It’s been 3.5 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. So 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.
If you are frustrated with your mini pig right now, check out this post.
After trial and error of what we really needed and didn’t need, I am here to share with you a list of things you need when you bring your new mini pig home for the first time.
We rescued two more pigs making our pig family at 3!
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. But, if you are into changing the bowl a few times a day, stick with it.
Otherwise, go for the bigger bowl and save yourself the headache and extra cost.
- Spot No-tip, Non-skid Bowl
- Ruff Maxx Duralast Bowl, 18-Cup
- JW Skid Stop Basic Bowl
- Fortex 8-qt Rubber Feeder Pan– what we use for our 4 year old pigs in winter
I’ll note that a food bowl isn’t necessary.
After a couple of 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 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. So I sprinkle the food around the pen or 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, 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.
The bigger one is great because when they are older, it still works wonderfully. I feed this with my pigs almost year-round.
I purchased the exact one above, and we still use it! Two years later.
Read or Pin: Five Boredom Busters For Your Mini Pig
Where your little piggy is going to sleep and spend time when you are not home is crucial. When sectioning off part of your house, things to consider are the traffic and other pets in the home. Also, it helps when your pig can see you from its 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 your pig is almost one, two, and so on.
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.
More Mini Pig Stuff You Need to Pin:
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- How to Get Pig Pee Out of Carpet & Why They Are Peeing All Over
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 easily.
If your pig seems bored inside, buy some cheap blankets from 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 that they still hide under them and can get it caught around their neck when they start shredding them.
This happened with ours. I had no idea about the fleece. So now I grab $5 fleece blankets from Goodwill. No shredding.
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 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. But, trust me, as the months go on, you are going to want a break.
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.
READ HOW WE BUILT THE PIGPEN WITH PALLETS HERE.
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 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. So the pig harness is the way to go.
Tap here to see the video and article where I show you how to harness your baby pig.
I will add about ours. It’s heavy-duty! Bently is a puller and so strong, and it doesn’t pull off. Several times it’s been left out in the rain, gets soaked when he swims in the pond, and it has held up. Yes, I recommend this one. 🙂
READ OR PIN: HOW TO WALK YOUR MINI PIG ON HARNESS ( INCLUDES VIDEO)
Litter Box and Litter
We used an under-the-bed plastic box and cut one of the sides down so Bently could get into it. Pigs can jump. I was shocked when I saw him jump over the side.
I almost fell over when I saw Bently jump on our couch. I was clueless they could jump. Our farm pigs never did that.
Every week I would take the box outside and hose it down. Worked great. I also sprinkled baking soda in before putting the shavings to help eliminate the smell.
We used one like this from Walmart for the liter box.
We used Pine Shavings from Tractor Supply. It’s $5.99 for 8 cu ft.
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.
You can get 40 lb. of Pine Pellets for $5.49 at Tractor Supply.
Another good option that we use in our barn for animals is the horse bedding pellets. Grab those at Tractor supply here.
Cleaner for Accidents
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 they pee once they start roaming your home. 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.
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 where they started their pigs on Mazuri mini pig food, the owners said the skin looked dry, flaky, and horrible. So they switched to Purina Pig and Sow, and it cleared up. I wrote an article talking all about pig food choices here.
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. Of course, everyone will have an opinion. I say start with one and see the results.
If something seems off to you, try a different brand of food. But, unfortunately, nothing is set in stone when it comes to the brand of food you need to feed your mini pig.
This is something you won’t need the day you bring your pig home but worth mentioning that you will need to have it on hand. First, be sure to discuss with the previous pig owner when the last dose of it was. Then, 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.
You may want to check out the video of us driving to pick up our new adopted pig named “Olive.”
You will want treats on hand. When you bring home your baby pig, they will be timid and scared. It takes time for the pig to warm up to you. Treats are a great way to do that. Raisins and cheerios are my favorites as a baby.
Now and as the pig grows, this bag from Tractor Supply gets my pigs to do anything. Look at the video here: I trained Bentley off-leash to go back to his pen with these.
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