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MountainWoman

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I'm getting two KuneKune piglets next week. It's my first time as a pig Mom and wondered if anyone else has pigs. I've bought lots of books and the breeder has been helpful but I'd love to hear your experiences. These are pet boys (no plans to raise piglets).
 

Charlene

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you are gonna absolutely fall MADLY in love with them!!! i have 4 pots and they live outside (i assume yours will be inside?). my first pig was a surprise, brought to me by a friend. she was 3 months old and wild as a march hare. took me weeks to tame her but now she is very affectionate. my second piggy i bought as an 8 week old. he oozes personality! my last 2 are rescues. lilly grew too big to stay in the house and had been confined to one room for quite a while. she LOVES her wide open spaces now. she was VERY timid the first couple of weeks and would charge me if i got too close. once she knew i was ok, she warmed right up to me. my 4th piggy came from a home where he apparently wasn't doing well with the children. he is a real corker! he knows several tricks and he is very outgoing, will go to anybody for belly rubs.

pigs are awesome pets!!! they are extremely smart and very lovable. they get very attached to their humans! are you planning to litter train them? this can be done easily but takes quite a bit of time. you should feed them food specially made for pot bellied pigs and supplement the pellets with fresh veggies and/or fruit.

left to right, lilly, arnold ziffel, porkahontas

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this is harley. i got him last fall. he was much smaller at only about 35#. he wore a coat for the first few weeks until he got acclimated to the colder temps here.

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harley spent his first couple of weeks in a pen i built to keep him separated from the others until they got to know him. integrating pigs into an existing herd can be dicey but he's such a bold little guy that once i turned him loose with the others, he did great! he and lilly are joined at the hip. all 4 pigs sleep in a heap.

pigs are very much creatures of habit. they love their routines and get to know them very quickly! while my pigs are eating a meal, i am cleaning up their poops. once that's done and they are finished with their pellets, they all line up for cookies (tiny puppy biscuits). they each get 4 or 5 and when i hold my hands up and say "aaaaall gone", they turn and walk away. well, all except arnold...he will root at my ankles till i sneak him another cookie or two!

can't wait to see pics of your piglets!!!!
 
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MountainWoman

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Charlene, thanks! That was so helpful! Where did you find the coat? I need a couple of those. I'm very excited about their arrival. I really appreciate all your help and love your piggies!!
 

Charlene

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a few more pics...my pigs LOVE water/mud in the summer! i live on sand so it's hard to keep a "pond" for them. i got a plastic pool and made them a mud wallow.

LillyandArnoldinthemud.jpg


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i also picked up a couple of these pools made especially for pigs. they are GREAT and the pigs LOVE them. on hot days, they will sleep with their bodies in the water and their heads resting on the edge. this is a video of lilly with her new pool. it was her birthday present when she turned 3 last summer.
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i picked up the coat at a farm supply store. it's actually a dog coat! i have several links i will post for you later today where you can buy the pools and you can have little coats custom made. i'll also dig out one of the books i bought when i got my first pig. it's the "piggy bible"!
 
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Charlene

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here is the book...

http://potbellypigofmyheart.com/books.htm

nancy is GREAT and very willing to answer questions via phone. i have talked to her a couple of times.

this is where i got the pools...

http://www.paheartland.com/ppspecitems.htm

they can also be used for a rooting box. you can put pea gravel in them and or sand or whatever else you want and then throw pellets in for them to root around for. pigs LOVE to root and if you keep them inside, this will give them something to do. much like dogs, a bored pig is a bad pig. they can be extremely destructive. do a google search for images of pig destruction. you won't believe what you see!!!

here is where you can get custom made coats...

http://pigstore.stores.yahoo.net/cofipigco.html

i am SO glad to know you don't have plans to breed. pig rescues and santuaries are loaded with pots that people bought as tiny piglets and were told they would only grow to 25-30#. when they inevitably reach 80 or 90# or more and become destructive out of boredom because people lose interest in them, they end up in rescue.

how old will your piggies be when you get them? they should not be taken from their momma until 8 weeks. also, i assume you plan to neuter your little guys. do read up on the procedure and find a vet who has experience with pots if you can. certain anethesia methods are a big no no with pigs and great care must be taken. whatever you do, do NOT let a vet talk you into castrating them like they do farm pigs. it's barbaric!
 

MountainWoman

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My new boys are about 4 months old and they have already been fixed by the breeder and they are definitely pets and not going to be turned into food either. They should weigh between 150 to 200 pounds at maturity so they will have their own piggie housing. I've been thinking about adding pigs for a couple of years and took a long time to make the decision. I really appreciate your help and I LOVE the photos. Thanks so much! I'll try to get permission to post a photo but they'll be here next week and then I'll take pictures. They came from Black Valley Farms KuneKune pigs and here is the link: Black Valley Farms
 

Charlene

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that looks like a GREAT breeder!!! do you know if they have done any harness training with them? harley and lilly are both trained to walk with a harness on. i can't wait for good weather to get harley out. he LOVES to go for car rides!
 

MountainWoman

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I was wondering how you walked a pig. I'm going to have to learn.
 

Charlene

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it really isn't any different that teaching a dog to walk in harness. there are specially made harnesses for pots that fit their oddly shaped figures. just put the harness on, attach a leash, let him walk around with it for a couple of days to get used to the feel. once he gets used to it, pick up the leash. let HIM go where he wants as he feels a little resistance. once he's comfortable doing that, coax him to move WITH you by offering little treats (cheerios work very well). lots of praise and "gooood boys!!!" will work wonders. if he balks, don't force him. with treats, it won't take long before he's following you everywhere. they are SO smart and you don't want them to associate anything bad with their training. they may squeal their displeasure once in a while but if you are gentle with them, they catch on very quickly.

something else you need to do (and i suspect your breeder has already done this) is to get them used to having their feet handled. they will have to have their toes trimmed once or twice a year and it's MUCH easier if they learn to lay still for it. lilly and porkahontas are not good at this but arnold and harley are very cooperative. it helps to have two people...one to give constant tummy rubs, the other to clip the toenails. most pigs will lay quietly as long as somebody is rubbing their tummy!

don't be surprised if, once your pigs learn you are their momma, they are very standoffish with strange people. pigs know very quickly who their humans are and they are very suspicious of strangers. the couple of times i have had to be away from home overnight, i had to have my friend here several times prior to leaving so that my pigs would get to know her and know that she was ok. harley will go to anybody, arnold takes a few minutes to check out a new person, both girls are extremely hesitant to let strangers approach them.

if you have kids or if kids visit with you and want to play with the pigs, don't EVER let them chase. in hot weather, pigs can get stressed very quickly and if they are being chased, they can drop over dead from the heat. i once had a friend bring her grandkids out to see the pigs. i went in the house for a minute or two and when i went back outside, i found the kids chasing the pigs because they liked to see them run. i just about went ballistic!! what the heck is wrong with some people???

what color are your oinkers? if they are white, they will need sunscreen in the summer. arnold's ears will get sunburned if i don't keep some on him. also, believe it or not, ticks WILL attach to a pig, usually behind their ears or under their tails where the skin is not as thick as the rest of their bodies. i just use human insect repellent, spray it on my hands and wipe those places. pigs don't lick their bodies so they won't ingest it. there's a specific repellent you can get for pigs but every time i try to order it, it's never in stock!

disciplining a pig is pretty easy. there's a method called MTP (Move The Pig) that is very effective. you will want to use this if your pig invades your space, especially if he takes a liking to rooting on your ankles. trust me on this one, a pig's snout is HARD and when he's constantly crashing into your ankle with it, IT HURTS! MTP consists of just that...moving the pig. LOL! what you do is this...you reach down and push on his shoulder until he moves away and while you are doing this, you are chanting "mooooove the pig!!!". this is how hierarchy is established within a piggy herd...one pig will move another pig by pushing on his shoulder. i won't name names but a certain little white oinker is pretty determined when he wants treats and rooting on my ankles is his way of saying I WANT MORE! i have to get pretty firm with him to let him know this behavior isn't acceptable. he still tries. every. single. day. LOL

can't wait to see pics of your boys!!!
 

MountainWoman

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Thanks so much for all the information. I'm loving all your posts! My boys are both red. My farrier has pigs so I think I'll just let him trim them when he comes to do the horses. I'm not sure I'd be able to trim their feet by myself because I'd be afraid I'd do it wrong. I really appreciate all you are doing to help my piggies! P.S. - I've named them Wilbur (after Charlotte's Web)and Festus (suggested to me by a friend.)
 
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Charlene

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trimming their feet, as long as they lay still, is easy peasy! i picked up some hoof trimmers made for ponies (something tells me you already have some!) and that's what i use. they do have a "quick" that you want to stay away from. since pigs are prey animals, restraining them isn't easy. that's why it's best to get them used to having their feet handled. there's a really great video that shows how to do it. i'll see if i can find it. so, even if you don't trim them yourself, still get them used to having their feet handled.

i'm sure your breeder will guide you as far as a deworming schedule. even though my pigs never leave the farm (unless harley is going for a car ride), i still deworm them every six months. i use liquid ivermectin. i detest giving shots so i just inject it into a big marshmallow and they scarf it right down. :D

pigs have notoriusly dry skin. since my pigs don't have thick hair, i slather them with lotion and make sure they have mud to wallow in. you can also feed them a raw egg a couple of times a week which helps with skin/hair health. lilly looked like a freakin' alligator when i got her. her skin was SO dry, she had huge scales all up and down her back. she was itching constantly. a few days of lotion and it was a LOT better!

are your boys littermates? i'll just throw this out there in case they are not and they haven't been raised together to this point. when you introduce new pigs to each other, there WILL be some squealing and carrying on and lots of "posturing" until they figure out who is the top hog. i have been extremely lucky because every time i've brought a new pig in, there was very little fighting. however, that isn't the norm! if you are introducing strange pigs to each other, you will want to stay out there with them and have a trash can lid handy to put between them if it gets too intense. sometimes pigs will fight to the point where one gets pretty torn up but for the most part, they just need to work it out. unless you see one getting really beat up on, it's best to NOT separate them as they WILL fight until it's worked out. i've had other pig moms tell me that they put a new pig in and then go shopping because it's so hard to watch the pecking order being established.

if you have dogs, NEVER EVER EVER turn your back. oftentimes, you will see pics of dogs playing with or sleeping with pot bellied pigs. this is quite the exception to the rule. a pig's squeal can and will incite a dog's prey drive and it's an invitation to disaster. one of the ladies on my yahoo pig group brought home a tiny piglet. they were out in the yard with her collie. she turned her back for literally 2 seconds and the dog attacked the pig. she nearly lost the little guy and it took many weeks of caring for terrible wounds before he was better. my dogs are NEVER allowed inside the pig pen. they do interact but always from the other side of the fence. in fact, swee' pea and harley have this little game where they face off nose to nose, pea barks, harley spins and runs away and then comes back and they do it all over again. rinse and repeat until one of them tires! LOL

when you are giving your piggies treats by hand, be very careful. they can bite and bite HARD!!!

i'm not sure where you live but if you have a winter, you will want to make sure your pigs get enough liquids. if they don't, they will get constipated very quickly. this time of year, i give my piggies warm juice...hawaiian punch, prune juice, cranberry juice. what i do is pour a little into a 1 gallon pitcher (maybe 2 cups or so) and then top it off with hot water. after they eat their pellets, they each get a helping of warm juice poured into their feed bowls. they LOVE it and it's hilarious to watch them slurp it down. arnold always buries his snout in it and blows bubbles while he's drinking. too cute!

pigs LOVE big cushy pillows and stuffed animals! here's a video of arnold when he was a baby, playing with a big teddy bear that the dogs so graciously let him have. LOL



i also have drilled holes in a couple of plastic soda bottles, put pellets in them and let the pigs roll them around. it doesn't take them long before they figure out...hmmm, roll the bottle, get a treat!

LOVE the names you have picked out!! have you seen the video of the little pig using a wheel chair because his back end doesn't work? OMG it's adorable! his name is cris p. bacon. LOL

here is the video of forrest getting his feet trimmed.


this is part one. if you go to youtube and type in "hoof trimming pot bellied pig", you will see this one and there's also a part 2.
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MountainWoman

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First pics.

2013feb26thpiggies 004.JPG

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I didn't realize how vocal they would be. Quite the noisy fellows! Thanks again for all your help and advice. I really appreciate it and you really have helped me a lot!
 

KanoasDestiny

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Oh my gosh, I'm in love!!! I've always wanted a piglet. Not so much a big oversized pig though. Too bad they didn't stay tiny and adorable forever. Congrats!
 
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Charlene

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ohmyGOSH, they are SO adorable!!!!! i remember when arnold was tiny, miss those days because he was so much easier to cuddle with!

their vocalizations will lessen when they get used to you and their new home. right now, they are very insecure having left the only place they ever knew. it won't take long and they'll be settled right in!

how they doing? are they tame?? i expect your breeder handled them a lot. i bet you are having a BLAST!! :D

did you get any toys for them? stuffed animals are great and so are those little beach balls you can get at the dollar store. when porkahontas was little, she LOVED rolling those around. we used to play "catch". LOL

eta: here's a short video of her playing with a ball i found at a garage sale. best 50 cents i ever spent!

 
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