Got a Mini Pig? Or just thinking about it? Here are some tips on caring for babies.

Pig 1When picking up your new baby, bring a soft blanket with you. (A small pet carrier is a good idea, too, in case you don’t want to hold the piglet.) You may also choose to bring a leash and harness. Your piglet will need a dog harness that that adjusts under the chest and around the neck (or check out Pig Gear). Believe me piglets are fast and not much fun to catch! Please make sure you pig proof your home BEFORE picking up your piglet. You will do this just as you would for a toddler. Hide anything that could harm them and make sure to block/lock anything you don’t want them to get into. Pay special attention to wires and kitchen cupboards when making your home safe for your pig. Pigs are VERY smart and NEVER under estimate them 😉 For the first 2 weeks or so spoil your pig and form a bond. You will have to earn their trust. They tend to be shy at first until they get to know you. Pigs do not like to be held up off the ground so make sure to cradle them well and swaddling them with a blanket helps with security.

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When you bring home a new baby, do not be surprised if they don’t eat that day. Pigs are very smart, and very social. It sometimes takes a day or two to get adjusted when leaving their mom and litter mates. (No different than an older puppy.) Make sure to spend as much time with them as possible, so that they form a strong bond with you! For the best results, and the safety of your new piglet, begin crate training or section off a small area for them. They should have a bed, blanket, food, water and a pee pad or litter box. (Baby gates work amazing!) Your piglet will feel secure when it has it’s own space, and potty training will be much easier. If given a choice, pigs will not soil near where they sleep or eat, so make sure the litter box is placed away from the sleeping and eating areas. It is also equally important to keep the litter box in the same location. Shredded newspaper works best for litter, but never use clay cat litter or anything else that could be toxic if consumed! Cedar shavings are not recommended either, the strong aroma can irritate their respiratory system.

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Pigs love company and do very well roaming freely with the family. (If you have other pets, please, please introduce them slowly and supervise at all times!) They love to sleep and snuggle with you! Blankets are very important to pigs. Piglets will snuggle with stuffed animals, too! They often pull their blanket around with them, hiding and rooting in them. Pigs are a great companion and desire your attention. Don’t be surprised when you see your pig jump up on the couch with you (YES they can jump and sometimes as high as your bed) and follow you around the house. Amazingly, they can also climb, if they see something they want. Pigs love to play with toys; balls, and toddler toys that they can use their snouts for are the best. Pig playing the piano. Pigs even love to watch TV and listen to music! Whatever set up you choose it is important to keep the food & water and the littler pan in the same place. Girl 5, pic 1

You will want to have a fenced area for your pig and pay special attention to the gate. (Make sure your pig can not open it with their snout). Until the piglet gets bigger, it is best to use a harness and leash. They are very fast and can squeeze through spots you would not think possible. Especially during the summer, protect your piglet from the sun. Use a sunscreen on your pig any time they are outside for more than a few minutes, to prevent sunburns. Pigs use mud as a natural sunscreen, but inside pigs aren’t able to do so. Make sure they have some shade if you leave them in an outside pen. It is very important to keep clean water out for pigs at ALL times. Pigs can swim and love to play in water when it is hot outside. They love to play in small kiddie pools.  Supervise when they are young around water, until you make sure they can climb safely out of the pool.

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Food & Water

Diet of your mini pig is extremely important! We use Mazuri Mini Pig Youth food, but any Pig food will do. (In my experience, Puppy Chow works, too.) Babies should have be fed twice a day, 1/4 cup of food per serving. It is a good idea to moisten it at first, with water or a little bit of milk. It is okay to feed little more the first few weeks. At about 6 months, increase the food to a 1/2 cup per serving, and begin an Adult food. We give 1/2 of a children’s multivitamin (make sure it does NOT include ASPARTAME as it is toxic to pigs) to our piglets until 6 months of age, and then a whole vitamin. Our pigs are offered and have free choice of fresh fruits and vegetables. (Avocados can be toxic.) We also use cheerios, salt free popcorn, plain cooked oatmeal, sunflower seeds, toddler snacks and other low calorie treats for training, and well, just for treats. (Always offer treats in moderation!) Remember, a mini pig is still a pig, and pigs love to eat!!! They will act like they are starving, but do not give in! (This is why we feed vegetables and fruits.)

It is important that your pig get plenty of exercise! Walking your pig provides good exercise for you and your pig. Pigs love balls, give your pig a yoga ball or other strong large ball, and watch it go! Watch a pig play! Mini pigs may need to have their hooves trimmed a couple times a year. If you will walk your pig, or your pig has access to concrete or other like surface, this should keep them filed down.

Pigs have sensitive skin. Only bathe when necessary, when they are dirty or smelly. Use a sensitive soap, such as baby wash or Ivory on them. A light scrub brush or loofah can help get any dead skin off they may have. Once dry, put baby or other sensitive skin lotion on them.

Mini pigs normally have a good immune system, so vaccination may not be necessary, but please consult with your veterinarian and/or check local laws concerning vaccinations, including rabies.  Pigs can also be wormed twice a year, for good measure.

***Note if you are picking up a piglet from Sweet Basil,  and have not paid in full, we will only accept CASH!***

This helpful information is based on our experience, and is our own opinion, only. We are not vets. Always use your best judgement, and consult your veterinarian when necessary.

Find us, like us, share us! We are Sweet Basil Farm & Garden on Facebook, Google + and all social media (find and like us for more videos, pictures, recipes, helpful tips and more.) We are a Middle Georgia producer of farm fresh fruits and vegetables and members of the American Poultry Association, licensed by the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture as Poultry Dealers and Brokers, and a proud member of the Georgia Grown program, a division of the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture. We also breed, sell and ship poultry, pet pigs, bearded irises and much more. We have an 80 acre working farm, putting great emphasis on all natural gardening and livestock management practices. An 1840s general store is situated on our property, and serves as our on-site farmer’s market. Conveniently located off of Interstate 75 near the Johnstonville Rd exit (#193). We are six miles west, located in Barnesville, Lamar County, Georgia.

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