Notes: We will be updating this regularly.
Yes, hoof trimming can feel a bit overwhelming to do. Some tricks to doing this include;
1. Handle your piggies hooves while young. When doing belly rubs, make sure to rub each hoof for a long time, this will prepare them to extended times of handling of them.
2. You can purchase a file from the feed store and just file regularly so you do not have to ever trim.
3. Do you have a cement back porch? this will help in keeping your piggies hooves well filed. Pigs tend to drag their hooves when walking, this is a natural way of filing.
4. Don't have a back porch? add a few cement pavers to your piggies pen or out your back door.
"Porcine Dental Chart"
Pigs have three sets of teeth. Each time a new set of teeth erupt, the previous set of temporary (or "baby") teeth fall out. The last of the permanent adult teeth erupt when the pig is about 18 to 22 months old.
"Potty Training Your Piggy"
Pigs are extremely easy to potty train. You must keep them in a smaller area for their happy home. I block off my kitchen with baby gates and keep them in there. I have used the bottom of a dog crate as the litter box but there are all sorts of different things you can use. Plastic is preferred for the litter box. Also, make sure the litter box is short enough for your piggy to get into.
We use the equine bedding pellets for our litter. Do not use cat litter!
Cat litter usually has some sort of a perfume smell to it, pigs think this smells yummy and will eat it. You will end up with an emergency visit to the vet with a clump of cat litter stuck in his/her intestines.
How do I train my piggy to go outside to do his business?
This isn't as hard as it seems. Once your piggy is on a schedule, he will instinctively want to go outside. I feed breakfast then let them out to go graze and they do their business. They come and go, in and out, as they please. They eventually will hold it knowing the time to go out is coming.
You can also train them to ring a bell at the door to be let out. To accomplish this, hang a bell low enough for your piggy to reach it, every morning after breakfast go to the door and ring the bell and say "lets go potty" once you piggy has done his/her business give a treat and ring the bell. This shouldn't take but a few times before they catch on.
Potty problems in the house? Intact males/females tend to want to "mark" their territory, girls especially when in heat. Have your piggy spayed/neutered and you will see a huge difference. Baby piggies tend to have accidents because they can't always remember how to get back to their litter box. Do not let your pig have free run of the entire house or you will have accidents.
"Feeding Mini Pigs"
There are a few brands of pig food you can use. We use a pig feed called Ag Farmers, which is locally made. The most common brands available are Purina Pig & Sow or Mazuri Mini Pig. Either is fine. You can offer all vegies. Offering a small salad during the day. I usually give a carrot, couple of leaves of lettuce, basically any vegies will work. Celery is great since it is so low in caleries. Fruits as treats or for training along with cheerios. Shaking a cheerios box will bring any and all pigs to your door within 50 miles!
There really isn't much in the way of reading material for mini pigs. Most of us had to rely on "learn as we go" which every day is a learning experience with these guys. There are a few ways to help learn all you can on the mini pigs. the few books available online or at the bookstores written for mini pigs
There are quite a few mini pig groups on facebook that have very experienced breeders and mini pig owners in them. I have started one for my piggy families along with a few of my breeder friends to help answer questions and give advice. Feel free to join "Addicted To Mini Pigs"
Aww, we all have that dream of walking our piggies! well, it will happen IF you stick to it. The pigs natural instinct is to scream and run when they are lifted off the ground or constricted around their belly. This can be trained out of them by desensitizing them to the lifting and the constriction of the harness around them. Harness training takes awhile but can easily happen in time. There are a few great places to buy true pig harnesses from but www.PigGear.com is by far the best. You can pick your material and even get a matching leash. The harnesses expand for quit awhile so your piggy won't grow out of them over night.
"What to expect when you're expecting"
Ok, so you have decided a mini pig is for you and your family. Everyone is SO excited, you found your breeder, you picked out your piggy whether he/she is ready now or atleast the wait is finally over! you bring your new family member home, introduce them to their new piggy area with their new bed, bowls, and toys. You put your piggy in his happy home and he/she FREAKS running into walls, squealing, possibly trying to bite and when you go to touch him/her they squeal an ear piercing sound you had never heard before! this is not what you expected. I always tell my families the first week is like being in labor with a child. It is horrible! they want NOTHING to do with you, why? well, they are pigs, they are usually in some sort of outside enclosure, they are with their family and other pigs. Then now their family is gone, their familiar sights and smells are gone, they have no idea what is going on and why. This is totally normal. These guys are very routine type animals and the minute their routine is disturbed, they are confused and scared. This will subside in time. I tell every one, the more time you put into it the quicker the adjustment will happen. When I got my first guy, we put him in the kitchen since that seems to be the room with all the ruckus going on. We sat in there with him and tossed cheerios and grapes his way. I will say it took 2 to 3 weeks to get him fully adjusted and this includes completely potty trained to outdoors. Do not give up, do not force it, it will happen, it always does. Time, patience, and lots of treats is the key to a happy, well adjusted piggy. Get on the facebook group mentioned above and know that all the members have gone through what you are going through and can be a great support. We are also available for you anytime you have questions.
Thank you for reading our information page and we sure hope you find it helpful. We will be adding health information on vaccinations, wormings, how to weigh your piggy, etc. Check back periodically. Always remember, we are here for you 24/7 feel free to text, call or email 530-216-0177 Petiteminipigs@gmail.com
"Worming Your Pig"
How can you tell if your piggy has worms or other parasites? Pigs can get worms and other parasites just from being outside. Unlike other animals, these pesky little critters are extremely easy to take care of at home without needing to haul your piggy to the vet. Ivermectin (pictured below) is the wormer most breeders use on their herds. It will kill internal worms (not tapeworms) and will kill mites (scabies) and lice. We worm at 4 weeks and again at 6 weeks when the piggy is ready to go. If you see any scratching after you take your piggy home feel free to contact us and we will be happy to instruct you where to buy the wormer to have on hand for future wormings. If you little one will be mostly in the house, then worming every 6 months is USUALLY all that is needed. BUT if at anytime you do see them scratching more then normal then time to re-worm. Even though the bottle states it is injectable, you can give orally and even just squirt in their food. This oral dose is doubled from the injectable amount suggested on the box. It is good practice to worm monthly for preventative care.
For tapeworms, the use of Panacur will take are of the tapeworms.
Ivermectin - for cow, swine Panacur - for goats is fine