It’s been two years since I brought home a pet mini pig. I’ve raised pigs in 4-H as a kid and never had them in the house. When I brought home my first 10-week old pet mini pig, I was in for quite a ride. A fun and frustrating ride for sure.
Probably obvious yes, but you need to start with a bowl that the pig will not tip over. If you are frugal you may want to get a large bowl right away, to begin with. I started with the cute little puppy bowl that lasted four months. If you are into changing the bowl a few times a day stick with it.
Otherwise, go for the bigger bowl and save your self the headache and extra cost.
I’ll note that a food bowl isn’t necessary. If you opt for the Amazon deal above you get two which is fine. After a couple months when it was winter and my pig was bored I would sprinkle the pellets for morning and night feedings throughout his room. This gives them a little more exercise and helps with boredom.
Bently our first mini pig lived in a crazy narrow closet that was built in our 1850s farmhouse. To me, it was built for a mini pig 😉 We didn’t use a baby gate on the open side. It started that way until Bently learned how to push it through. So we screwed three pieces of wood across so he couldn’t get out. It worked the whole time he was in the house.
Now with the pigs outside they still do not eat from a bowl. I sprinkle the food around the pen or just place it in one spot right on the ground. A food bowl isn’t a must-have for pigs in my opinion.
I bought the treat ball below and it was a lifesaver in the winter months. Bently would roll it all over the house. Some days he would have it just in his room. For a while, that was how we feed him dinner. If you were to buy anything for food I recommend this.
I purchased the exact one above and we still use it! Two years later.
Where your little piggy is going to sleep and spend time when you are not home is crucial. Things to consider when sectioning off part of your house is the traffic and other pets in the home. It helps when your pig can see you from it’s room.
Eventually, they will get into a routine and get used to your voices and smell. So even if they can’t always see you it’s okay. Bently didn’t see us all the time only when we went into our bedroom. He survived.
If you opt for a crate just like the water bowl, go bigger. Is your plan to keep your pig inside when you are gone? You will want to grab a crate that is large enough for when you pig is almost one, two, and so on and so forth.
It’s amazing how quickly they grow once they get past the six-month mark. Let them have a little extra room as a piglet and watch how they fill out the crate.
We used a small metal dog crate because we already use this for other animals on the farm. The first week we brought Bently home we kept the little crate in his room with him. Eventually, the crate left and he made his bed in the corner.
It is the cutest thing to watch your pig snuggle under blankets. They love lots of blankets. You can never have too many. Start with fleece blankets. The pigs can’t rip them up as easy.
If your pig seems bored inside, buy some cheap blankets form the local thrift store and they can take a day to shred them. Okay, really ten minutes. The only problem with non-fleece blankets is when they start shredding them they still hide under it and can get it caught around their neck.
This happened with ours. I had no idea about the fleece. Now I grab $5 fleece blankets from Goodwill. No shredding.
That was our dogs little bed. Our Dog Jake has his own recliner. But once I put that bed in Bently’s room it got shredded.
Of course, you could get your pig one of those luxury soft dog beds but blankets do the job just fine. I gave Bently our old dog bed like that and he shredded the thing. The amount of shredding depends on your pig’s personality of course. For a frugal farm girl, I say don’t bother. Stick with the fleece.
Depending on the time of your you bring your piggy home, you will want it to have some outside time. When they are little an hour or two is enough to keep them entertained. You don’t have to go all crazy just think of it as a spot for your pig to roam without supervision. Trust me as the months go on, you are going to want a break.
The cooler months I draped a blanket right over his igloo.
We used four pallets to start with Bently. They worked great. Boy did he look tiny in just FOUR pallets.
Now we are continuing to use pallets for their pen.
Don’t mess around with anything other than a pig harness. I made this mistake. I bought the cute puppy harness and it worked for about 5 weeks. Then I bought the next size up and it worked for a couple more weeks.
Finally, I was tired of wasting money and upgraded to a pig harness. Bently has had the same harness for almost a year. The price tag was high for me at first but looking back I spent $50 on the silly dog harnesses.
The pig harness is easier to train and put on your pig. When we adopted our second mini pig she came with the dog harness. I got it on her one time, but it wasn’t easy or quick. The pig harness is the way to go.
A year later she’s a little more beat up but works great.
If your budget is tight you can start with a more affordable smaller harness on Amazon.
I will add about ours its heavy duty! Bently is a puller and so strong and it doesn’t pull off. It’s been left out in the rain several times, gets soaked when he swims in the pond and it has held up. Yes, I recommend this one. 🙂
It worked fine. Others have complained about the mess. Thankfully Bently only used the litter box until he was five months old. He ditched the box and went outside with our dog instead. That was a lovely moment. You can get there too.
Oh, it’s like going back to the potty training days of the kids! Potty training with Bently was exhausting. Part of it was because I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. There will be accidents.
It is an instinct for the pigs to use the litter box right away but once they start roaming your home, they pee. It will happen. Be prepared. The best thing you need is a product that will get the smell out. If they continue to smell the pee they will continue to go there. We all know how strong a pig’s sense of smell is.
My mom introduced me to OdoBan and it’s an amazing product. Our cat decided to pee all over our guest bedroom mattress when we moved and this got it out better than baking soda and vinegar.
We used the Odoban with Lavender but now that there is a pets one I would go for it.
This is an obvious one but I wanted to add it to the list. I am here to share my personal experience with our pig food. I know every pig is different. When we brought Bently home from the farm he was born they started their pigs on Mazuri mini pig food. The owners said the skin was looking dry flaky and horrible. They switched to Purina Pig and Sow and it cleared up.
I continued to give the same Purina pig food to Bently when we brought him home. It was a no-brainer decision for me because it’s cheaper.
When we adopted Olive she was on Mazuri mini pig food. I switched her to Purina and her skin has cleared up as well. Everyone will have an opinion. I say start with one and see the results. If something seems off to you try a different brand food. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to the brand of food you need to feed your mini pig.
That completes the list of things you must have for the first few months with your piggy.
This is something you won’t need the day you bring your pig home but worth mentioning that you will need to have on hand. Be sure to discuss with the previous pig owner when the last dose of it was. You can administer this yourself. We use a syringe and squirt it over the pig’s pellets. This is one time when I do put the food in a bowl. This happens every six months. You can read more about Ivomec with mini pigs here.
We purchased ours at Tractor Supply. I’m still using the same bottle. It will last you for a few years.
Welcome! I have desired my own backyard farm since I was a girl. I started a frugal crazy couponing lifestyle that allowed us to pay off our debt, create an online business and purchase our farmhouse and land. Join me as I share everything we are learning with you to encourage and inspire your dreams.