July 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm #248841
Hello all, I am very tentatively exploring the idea of a pet pig. I was wondering if those of you with experience of pigs could help advise me please.
My situation is that DD1 loves animals but is allergic to most things furry, and DD2 desperately wants a companion pet – something she can love and cuddle and play with, not a snake or fish.
So … I’m wondering if a pig is likely to set off allergies. DD1 became allergic to cats first, then she got a pet rat and became allergic to him over time, and she has some wheezing around horses and dogs.
Would a pig be happy in a suburban home and quarter-acre garden? (We would want to house-train it.) Would it destroy the house or garden? I don’t mind turning over part of the backyard to it, but I still want my vege patch.
Are there breeds that are particularly small and/or easy to train?
Would a pig be happy as a single? The only other animals will be five hens. If we had a pen next to the henhouse would the hens provide enough entertainment?
How long could a pig be left alone for during the day? DD1 homeschools and DH works from home a lot, and I’ll be working part-time from next year. DD2 goes to school. Would a pet pig need constant companionship? Could it be trained to a crate like a dog, for when we need to go out?
Do they like going for walks? Could we harness it in the car and train it to a lead?
How long could we expect a pet pig to live for? Do they need lots of vaccinations and stuff? What would be the likely cost of keeping a pet pig compared with, say, a large dog? And is it hard to find a vet familiar with treating pet pigs?
So many questions! And I’m sure I’ll think of lots more too …
Thank you! :hug:July 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm #421330
OK, I think I’ve answered enough of my own questions to make a decision. Here’s what the Wonderpigs site says about pigs in backyards:
Personally, Iâ€™m against Pet Pigs Breeders selling pigs to people to keep in their backyards!! Why? For several reasons, firstly I own 9 pigs and know what pigs are like, Iâ€™ve seen a backyard after pig has lived in it, no grass, holes the size of â€œmeteorite cratersâ€ mud, dirt and mess!! Pigs are destructive, they dig, they investigate everything, are in continual pursuit for food and they wallow in mud. Your backyard will be trashed in very little time and may end up looking like a demolition site!!.
OK, so no pig for us. 😆 Hmm … I wonder what else might suit?July 15, 2009 at 1:10 am #421331TullymoorMember
Have a look at hairless Chinese Crested dogs :tup:July 15, 2009 at 3:12 am #421332kellyellykikiMember
there is labradoodles cross between a lab and a poodle so no hair shedding.
my girlfriend had one and she was allergic to furry things.
chinese crested may look funny but are the sweetest things.
and the there is a cat version i think they are called sphinx’sJuly 15, 2009 at 4:20 am #421333YuffieMember
I know you already made your decision but your post reminded me of one of Dr Cooper’s house call visit to a pet pig in a Brisbane suburb a while ago.
If I rememeber correctly, the pig owner also kept chooks, and he walks the pig on a leash, and the neighbours came out and fed the pig with fruits ~ 😀July 15, 2009 at 6:04 am #421334
Thanks Tully! I’m investigating now. :hug:July 15, 2009 at 6:34 am #421335
Hi Kelly, yes I’ve heard poodles and poodle crosses are less allergenic but I’m a bit worried allergies could grow over time like they did with the rat.
Yuffie that’s cool!
I’ve also been thinking outdoor pets should be OK in general. It’s just not quite the same as having something you can curl up with inside.
🙂November 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm #421336arawajoMember
Regarding pet “mini-pigs”, I know this is in reply to a post over 2 years old, but, I have recently re-homed 3 poor pet pigs that grew too big for their homes.
It’s very sad for all concerned when a few years down the track these pigs reach their real size.
I am getting them used to being farm animals, well farm pets really as I’m not going to eat them. They knew a world of constant attention and rides in the car and walkies on a lead and sitting in front of the heater in winter watching telly with their family. And they grew and they grew.
I have them on my 20 acres and they have a dam to wallow in and grass to eat and they sleep in a shed with hay for a bed. But usually these pet mini-pigs have lots of lovely fresh fruit and veggies and a blanket at night.
I can only afford to feed them cheap grains once a day, but that’s better than being trucked to the abattoir I guess, which is happening to some ex-pet pigs I’ve heard about.
I’d like to get the message out there that there is really no such thing as a mini pig, they are small pigs. They grow quite big and are not suitable for 1/4 acre backyards in suburbia.
Mine all look no different than any feral pig you see in those dreadful shooters magazines.
They are very loving, loyal pets though and I’m really enjoying having them here. I would recommend them as a pet to anyone with enough acreage.
They love a tummy rub and it’s so funny to see them instantly hit the ground and roll over a soon as I start to rub them on the belly.
I have 2 boys and a girl. When I figure out how to post a pic I will put some pics of them on here.November 2, 2011 at 12:17 am #421337BobbeeMember
Good commonsense advice there arawajo. It may help someone else. How kind of you to house those poor piggies. :hug:
I have read ‘somewhere’ that there are no such things as mini pigs, might have been on als a number of years ago perhaps. Probably needs to be resaid regularly for newbies who don’t know.
:hug:November 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm #421338treetopsdreamingMember
For all you pig lovers out there, I read a really nice book about the life of a pig several months ago… The book was called “The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood” by Sy Montgomery.
Essentially, Sy raised her pig, Christopher, from the time of his birth (as a runt of the litter) to the ripe old age of 13 (reaching 750 lbs). Although the book goes in many directions, you can learn alot about what it takes to look after a happy pig over a long period of time!
I was able to borrow a copy through my local library… Enjoy 🙂April 13, 2012 at 5:18 am #421339SnoopyMember
Any ALSers actually have pigs?
We’re looking at getting 2 smaller pigs on our 22 acres. We expect a little more interaction than straight farm pigs, but not quite to the extent of travel in car and walk on a lead….
We’re hoping we can get their gardening abilities to work with turning soil over and prepping an area for planting. Does anyone have any success with something similar?April 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm #421340mauziMember
Hi, Snoopy. We have kept pigs for many years. Our breeding pigs are quite like dogs really, they love a scratch, follow us around and if we are working in their area, they pretty much prefer to hang with us….very inquisitive. Like any animal, you need to understand their nature, handle them well as young animals (feed is absolutely the best tool when working with a pig), although be aware they can get a bit boisterous at feed time.
If you would like I can put up some keys to quietening pigs?
As far as pigs working the earth, on my ALS blog “Mauzies Place” I have (as well as others) a few bits and pieces about working the earth with pigs, as well as on our Website (see bottom blue link) I have quite a lot of information about pigs.
The biggest key is to keep them in a smaller area, let them work the soil and then move them to the next area you want work, be it further on in the same place to make it bigger or a different area. If you leave them in too big an area (depending on numbers of pigs), they will work some parts of the are and not others and if you leave them too long they can compact the area and make big holes. They are excellent to work rough areas as well, blackberries, rocky areas (certainly makes it easier to collect rocks), tea tea, break up wind rows (piled logs), ….all sorts of things.
MauziApril 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm #421341SnoopyMember
Been for a bit of a look around your website – very helpful… Now to try and find your blog…April 14, 2012 at 3:16 am #421342debbie vdkMember
Hi Snoopy, :wave: we haven’t had pigs for a few years now and we really miss them.We used to keep ours in the permanent pens and yards and let them out to free range a few times a week..you need to make sure the vegie gardens are secure though and that any burn offs are out because they love to eat charcoal.I’m hoping we’ll be on our block soon and the pigs will be the first livestock we’ll get.Not sure what sort yet. 🙂April 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm #421343mauziMember
Snoopy, the blog is on page two of the “Recent Topics” and there are also photos on the website under “Photos” – then down to “pigs”.
debbie, agree with the charcoal…pigs love it….in an old pig keeping book I read many years ago it stated that if you let your pig have access to charcoal you will never have a sick pig…so the old timers knew of the value of it for animal health. Also agree about fencing. We run a strand of barb at the bottom of our fences to deter them pushing up the fencing, which they love to do. We also run a permanent fence “feral fence” on the outside and electric their movable areas…making sure we train them young about electrics. Another thing we learned early on is to make sure that piglets are well secured…either with three strands of electric set low and checked regularly or with a fine meshed feral fence or the like that they cannot get through. They can be little marauders otherwise, and be everywhere you don’t want them :D:
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