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     Information about Miniature Pigs

  About Miniature Pigs                                   

Miniature Pigs- live up to 10 - 15 years. They are clean, social, very intelligent and they even outsmart a dog, they will come to their name, learn tricks and go for a walk on a harness & lead.

They like a clean dry place to sleep and will pick one corner of their night pen to go to the toilet. So really they are very clean animals.

The only reason there is the fallacy that pigs are a dirty animal

is only due to the way people have kept them.

I tell everyone...  if you were put in a 10x10 pen and you had to sleep,

Eat and go to the Toilet in that small pen.... you would Stink Too....!

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  Understanding a Miniature Pig                                   

Miniature pigs are a herd animal, meaning that they hang in a group. In that group they will always have a lead-pig, even in a litter of piglets there is always one

lead-piglet, the lead-pig is the boss so he/she is the dominate one of the group and the one that warns the other miniature pigs against any impending danger.

When your miniature pig first comes into your family, he/she needs to know from the start that you are the boss, because of their high intelligence they will try to be the dominant one to see what they can get away with.  

When you become a new mini-piglets owner you will become your piglets mother so you need to teach him/her how you would like them to behave.

You will need to say “NO” when they are naughty and not give into them.

Miniature pigs are very much like a 2 year old child, if you give into one of their tantrums they will try it again and again. 

Also piglets don’t like to get picked up, they hate their hoofs to be off the ground as they feel unsafe and  vulnerable, the only defence a mini-pig has against predators is to squeal and to run, this is why they like to keep all four hoofs on the ground in case they feel threatened they can run away.

All of our piglets for-adoption are named “piggy piggy” it is easier if they all have one name for training, feeding and also when we call them they will come to us to be put in the back yard or to be put to bed.

They love routine, repetition and rewards.

When you become a miniature piglets new owner and continue using the training

techniques that we use, your piglet will learn to trust and adore you.

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  Housing a Miniature Pig                                               

You will need a shelter eg- small garden shed, large dog kennel or a home made shelter. Miniature Pigs have a high body temperature (39 degrees) so they feel the cold. They need clean mulch hay or blankets for their bedding.

       (Of a day they are let out to graze)

It is a good idea to have a pen attached to their housing so they can be put to bed if you need to do something and  you don't want your miniature pigs help.

When they are in their outside pen they will go to the toilet in one place, usually

at the opposite end to where they eat and sleep, so it's easy to keep their pens

clean and it makes a great fertilizer in your compost heap.       

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  Water for your Miniature Pig                                     

A mini-pig needs clean drinking water, you will need to secure their water bowl or get a heavy one, as they love to play with it and knock it over but this needs to be cleaned everyday. 

The best water bowl I have used is a – Mini Drink-O-Mat. (email us for supplier)

It is a gravity fed water bowl with a nib inside that only releases water when your

miniature pig has his/her snout pressed against it.

Or you can purchase pig-nibs; they let out water when the mini-pig presses on it.

(You can buy  these at your  produce - store).

 

WARNING !!! If your miniature pig doesn't have sufficient drinking water it will

dehydrate and get salt-poisoning of the brain this is incurable.

Symptoms include: walking in small circles, incoherent, won't eat or drink.

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  Vaccinations & Worming                                              

Vaccinations

Check with your local DPI office to see what vaccinations are required for your pet pig.

Miniature pigs are vaccinated with Lepto-Eryvac at 6 weeks of age.

Then once a year they have a booster.

Eryvac prevents Leptospirosis and protection against Swine Erysipelas caused by insidiosa infection.

 

Worming

We use an injectable wormer for internal and external parasites.

Piperazine Solution (For poultry and pigs) is another type of worming treatment you can get from your local produce store. Or you can ask your vet for a suitable wormer.  

The easiest way to give a miniature pig their worming medicine is to put it onto a slice of bread and then give it before normal feeding.

I also give my miniature pigs 1/2 - teaspoon of yellow sulphur sprinkled over there food, this helps with the control of worms and any ticks or mites.

(it sours their blood)

I also use the sulphur in our dogs food.

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  Miniature Pig Health                                                      

Miniature pigs are normally very healthy when they are kept as a domestic pet.

They don't normally get the normal pig problems as they would in a commercial piggery.

Your miniature pig will need to be vaccinated with Eryvac once a year and wormed

every 3 months. Or according to the wormer that you have purchased.

 

Is my Miniature Pig Sick….?

The first thing you will notice is that he/she will not be interested in anything.

      He/she is not interested eating.

      He/she is not interested drinking.

      He/she is standing still with his/her snout pointing to the ground-

      (not eating grass)

      He/she is laying down and won't get up for food.

      You must take your mini-pig to the Vet …!

 

Miniature pigs can get an intestinal blockage if they are fed too much food at one meal, they may become lethargic and lay down a lot and they are not very interested in their food, you may also notice them stretching their back legs out to try and ease the pain. 

They can get very sick or even die within 24 hours.

 

Miniature Pigs can get a Pig-Mite

(Pig mites don't live on any other animal or human)

You will notice your miniature pig is rubbing against a wall or scratching, they can also loose hair and get a rash, we use Fido's Concentrate Rinse on our miniature pigs as we also get the paralysis tick here, you can purchase it from your vet or pet store.

Keeping your Miniature Pig Cool

Make sure that your miniature pig has access to shade and a wading pool for them to cool off in, as they can get sunburn or heat stroke. You can also use sunscreen on the back of his/her ears.

 

Warning.....!

It is illegal to feed your miniature pig any kind of meat or meat product, also no imported dairy products. Feeding this can cause an outbreak of diseases like

foot & mouth.

Also...

If your mini-pig is allowed inside, make sure that he can't bite into electrical cords

and all chemicals are put out of  reach.

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  Nose Rings for Miniature Pigs                                    

Miniature pigs normally just graze on grass of a day. But they will dig the ground with their snout if they don't have a nose ring.

If your live in residential I suggest getting a nose ring for your miniature pig.

You can teach them to dig only in their sandpit but this does take time.

 

The nose-rings is put in between the nostril.

(not through the tip of the snout)

 

We do sell nose rings for miniature pigs

 

Nose ring in the nostril

of a miniature pig

 

 

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  Litter Training a Miniature Pig                                    

I find it quite easy to litter train a miniature pig, as they are very clean and like to use the same spot to go to the toilet if they are in their night pen or inside.

There is step by step instructions to litter training your miniature pig in our:

or it's FREE when you purchase one our miniature piglets.

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  Training a Miniature Pig to Sit                                   

Stand in front of your miniature pig.

Hold a treat just above his/her snout and say - “Sit (Piggy’s -Name)”…

At the same time slowly move the treat back towards his/her eyes until he/she sits.

When your mini-pig has sat down…

give him/her the treat and say - 

"good (piggys name)”.

 

If you are having trouble getting your miniature pig to sit..?

Try training him/her in front of a wall, so when your miniature pig touches the wall their bottom automatically goes to the ground…

 

When he/she is comfortable doing this trick hide the treat in your hand and get your miniature pig to sit by just saying –

“Sit (piggys -name)” and only giving the treat when he/she has sat.

 

When your mini-pig has mastered this trick, just give a pat on his/her head and say

"good (piggys name)

 

Using treats is for initial training, then only to give a treat occasionally

just to keep his/her interest.

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  How to Bath a Mini-Pig                                                 

Giving your miniature pig a bath is just a personal preference. You can just let him/her clean them selves in a small child's shell pool.

Putting baby oil in the water helps to keep their skin from getting too dry and flaky.

The best that I have found to wash your miniature pig with is an Anti-dandruff shampoo as their skin can get dry and be sensitive. When you bath your miniature pig he/she needs to feel secure, so you need to put a small hand towel or a bath mat on the bottom of the bath. You will also need a sponge.

 

Put him/her into the bath, hold his/her front legs together in your left hand and

put your right hand on his/her shoulders so he/she is in a sitting position and say in a gentle voice – "good “piggys name”.

If he/she starts to jump around, push down gently on his/her shoulders with your right hand and say in a gentle voice…"good “piggys name” until he/she calms down.

Sit your mini-pig in this position till he/she is used to the water and keep saying

to him/her…"good “piggys name”.

Always hang onto your mini-pigs front legs so they stay in a sitting position and

then they feel secure and with your right hand pick up the sponge and gently put

water on his/her back.

When he/she is used to this you can then put some shampoo on and wash him/her.

Once your mini-pig is used to having a bath you will no longer need to hold onto

his/her legs as he/she will be used to having a bath and will just sit while you give

him/her their shampoo bath.

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  What to Feed a Miniature Pig and When                  

Your miniature pig should be fed in the afternoon and allowed to graze on grass of a day.

We feed our miniature pigs natural grain or fruit & veg.

Treats are given once a day only when we are training our miniature pigs.

      Never... feed your pet pig Meat.

      It is illegal in Australia to feed any pig meat,

       meat products or imported dairy.

      As it can cause diseases like foot and mouth disease..

Put your miniature pigs food into a bowl, if it is put onto the ground he/she will

continually go back to this area looking for their food and if there is no food there they will start to dig around in that area causing a mess…

The only one who has control of the food is You, so don’t let your miniature pig

become demanding for food.

Never give food to your miniature pig if he/she gets impatient and starts to squeal.

They only try this to see if they can get away with it and to get you to hurry up and feed them. The best thing to do is to walk away from getting their food ready and tell them that you won't get dinner by squealing.

Then try again in 5 minutes....

              - if there is no squealing give them their dinner.

              -if they squeal again, walk away and wait another 5 minutes.

They only try this as piglets.... their natural mother won't tolerate it, so neither should you. Their natural mother will lay down on her belly so they can't get to her teats and only when they stop squealing will she roll over so they can feed.

 

If you do feed a squealing piglet he/she will soon work out that the squealing gets them food…. real quick….

And when this happens…? Congratulations…!

Your miniature pig has just trained you to feed him/her as quick as possible… 

So don’t give in….!

 

Miniature pigs are very intelligent and if they think they can get you to give them more food they will....!

Food is their main passion as piglets.. so it is up to you to take over from their

mother and teach them when breakfast and dinner is...

 

Miniature pigs DO NOT get the… “I’m full feeling.”

This is why the meat industry loves pigs; they will eat huge amounts of food and

grow very quickly. 

This gives the meat industry or the farmer a quick mass meat turnover in less time than any other meat animal, they are slaughtered before they are 3-6 months old, so no long term health issues from over feeding are a concern.

 

This is why you have to measure your miniature pigs food of an afternoon. In between, they graze on grass and have some fruit when training.

Remember that he/she is not really hungry but for hundreds of years they have been fed huge amounts of food and now as pets they need to be retrained to be fed correctly. Other wise you will be shortening you miniature pigs life by Years…!

 

Miniature pigs are very much like humans and can get the same health problems we get from over eating. If we let ourselves gorge on food just for the sake of eating our lives are threatened and shortened by heart disease from too much fat around the heart, clogged arteries, liver and kidney problems plus obesity.

So please DO NOT over feed your miniature pig! 

 

It’s ok to give your miniature pig treats when you are training them but once he/she has learned one particular trick you lessen the treats and just continue with voice commands and just giving a treat every now and then.

 

Miniature pigs also like to forage for food, if you don’t want your mini-pig to dig in your garden or the lawn, you can make them a sand pit to dig in.

Or - Use a nose ring.

If you live in Residential I do recommend a nose ring for your miniature pig.

They can still dig in their sand pit with a nose ring.

 

 Make a Sand Pit for your Miniature Pig...

      Either out of timber or using a child's shell pool with some holes drilled into

      the bottom for drainage. Fill it with sand and hide some river rocks in the

      sand and then once a day put some carrot sticks or other treat hidden in 

      the sand and under the rocks. This will teach your miniature pig to dig in this

       spot and it will keep him/her amused for hours.

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© DFDeJong2003-2012                       This Information is to be Used as a Guide Only                                                        Back to Top of Page