulse with a 4week old male potbelly

    1. Mine did just fine alone. He was out with my 2 horses though and wandered the farm freely during the day. He also loved my corgi.

    2. If I were to do it again, Id probably go for a female. Mine was a male and seemed to like to mount everything and anything ... your leg, the ponies leg, the wheelbarrow

    3. He ate pig food ... and everything else I gave him. a favorite was oatmeal, yogurt, and fruitloops

    4. Mine had a stall to sleep in at night, but ran free during the day. I tried to pen him in at first but great underestimated what it took to keep him in. I was no prepared in the least for him so I made do.

    5. Not sure about with chickens, I never had them at that farm.

    6. He really didnt make a mess. He was super clean actually. He would roll in mud but I made it for him. They use it to stay cool and he was adorable rolling in it.

    Overall I would do it again in a heartbeat! I loved my little Steven. I wish I could have kept him Good luck on your pig search! You'll love them!
    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by dwbonfire87 View Post
      Im considering getting a pot belly pig but i want to do my research before I do so. I've never had one, so I have a few questions to those that have/do.
      Would one be happy alone, without other pigs?

      Yes, mine does fine with no other pigs.

      Is it better to get a male or female for a pet?

      If I had it to do over, I'd get a female. However, mine is an adoptee, so I didn't really have a choice.

      What do yours eat?

      I'm assuming pig food. However, mine really doesn't eat much pig food. He's too busy raiding the garden, eating the horse's food, the goat food, the chicken scratch, and anything else he can get his snout on. He also roots all day in the field with the horses. I occasionally feed him table scraps. You really have to watch their weight. They can put of fat faster than anything I've ever seen, with the exception of my Corgis.

      What are thier living situations, small shelter, coop type enclosure with a pen?

      When I get really annoyed with mine, I lock him in a spare stall. Otherwise, he lives outside all the time. He doesn't wander and sticks around the other livestock. They are really good at escaping everything. They will also try and come in the house.

      Im thinking of getting a couple chickens, could they share a coop and pen together?

      Mine is with the chickens a lot because he's always trying to steal their food.

      Are they messy, like regular pigs and make mud and muck?

      I suppose if you had them confined in a pen and it rains a lot, then yes. Mine doesn't seem to like to root around and make a mess like regular pigs. I wouldn't call mine messy, no.

      Any feedback, positive or negative about them would be a help!
      I have 2 dogs, and 5 horses, and barn cats, so there is plenty of animal interaction here.
      Mine's a PITA, but he is fun to have around. Pigs, in general, are smart, opinionated, stubborn, loud and bossy. If you can deal with that, great. And, they may be small, but they still weigh a lot. Try catching one sometime when you really HAVE to. Good luck with that!

      Comment


      • #4
        4-H friends have one, he is getting pretty old now, 12yrs? I watched them with him for a couple years, and it was "interesting". Not what I could tolerate, but they love him a lot and he lives at THEIR house not mine! He is housebroke, goes outside. They have a couch for him to lay on when in the house and food bowls. He does not get stalled in the barn often. He is on a regulated diet of small pig chow, keeps him trim, not fat. He also grazes out with the horses or in the yard, gets veggie scraps. I think he makes some small holes rooting around, but not a wallow like a farm hog does. He has always been an "only" pig, though he does have to share people with a couple dogs.

        He is smaller, maybe 2ft long, stands about 15-18 tall, not sure of weight but they don't struggle picking him up. He walks on a leash and harness when he attended the horse shows. Hops right in the car for rides. LIKES to go for car rides.

        In his care, he needs to get his teeth done by the vet at least a couple times a year. Hog teeth are self-sharpening, so it only takes a little time and they can be razor sharp again. So any nibbles will really cause a bad bite. This one pulls pant legs now and then, sharp teeth just slice cloth or skin wide open! Pig does NOT like getting teeth done, gets noisy and struggles. He needs a Rabies shot, annual I think, in case he should bite someone. Bites have happened to his "family" people. It was an accident I was assured, teeth should have been trimmed sooner, but still made a nasty wound. Seems like he rolls over and they just rasp off his hooves with a horse rasp.

        We didn't see piggy and family much recently, since kid is out of 4-H and Fair now has a Terminal Pig Show. Any pig unloaded on the grounds during Fair MUST be sent to slaughter, State law comes into play. They did drive thru to watch a horse workout night, pig stayed in truck.

        I am not a pig person, could not tolerate one in the house, let alone on the furniture!! I refuse to struggle with pig over TV snacks! Pigs biting has always been a big issue to me, with my Grandfather warning us all the time about the (various animals) boar who could bite when riled and you never knew what would rile him! They scared us to stay out of the pig pens and fields with pig biting stories! Worked for me!!

        You might want to call your local large animal Vet, see if there are other issues about pigs you should know, other shots. Pigs are more carefully monitored because pig problems could affect farm income, the vast quantities of pigs on farms. Gov't. classified under Livestock, with the good and bad.

        I would castrate any male animal, no reason to leave entire as a pet. Boars are known for being tempermental in many instances, like stallions. Not worth the chance of an argument with pig. Better to have them gelded for more-even attitude and no incidents with hormones in them.

        Comment


        • #5
          We got one last year--a micro mini teacup piglet. Yeah right He stayed mini for about a month, now he's a year old and 75 pounds of lovable ham. Itty Bitty Bobby has the run of the farm and chooses to stay out most of the day in the paddocks with the horses--he has his favorites. He loves dandelions, cucumbers and peaches as well as his pig chow. He's in a stall at night, but the door is open in case he gets the nighttime munchies. He's quite clean, potties in the corner of his stall, and loves to be brushed and have conditioner sprayed on, but no baths thank you very much!
          We have lots of training horses that come in for a month or more at a time, and not one has ever taken a dislike to Bob. The cats and dogs play with him and he even learned a few tricks last winter, but he seems to have either forgotten them or decided they were beneath his dignity to perform anymore. Here he is learning to sit for a treat:

          http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1491799817
          Last edited by Sparky; Jul. 27, 2010, 06:24 PM. Reason: added photo

          Comment


          • #6
            I had a stray pot belly wild pig saunter up my driveway one night. THe horses went nuts and I went to investigate. He weighed about 30 lbs. I chased him down the driveway with a broom as I knew nothing about pigs!

            He came back every morning for a few days and I told him he could stay if he didn't get into any trouble. He stayed.

            He made me laugh for thirteen years. He taught me a lot.

            He did not stray and stayed in a stall by himself or with a horse. His choice. He patrolled the property and grazed with the horses eating the flies that flew around their legs. He ate horse food until he grew into old age and then he ate mini pig elder. He liked certain things (pound cake, chocolate chip cookies and strawberries) and knew exactly when garden produce was ready. Had to limit his goodies.

            I have chickens and he left them alone except for their cracked corn. Chickens are free range as was the pig.

            Had a dog who tried to encourage him to play but the Puggsly would just smile and wag his tail. He was very tolerant of the dog's antics.

            He interacted very little with the cats.

            He would drag a shavings bag to a desired location and empty it for a new bed if he felt circumstances warranted it. He learned to wear a dog blanket in later years when the cold started to get to him altho he was never happy about getting it on. He would try to raid feed buckets at times and as a rule the horses would let him. One time, however, he raided the stallions bucket and believe me "Pigs can fly"!

            You need a vet who is experienced with pigs. YOU may be the one to give shots when necessary and their hide is very tough. I always wore running shoes for that.

            He made a wallow by the pond for his soaking pleasure but did not cause any other damage.

            He was a great watch pig but would usually warm up to friends quickly.

            Puggsly had tusks which could get caught in things when they got long. They needed to be chipped off from time to time but he usually did this himself. His feet were for the most part self trimming. I groomed him with a stiff horse brush and oiled his skin when he shed and sloughed.

            The other animals seemed to enjoy his company. New horses would need a day or two to adjust. He would actively charm a newcomer until they relaxed.

            One time he got a tusk caught in a fence and the horses stayed with him while I released him, very concerned for his welfare.

            I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him. He was a very happy spirit altho would bellow if he thought I was doing things he was not pleased with. He also ran a wild sow off once, to my surprise. I thought he might have liked female company. Guess not.

            I am glad he insisted on staying. Who knew?

            You just might enjoy a pig!
            “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
            ? Albert Einstein

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparky View Post
              We got one last year--a micro mini teacup piglet. Yeah right He stayed mini for about a month, now he's a year old and 75 pounds of lovable ham. Itty Bitty Bobby has the run of the farm and chooses to stay out most of the day in the paddocks with the horses--he has his favorites. He loves dandelions, cucumbers and peaches as well as his pig chow. He's in a stall at night, but the door is open in case he gets the nighttime munchies. He's quite clean, potties in the corner of his stall, and loves to be brushed and have conditioner sprayed on, but no baths thank you very much!
              We have lots of training horses that come in for a month or more at a time, and not one has ever taken a dislike to Bob. The cats and dogs play with him and he even learned a few tricks last winter, but he seems to have either forgotten them or decided they were beneath his dignity to perform anymore. Here he is learning to sit for a treat:

              http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1491799817
              What a cute pig.

              Timely thread - my sister and I were just discussing whether she needed a pig around the property or not..... After reading this I think she does!

              Comment


              • #8
                We are on pig #2 at the barn where I board. He has this life he lives and doesn't require a lot of human intervention. Occasionally a new horse will react to him, but by and large the horses don't pay much attention to him. Nor do the chickens or the dogs.

                He likes dog food, so he gets a bit of that if he comes into the barn. Otherwise he searches out what he wants. He will eat good hay. He lives in the little barn now, as he was thrown out of the corner of the indoor where he built himself a nest next to some round bales. There is a small wooded section behind the main barn, and he seems to spend a lot of time in there in the summer.

                The last time the horse dentist was out he did trim the tusks. It was not going well at first in the aisleway, so we herded him into the bathroom. We heard a bunch of squealing, and the dentist came out with the ends of the tusks. His feet seem to be self trimming, which is good because our vet doesn't do pig maintenance.

                Is he clean? Yes, and he was neutered when he was little.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nothing to add - no experience anyway - but I would LOVE to have one. I was told that they are really loud, but Oreo who lives at the training barn has never made a peep besides snorting/oinking a little. Mostly because he's excited that someone is giving him a cookie or scratching his belly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We had a stray the came to live at the barn where I used to board. the owner picked him up a few times then finally said "if you don't want him I'll haul him off" which didn't sound good for Porkchop. Most people fed him a little horsefeed, but I'd buy him pig chow.

                    it was funny once when some stray dogs came on the property and started to chase Porkchop. The horses divided into two groups - one herded Porkchop up against a round bale and surrounded him, protecting him. The other group took off after the dogs and ran them off.

                    The pig and one mare were extremely close. Each would go crazy if they couldn't reach the other. Porkchop never was quite the same after her owner died and she was sold. That being said, he knew some of the horses in a biblical sense, if you know what I mean. they'd be laying in the sun and Porkchop would mount them. It was very strange.

                    StG

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Did anyone see Jay Leno last night? The young actress playing Ramona was on and said all she wanted for her birthday was a baby pig. Jay surprised her with a tiny squealing bundle of piglet, she was just beside herself! It was really a great tv moment.
                      We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                      www.dleestudio.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        St germain, that is one of the saddest stories I ever heard about the pig and the mare. How sad for both of them to be separated.
                        As I get older, I am firmly convinced that animals form very strong bonds and relationships, and that we are only beginning to understand and appreciate those emotional bonds.
                        Anyhow, poor mare and poor porkchop. Loved the part of the horses protecting porkchop from the dogs. Good horses.
                        save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Please get 2! they really do love piggy company - & pot bellied pigs range greatly in size so be prepared for that.

                          A Sanctuary for "Mini"-pigs (do check out their blog)
                          http://www.heartsonnoses.com/
                          - please rescue if you can: these guys get dumped when their owners realize they get b i g & most shelters either refuse to accept them or euthanize

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alto View Post
                            Please get 2! they really do love piggy company - & pot bellied pigs range greatly in size so be prepared for that.

                            A Sanctuary for "Mini"-pigs (do check out their blog)
                            http://www.heartsonnoses.com/
                            - please rescue if you can: these guys get dumped when their owners realize they get b i g & most shelters either refuse to accept them or euthanize
                            Whoa...I don't think I could handle two. One's bad enough!

                            Really, I love my guy. But he's a royal pain in the behind!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              17 years ago my husband came home from work and asked me if I wanted a pot bellied pig. I said NO WAY! He came home a few days later and asked me again....NO! The next time he came home he said that all the other people who were interested in the piggie wanted to know how much he weighed and did they make good eating . Soooooo.....I got a piggy. His previous owner had named him Harley B. Hogg. Harley wasn't even 1/2 grown and already weighed over 40lbs. He would mount anything...soccer balls, dogs (she didn't appreciate it) buckets...what ever he could find.....and he SMELLED really bad. Un-neutered males stink. I took him to the vet to have him neutered and he's been fine ever since. I thought he needed company and got a baby pig. I chose a female this time. He never did like her. She would go into heat and go wandering looking for companionship. She was followed home by another little male pig who promptly knocked her up. Sadly all 9 of the babies were still born.

                              The female pig lived in the house until she was big enough to stay outside. They are very smart and it's true that they are smarter than a dog. She housebroke easier than any dog I've ever had. She soon got too big though and went out to live with Harley. They had piggie condos....each had their own half of a piggie sized run in shelter. Deep enough that they could snuggle into the back of it to stay out of the wind and protected from the weather. I bed it with straw. Piggies are naturally very clean and will not poop where they eat if they can help it. They appreciate a piggie sized pool of water when the weather is really hot but their skin should be protected from the the sun as they will sunburn. Mine like a good old fashioned mud wallow too.

                              I feed mine pig food formulated for mini pigs in addition to a little bit of dog kibble and fresh fruit and veggies. He LOVES corn on the cob, strawberries, spinnich and corn chips. He also grazes on the grass and enjoys gorging himself on pecans when they are falling from the trees. I only have him tusked if they start growing into his cheeks, which has only been twice in 17 years. I have a pair of farrier shears that are used for trimming goat feet that we use to trim pig hooves. Takes three people though. Two to hold him on his back and one to trim the hooves. Harley is 17 years old now and getting a little gimpy, sadly, the female pig passed away a couple of years ago. Harley spends his days in his piggie condo, lolling in his pool or hanging out with the chickens.
                              "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have two Crystal and Grant. If you get a male make sure he was neutered as a youngster. They are horney little things and will hump anything around anytime. I love mine. They have free run of the place. They eat pot belly pig food I get from the feed store plus fruits and veggies for snacks. They love to swim in their tommy turtle pool. They love the dogs, horses, goats, chickens, turkeys, peacocks. They are the friendliest little buggers. I just love them to pieces. They are soooooo easy to train. Way smarter than any other animal I've ever had. They always come when called too.
                                M

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Not trying to sidetrack the thread, but anyone have any experience with full sized pigs, like yorkshire's, etc
                                  tia
                                  save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    One of the vet clinics I worked at does quite a few potbellies including a rescue that had about 70 of them.

                                    They can get very attached to their families and don't like to be shuffled around.

                                    We always did tusks and feet of the rescue potbellies. The major problem with the rescue potbellies was lameness and vision issues and being majorly overweight from knowledgeable folks owning them previously. Overfeeding a piggie can cause major damage.

                                    They are super clean and love to have enrichment. Straw is a great favorite.

                                    Horses can get a little freaked out, but usually get over it. One TWH gelding I knew never did get over his pig phobia, so he left the barn that had a pair of potbellies.

                                    Best to get them spayed or neutered.

                                    Most of them I know eat a commercial pig chow plus whatever fresh fruits/veggies, etc is around. Just don't overfeed.

                                    No idea on the pigs + chickens. I've seen lots of pigs + dogs, pigs + cows and pigs + horses, but no pigs and chickens yet.
                                    Semi Feral

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Bocephus

                                      Bocephus was my pot bellied pig growing up. We adopted him from a petting zoo that had gotten a female who they didn't realize was pregnant! We had him neutered young so he never did any 'manly' pig behaviors. He was an inside/outside pig.

                                      He was raised in our house in the suburbs and I litter box trained him- which took only two days! They are SO very smart! He slept in a crate at night or occasionally in bed with me or my brother when he was still a piglet. They are VERY clean animals and groom themselves a good bit. Since he was raised around a miniature poodle he adopted this sort of bark/snort combination which was hilarious so hear and see him and the poodle run to the door to greet visitors while "barking".

                                      He was leash trained and walking him around the neighborhood kept his hooves trimmed well. He came when he was called and would stay in the yard when not leashed. He had a baby pool to wallow in outside in the garage and loved it on hot days. He often rooted around in the pinestraw and garden which my mom didn't like, but she taught him not to go in the flower garden and he obliged. He ate pig food, dog food, and kitchen scraps and wasn't overweight mostly because he went on walks and ran up and down the stairs to our bedrooms daily. He was very sweet and cuddly and his only dislikes were being lifted into the car (they can scream/squeal VERY loudly) and being squirted with the water hose or taking showers.

                                      He went with me to the barn sometimes and loved to inspect my horses stall and got along with all the barn cats and horses. He would lay in the shavings pile while I rode. They are very trainable and funny and most love belly rubs! He was really almost easier to train than my poodle and understood a good amount of commands and words- especially "treat"! I will definitely have another one someday!
                                      Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                                      Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The Christmas Pig(please read the whole thing I need help!)

                                        All my life I have wanted a pot bellied pig friend to love. After about 3 years of constant begging my mom finally brought home the best Christmas present ever, A female 2 and 1/2 month old pot bellied pig!! We adopted her last Saturday the 17th from a woman named Debbie around St. Louis. Debbie had purchased several baby pot bellied pigs for a photo shoot she was doing for a brand of pig chow. Since our little girl was a piggy model we were looking for model names. One of my moms friends suggested "Twiggy" because she was the model who "made thin in". I instantly fell in love with the name. Twiggy Piggy or Twigs for short. She lives in my bedroom and quickly excepted it as hers.
                                        We put a welping box in as her area. For a bed we put a dog cage in the welping box and put many blankets inside. Next to her cage we put down a potty tray with woodchips in it. We quickly switched from woodchips to pee-pads (because TP decided to eat the woodchips). She eats Pot Bellied Pig food for 4 months to adult. (the store was out of the young pig chow) She likes to mix water with her food and make 'Pig Chow Soup'.
                                        She has a silly personality and likes to run around and scratch herself on anything and everything. She even gives piggy kisses! We are working on potty training her and then we will begin to harness train her.
                                        A few days ago we purchased a littletike sleeping bag to give to Twiggy. Twiggy absolutely loved it! We would leave it partually zipped for her to cuddle in. She would go all the way inside and just stick her nose out. It was the cutest thing!

                                        Around the time we got the sleeping bag we noticed little bumps all over Twiggy's body. At first we thought "oh they're just goosebumps." But then shortly after these bumps developed she became OBSESSED with scratching! I mean she scratches non stop!! We tried giving her a bath and removing the sleeping bag. This helped a little, but her bumps itch her so badly that she scratches so hard and so long that her skin breaks out and gets red or even bleeds. We lock her in her cage when she gets to scratching too hard.


                                        WHAT DO WE DO? WILL SHE EVER STOP SCRATCHING? SHE'S HURTING HERSELF!!! Any helpful hints or tips would be greatly appreciated!

                                        THANKS!
                                        Last edited by TwiggythePiggy; Dec. 26, 2011, 12:35 PM. Reason: typos

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