It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since I brought home my very first baby mini pig.
The whole process was a shock to my system, much like having your first baby.
Now I have three mini pigs and like having more children, it is a little bit easier, but always an adventure.
My very popular article I wrote after having Bentley for a few weeks is here.
I’d like to add to it by sharing with you my best care tips for raising mini pigs. After having 4 years of experience now and see how they change from babies to adults.
Right now I own three mini pigs. My male Bentley who is 4, female Olive who is 4 and Piper who is 1.
From the quick Tiktok video above ( I love TIKTOK, if you are on it let’s be friends!) mini pigs don’t stay mini.
We rescued Olive from a local adoption shelter near us. She has always been smaller than our male.
Piper we rescued from a friend who couldn’t keep her anymore. She was told Piper was mixed with Juliana.
I’m pretty sure Olive who we adopted is Juliana.
For me, Piper is looking exactly how Bentley was at that age- I think she’s gonna be a big girl.
The fact is, they don’t stay mini. These pigs have some girth. But their personalities do stay loving. Keep in mind no matter what you’ve been told about your mini pig, no one knows for sure the size it will get.
FACT: Mini Pigs don’t stop growing until the age of 4-5.
They Watch You- Be Careful
Mini pigs are smart. You’ve probably heard that but wouldn’t actually believe it to the full extent until you raise one yourself.
Keeping Bentley inside until he was 2, he knew what cupboards had food. He knew if he squealed at 5 am every morning he would get his breakfast.
The key is to train them. From a young age do not let the pig be top hog. You are the top hog. That means if your piggy is squealing at 5 am, you are going to have a few brutal days of letting him/her cry it out.
I will say as the pigs get older that squealing for food does stop. Bentley used to do it, now he just bites chunks of wood of his pen door while I get the food ready.
Piper our youngest she still squeals- but she knows it doesn’t make me go any faster and she still gets fed last.
They know if you leave the pen door slightly open or if you didn’t latch it fully. They know where all the food is and can easily flip huge bins of food over. They know how to get lids off and open things.
They are smart.
And it’s one of the best things about owning mini pigs. With that in mind it’s a blast to train them.
You can Train them Like a Dog
Yep, you can train your mini pig to do tricks. Again like my first child, I was all about sign language home made baby food, baby books etc. With our first mini pig I was all about training.
Plus he was in the house. Now all three pigs are in the barn.
It is important to train them whether they stay outside full time or inside. They need to know their boundaries.
The tricks all three of my pigs know are sit, circle, come, inside.
You can teach them basic commands. It’s a good idea to make your pig do something for their food, before just giving it to them.
Bentley- my biggest boy, is always the first one to sit and stare at me as soon as I enter the pen with food. Even though he knows he goes outside to eat from his treat ball. Why? Well he’s adorable! And because he knows he has to do something for food, and he wants his food right away.
I also taught Bentley to play a kids piano. He would go for daily walks before we expanded the outdoor pen, and all I would have to say is ” Bentley go to your pen and there he goes.” I lured him every time and still do with these pig treats.
You can watch the hilarious video on Youtube I did here.
They are strong- Pallet Fence
This leads me to why we stick with pallet fencing. First it was free. So that usually would be enough, but the pigs can root up so many things and are so strong. It’s amazing what they can flip with their snout.
Pallet fencing has worked wonders. You can see how we did it in this post here.
Pot belly pigs have an average lifespan of 15-20 years. That is a long commitment- again like our children. Really give it a good though if you are willing to commit to the animal this long. There are too many mini pigs being dropped off at shelters all over, because of misinformation.
If you are considering a mini pig- adopt one. We got Olive when she was a year and a half old and her personality is so sweet. We missed out on the crazy toddler stage and that’a good thing. They will bond to you no matter the age. It’s all in their personality.
For my locals in New York- we got Olive from Lollipop farms. I wrote about her first day with us here.
Babies Won’t Cuddle Immediately- Like a Dog
I talk more about this in my dos and dont’s with a mini pig– but they aren’t like a puppy when you bring home a baby mini pig. They are terrified. It takes time and patience before they warm up to you.
The good news is once they do it’s like riding a bike- it comes natural every time they see you.
As mini pigs grow that constant need for attention changes. They are more mature about it. For example when I’m out petting the older pigs our one year old pig will still be a brat and act like she should be the only one to be pet.
They learn as they grow. If they tend to nip or head swipe over this- that behavior needs to be corrected right away.
The older pigs will usually care less and walk away and let the little one get the attention.
Tired of your pigs ripping up all the blankets? You need this.
Keep in mind to always bring food to them when you are getting to know a new pig. They love food and it will teach them to be excited when they see you.
Things we started with ere raisins and cheerios, cut up carrots.
Now this bag of treats gets my pigs no matter the age to do whatever I want.
They love water
If you aren’t sure some of the odd things pigs love, check out my 9 things you didn’t know pigs love here. One of them is water. You will want to have a kiddie pool for your piggy. Pigs don’t sweat and to keep cool they will roll in mud or soak in the pool.
Depending on where you live your mud may be too dried our or your pig may not be a big fan of rooting. A kiddie sixze