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Tennessee Potbellied Pig Association

Bringing Your New Pig Home

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Anytime you move a pig from place to place, it is very hard on them both physically and emotionally. Pigs are such creatures of habit and routine, that any little change is traumatic to them. It is especially hard on a young piglet when it is separated from its Mother and Siblings for the first time. Pigs are physically stressed very easily and can suffer heart problems, breathing problems, heat stroke, and other stress related problems from being uprooted and moved. They are also very intelligent, emotional beings, and do feel a sense of loss and grieve, when they are separated from other pigs and people that they are used to being with.

For those reasons, the utmost care needs to be followed when moving a pig into a new home, with new people and other animals.

How you introduce a pig into a new home and family can make the difference between a happy, well-bonded pig, and a pig that is aggressive and hard to bond and interact with.

If you have young children and other animals in your home is it very important that they have very limited exposure to the pig for the first few days, in order for the pig to get settled in, and feel safe and secure in its new surroundings. This is especially true of a very young piglet. Many young piglets have died after being brought into a new home because young children handled them too much, chased them too much, and stressed them out to the point that their little hearts just give out from being over handled and over stressed. So, limit handling of the pig the first few days until it is settled in well.

Also, make sure that young children or other animals are not chasing the pig. It is very harmful for any pig to be chased.

When you bring your new pig home, be sure to have all the necessary care items already on hand, and have a private place set up for the pig to sleep and get away from loud noise, children, and other animals, that can stress the pig out.

A few things you will need to have on hand before you bring the pig home are:

Potbellied Pig Feed, a feed and water dish, a few treats such as apples, cheerios, carrots, or other nutritious snacks, bedding such as clean straw or blankets, ( no blankets or comforters with stuffing), and baby gates, if you plan on keeping it in your home. You can also prepare your medical and maintained kit as well, as described on another page of this site. Click Here for that page.

Once you bring your pig home, let it gradually settle in by letting it root and sniff in the yard. Make sure it is without other animals and kids around to frighten it while it explores its new surroundings. More importantly, make sure your fence is secure, and there are no holes or weak spots in it where the pig can get out of the yard or pasture !

Once it has explored a bit, you can offer it some snacks. It is best not to go up to the pig, but rather you sit down in a chair or on a step and hold the treats out, and let the pig come to you. Never chase a pig or try to approach a frightened pig. After a few times of holding the snack out and letting the pig come to you, it should start feeling a bit more secure about its surroundings, and about you. If the pig permits it, you can also try to gently rub its belly. Usually it takes awhile before a pig will trust you enough for it to lie down and let you rub its belly or brush its hair. Once it does, you know that you have bonded, and that the pig trusts you J

Also, keep in mind that even very young piglets have very sharp little teeth, and can bite the fire out of you ! So always use caution when handling a piglet, and never let very young children handle it, as it can bite to the bone on young children.

Since piglets hate to be picked up, they will also scream very loudly ! This is a natural behavior, and they will not stop doing it, until they just outgrow it. So, be prepared for screaming that can hurt your ears. If you can teach your little piglet it’s name, it will learn quickly how to come when called, so you won’t have to pick it up and make it scream.

 

Basically, in a nutshell, when you bring a new pig into your home, you need allot of patience to let it get its bearings, feel safe, and bond with you, in its own time, self discipline so you don’t over handle it, or over feed it, good earplugs, for the screaming, and lots and lots of love to give it. J