Baby pigs is the reason I raise pet pigs now. Many years ago after reading about raising pigs I talked my husband into taking me to Indiana where I purchased some registered Berkshire pigs. These are regular farm pigs that get HUGE! My male berkshire male “Crackerbarrel” when grown was at least 800-900lbs. When the sow had piglets she would have about 10-13 piglets at a time. One day as I was standing leaning over a sow getting ready to have babies I did not see the boar “Crackerbarrel” come up behind me. He took his snout caught me behind the leg and flipped me over the sow into the fence. Of course it scared me but I realized that he was not trying to hurt me but treating me like one of the girls. But it did get me thinking of how easily he could have killed me if he wanted to. Then a few months later he started lifting the posts out of the ground and coming into the yard when he wanted too. At that time although paralyzed my husband could still walk but if he fell he would not be able to get up. I was still working and it worried me that if he fell in the yard while I was at work that anything could happen. I decided that I had to get rid of my pigs at that time so that nothing horrible would happen. So they all were sold. But I missed the cute, cute baby pigs. Yes, even full size farm pigs have cute baby pigs.
Then while looking on the computer one day I found that they were smaller pigs available. I started my search and found a breeder a few hours from me. They had a “teacup pig” available for sale a full grown teacup pig sow that had been bred. Of course I had to have her and went to pick her up. A beautiful blue eyed miniature pig that took two of us to load. I would estimate 125 lbs. but you have to realize I was use to 800 lb pigs so she looked small or “teacup” to me at the time. About two months after I got her she gave birth to 4 piglets and I was in heaven again. If you watch the video on the Home page of “Rooty” doing tricks he was out of that litter. More study and searching I was able to locate Micro mini pigs and Juliana bloodlines in Michigan. The going rate of breeder micro pigs at the time was $3500. to $4000. so I bit the bullet and invested in smaller stock. That is how Angel Enterprise Farm began and continues to raise the cute baby pigs we have today. Did I tell you that I love baby pigs? But I love the parents too, just pig crazy or as my vet says, One pig short of being the crazy pig lady.
Baby Pig Care
Please when looking for your baby pig do not by a bottle baby from some backyard breeder looking for just the money. Any person that intentionally takes a baby from its mother at a week old or even less and sell you the baby is only in it for the money. They do not care for their pigs, baby pigs or you. It is strictly a greeder breeder. Sows come in heat every 21 days and once they breed they will have their babies in 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days and I jokingly say 3 am in the morning. But they will be on time like clockwork. The reason a greeder breeder takes the babies is because once you take the babies from a momma pig she will come in heat within 7 days and that breeder will breed his sow right back so that he can get more litters a year. They have no concern for the babies. A baby pig needs it’s mother to teach it how to go outside the house to use the bathroom, how to eat dry food and how to socialize. A baby piglet is fragile and often gets diarrhea and dies if not drinking it’s mothers mild with the antibodies in it. I have been raising pigs over 10 years and will still lose an orphan piglet so don’t take the chance. It is bad for you or your children to get attached to this cute baby piglet then have it die 5-6 days later. Yes, teacup piglets are cute and teacup piglets are precious but please choose a reputable breeder that cares enough about their babies to let the mother pig do her job.
When you get your piglet home you should already have your piglets area set up. Either a playpen set up for your piglet or a more permanent area in your home that you want your pig to call its own area. A place it can go back to and take a nap or have some me time. Of course all pet pigs time is “me time” as they are like 3 yr old wanting attention at every turn.
You can crate your piggy but I have found that it is a lot easier until your piggy gets use to you to keep him/her in a used baby playpen. Always pick them up by scooping from underneath instead of grabbing them on the back. (They think something is killing them by jumping on their back).
They get use to you walking by and stopping to talk to them and pet them a lot easier in the playpen than they do a crate. Plus, if you are like me it’s hard to get to floor level and get them out of the crate when they are still scared of you (and easier to clean).
Pigs love their bedding so a doggie bed is nice or at least some old comforter or blanket to snuggle under. . Remember that pigs sleep on top of each other in groups. Baby pigs especially need the mother’s heat and are most comfortable when it’s toasty warm.. Just make sure it has lots of blankets to snuggle in. I wouldn’t put piglet outside this winter unless it’s a nice balmy day for a short while when the sun is out and it’s warm so he can root around for a few minutes…. Next winter he should be older and can handle it at more intervals. If he is outside make sure a dog house is in his pen with lots of hay inside to snuggle and keep warm inside/ plus blankets. You can also put an electric blanket works well too. Probably when piglet is about 1-year-old it would do OK in your cold temps… If the weather is balmy and warm it’s ok for piglet to be outside when it’s younger as stated for short periods..
LITTER BOX: Pelleted pine horse bedding (Equine Pine)(do not use cat litter) any other brand made for animal cages and horse stalls, you find at any feed store or Tractor Supply is what you should use for the litter box . It looks like compressed wood pellets. The same kind that is used in some heating stove. Once it’s absorbed and puffs up go ahead and dump the whole box of litter and start with fresh. Do not use pine shavings, they are not use to that nor does it absorb the urine.
At Tractor Supply the pine pellets is a 40 pound sack for around $5.99 and lasts a long time.
Keep you litter box in the other side of the pen in the corner opposite the bed. If they poop in the wrong place just move the litter box to where they decided to poop. Right after they eat they will use the bathroom. Give them a few minutes and then you can take your piglet out to play and roam around the house. They love to cuddle and sit on in your lap while watching TV with a comfy blanket to root under. I have use a wash room or bathroom to keep my piglet also. They only need a small amount of room at this age. Also those fold out doggie pens that are knee-high work well in the kitchen. You could also use an extra Large dog kennel for now because piglet is small enough to have the room to get around in it. I train them to a litter box in a small area like my bathroom or play pen. It is up to you to teach them larger areas. Like a dog you slowly give them more room. You cannot just put a litter box in the living room and put the baby down on the floor in the whole house and expect it to find it. It always helps when you put fresh litter down to save a bit of soiled litter to put on the fresh litter until they learn the location. If you take them out on a regular basis, they will learn to hold it until you take them out and hardly ever use their litter box. This is usually by 5 months of age.
Hoof Care : If you get your piggy use to holding them while you watch TV or something. Touch them all over so they get used to you messing with them. Play with their hooves. Later in couple of months and they are quite used to you touching & holding them get a emery board that is used for artificial nails (stronger). Take one of their feet and just gently file their hoof just as you would your fingernail. If it bothers them then only do one at that time and over the course of a week you can get them all done. If they don’t mind then do them all. If you will do this occasionally you will never have to get their hooves trimmed.
Handling: Most piglets are afraid of being dropped when you pick them up. They will naturally squeal when you do this unless they have had more handling time and even then some just do not get use to the sensation they feel when up in the air. To get your piglet acquainted with being carried, first sit on the couch or floor with a nice comfy blanket. Remember that piglets love warm snuggly blankets. It’s very comforting and that relaxes them. Put it on your lap and watch TV while holding piglet, or letting him root you. Rooting is a fundamental way piglets get to know your scent and bond. After a while when piglet seems relaxed and rooting around your lap you can pick him up. I always have the piglet cradled in one arm with all four feet under my one arm, and put my other free hand in front of his nose so it won’t look down and get scared. This also keeps him in the rooting / relaxing phase as he learns that being picked up is OK. There is nothing a piglet likes better than a tummy rub. They kick out all four feet laying sideways and grunt little love grunts. It also looks like they have a smile on their face when you do this! Once your piglet starts doing this you know he trusts you.. It might take a while but with practice piglet will eventually trust you enough to get off his feet( which in the pig world is certain death, as they are the prey) and let you give him a tummy rub.