Living With A Potbellied Pig From One Year To Five Years
This is offered as a brief outline of what your pet pig needs for the next five years of its life. There are several good books and manuals available to you that expand these recommendations and insights. Please seek out advice from your breeder/sanctuary and other sources of information as you continue to live with your pigs.
During this time your pet pig will move from a teenager to an adult. Many pet owners say that somewhere between one and two years their pig “gets the hang of what is expected”. The need for the continuous monitoring and training, which has been required for the younger pig, is greatly reduced. The older pigs seem to more clearly understand the expectations of their human caregivers. The early training necessary to have a well adjusted house pig begins to really pay off. They move into a full, cooperative member of the family. As a cooperative and trained member of the family suggestions can help you maintain and broaden your pig’s perspective.
Potbellied Pigs — 1Year To 5 Years
• Routine: Potbellied Pigs, just like children, are much more comfortable with the same routine every day. It is important to try and maintain this routine as your pig ages. Along with the normal feedings, time outside, and quality family time, a time regularly scheduled pig trick training period can be fun for both.
• Patience: Whenever you teach your pig a new trick or a new way of “being” with your family, member patience is a virtue. Your pig will respond much more positively if she learns in increments and under as little stress as possible. Teaching instead of punishing always works best.
• Performance: Be consistent in the level of performance you expect from your pet pig. As your pig ages make sure she continues to live up to what you and your family expect.
• Stimulation: As pigs grow older they sometimes get bored with their environment, if it always stays the same. To ward off trouble due to boredom and to stimulate your pig’s wonderful mind, you can offer them a variety of life experiences and play things. Take them on outings from an early age and be sure to alternate their toys so that they remain at a high level of positive stimulation.
• Health care: Annual check up, vaccinations and worming are important. A tusk and toe nail trim may also be appropriate.
• Behavior: It has been observed that somewhere between one and two years of age some potbellies can become aggressive to their family members and/or friends. It is commonly believed that this can be attributed to weaning prior to 6 weeks, piglets bottle feeding, genetics of the pig’s parents, spoiling the pig during the first year by allowing them to set their own rules, or mis-handling/abuse as a piglet. Should your adult pig show any signs of aggression to any family member or friend, it is imperative that you begin retraining immediately. In most cases this aggressive trait can be overcome with proper training. Without proper training this aggression will only escalate.
• Diet: As potbellied age their nutritional needs change. The days of their more active youth tend to fade away and they begin to move into more sedimentary life style. As your pig ages be sure to watch her diet closely so that she doesn’t become obese. A change in type/level of pig food should be considered; as well as, perhaps a change in the amount of food for your pig actually consumes. Monitoring your pig during her adult years is very important to help her stay healthy.
• Exercise: With age you pig begins to slow down her activity. So you will need to think of new ways to motivate her to exercise. If you have established an exercise routine, such as walks or trick learning, it will be easy for you to keep her motivated as she gets older. What you begin early on can just be continued during these days.
As your pig matures you have an excellent opportunity to share him with others. This is an deal time to offer your pig and yourself in service to your community. There are many nursing homes, schools, hospices, and other institutions that will welcome you and your pig. Take time to allow others to know the joy of having a well trained Potbellied Pig as a pet.