Skip to Content

How to Transition Your Pig Outside

Are you considering keeping your pig outside all the time? Ready to give up the stress of having your mini pig tear up your cabinets and what not? Here is how you can transition your pig to outdoor living.

It was time. I didn’t want it to be but I was torn with an overnight trip with my husband in the Adirondack mountains and keeping my sweet little baby pig inside.

My husband was having a harder time adjusting to a piglet in the house. Part of it was, it’s a pig and the other part was we were finally seeing light from the constant demands of our own babies.

A piglet is very similar to a puppy. The curiosity, the needs, the chewing, the eating.

It had been a full year my sweet Bently was living inside the house. My dreams came true. I’ve always wanted my own mini pig and I got one as a baby and it was living inside with me.

At one year of age, Bently was needing more stimulation. The truth is, he is a pig and his natural instincts weren’t being satisfied by sitting outside for parts of the day.

Of course, we built him an outdoor mini pig pen, where he would spend the days outside and come in for dinnertime and sleep.

One thing that was killing me was the constant waking up at 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m.

If you have a baby mini pig do not give into the squealing when they wake up in the morning or they will have you fooled.


No matter how much I tried to break the habit it wasn’t working because I couldn’t let him “squeal it out”.

I have young kids and a husband who wakes up at 5 am. The half an hour he was missing out of sleep when he doesn’t get much as it is, was taking a toll on our marriage.

I was willing to have little rifts in our marriage until I could figure out how to get Bently to sleep longer.

The truth is, he was enjoying his time outside and loving it. This pig wanted to be outside.


I  had the fear of his head swiping one of the girls. Our youngest was only 3 at the time and although they had a great bond, he could get moody.

Now after having a male and female pig, our female is less temperamental than our males.

Bently was great and never bit anyone in the house, but he would head swipe a few times. This is normal. This is how pigs treat other pigs.

They nip and bit when they are trying to tell the other pig no. The difference is human skin is not as thick as pigskin.

The head swiping was another reason I felt to keep him outside permanently. It would bring too much mommy guilt if something was to happen.

He’s an animal.


The second big draw was the fact my husband and I hadn’t had a night away in over a year. My mom was flying in to take care of the girls and the animals. She was very nervous to take care of Bently.

I was also nervous about it. I’ve read many stories of pigs acting out when someone new is in their house.

At this stage, Bently would be very shy with new people and run right back into his room.

Pigs aren’t big fans of change.

Heck, I’m not either.

My husband mentioned having Bently outside full time.


My heart was ripping but I knew if he lived outside all my mom had to do was feed him. She wouldn’t have to let him out or anything.

At that point, Bently was roaming free outside for at least a couple hours a day.

My husband built him a makeshift roof and we got him an igloo because it just so happened I decided to do this in February.

I won’t hide the fact I had separation anxiety and anyone who isn’t a pig parent would probably giggle, but these pigs see into your soul.

I felt AWFUL leaving him outside all alone.

I cried the first night and had to go out at 1 am to check on him. He wouldn’t come out and see me so I thought he hated me.  I didn’t sleep that night.

how to transition your mini pig outside


The next morning he was outside roaming around and grunting to me like he always did.

He was fine. 
That’s the truth guys.

They are okay. It is an adjustment but they are okay. They can handle it and you can too. The one who takes more time is us. I wasn’t quite fine, but Bently sure was.

Two months Bently handled living outside on his own. I would bring him inside for visitations because I was missing him. The biggest thing that shocked me was when I would let him out, he didn’t once run up the stairs and wait at the door.

It’s been two years now and Bentely has two other pigs outside, he loves going for walks, and has adjusted to life outside wonderfully.


he smells food! ##petvlog ##minipig ##petlover ##rescued ##potbelliedpig

♬ Yummy – Justin Bieber
How to Transition Your Pig Outside

I don’t think he cared so much as to being outside, he just wanted to roam around looking for food.

I felt sad but there was a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders without him in the house all the time.

He was trying to get into every cupboard and flip anything he could over. The constant need to watch him was exhausting.

Did I mention he also was always getting up at 4:30 a.m?!


On the way home from my overnight trip, although I felt a little pain of guilt what moms don’t right?  We stopped at an animal shelter and I met Olive. That trip in February we also had a fluke two days where the temperatures were in the 60s! 

how to transition your mini pig outside

Olive is an adorable mini pig who was the same age as Bently.  She was surrendered to our local animal shelter because the owner couldn’t care for her anymore, just a year old.

It was all meant to be. She came to our farm in April and the two are buddies now. Of course, there are still food issues which will always be the case with animals.

All change takes time and the same goes for animals. It took a lot of time and patience for Bently and Olive to become friends.

How to Transition Your Pig Outside

You can’t throw two new pigs together right away. Especially one who is your baby!

If you are thinking about having your indoor pig live outside all the time remember these key tips. 

You must have an adequate space for your pig to roam. They will want to root and have a mud pit in the summer to cool down. They will also make one corner their spot to poop and pee.

how to transition your mini pig outside

You Must have a shelter. We started Bently’s first year outside in an igloo and used tarp to go around it. It’s best to have a second layer to keep them protected from the wind and rain.

READ OR PIN: How to Keep Your Mini Pig Warm in Winter

This is how our pigs were sheltered last winter. Of course, if you’ve been following out vlog they now have a nice new barn for the winter!

You also need only one type of blanket for your minipigs!

how to transition your mini pig outside

You are going to need thick skin like your piggy. They thrive in their natural environment. They will love you always.

How To Transition Your Pigs To Live Outside

Let your pig in for visits if your heart is breaking and you are missing them. You may realize after a few visits the constant run for the cupboards, garbage, etc.  isn’t worth it. You can visit them in their home.

Give your pig a companion. Check your local animal shelter or even one nearest you for any minipigs. Check craigslist too. There are so many people giving up pigs because they realize they are a ton of work to keep inside AND they grow to look like real life pigs! Shocker right?!

How To Transition Your Pigs To Live Outside

I encourage you on this journey. Let me know if you have transitioned your pig to outdoor living and how it went.

If you are thinking about doing it, let us know how it is going and if you need any other tips or inspiration. I love encouraging and getting to know other pig parents.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 29th of March 2022

I have two juliana pigs. I started with one my Frank and had to get another so he had a friend when we were busy with kids and work. They are amazing and yes alot of work and you need to put the effort into training and giving them love. We are transitioning ours outside this year they are a year old so I appreciate ypur blog! My husband is not a fan of them but they are my babies and our kids favorite friends!!


Sunday 20th of February 2022

I have a mini pig we rescued.. the old owner said a hawk had killed her brother and had a hold of her. Her eye was punctured when we got her and she had worms .. I took her to the vet and we saved the eye although she is blind in it. She has not been outside since she was 1 month old. I built her a nice outside pen and working on her own pig house but I cannot get her to go out the house... she gets near rhe door and just shakes and backs back into the house ... what should I do she is destroying my house or I would keep her inside with me forever lol


Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Wow! That is quite a story. She is probably still scared from past events. I would imagine once she has a pig house in her pen area she will feel safer. We used the dog igloos in our outdoor pig pens and fill them with straw. They love it. I would sit with her outside once there is a place for her to hide and feel safe too. Keep spending time with her outside to reassure her she's okay. It will take time but she will adjust.

Kelly Woods

Monday 4th of October 2021

Loved ready your piggy story! I'm looking for advise, I've had my potbelly for almost 3 years and he is now an outside pig. We had him in an igloo which he out grew but he won't go in the new one won't even eat food if we throw it in there. It's been about two weeks we have been trying. Any tips or advise


Tuesday 5th of October 2021

Aww he misses his old one huh? I do know the older the pigs get the longer it takes for them to adjust to new things. Do you have any of his blankets in it? Is there enough straw to make it cozy?

Tiffany Holtzinger

Saturday 25th of September 2021

Hi again! You may remember me (or not) from commenting on some of your other pig posts. I know I’ve talked a little about Mabel in them. I’ve enjoyed reading everything of yours that I have, and for some reason (and funny timing) this article popped up on Pinterest. I decided to read because I hadn’t seen this one before now I don’t think. Anyway, you completely nailed everything that we had been dealing with with Mabel. So, so funny. Mabel had been inside since about 2 months after we took her in *maybe you remember her story* and a few months ago started getting bored and was getting grumpier and biting me (who is her mama and BFF), plus the having to buy and attach magnetic cabinet locks because she was getting into everything, overturning everything in her sight, and hating our dog… it was just getting to be too much. The kids were scared to death of her because she’s bitten all of them, head swiped and charged, and my husband was always a wuss when it came to her and started to resent her. I decided it was “time.” It broke my heart into a million pieces knowing I was putting my girl outside. When I finally made the decision, but hadn’t actually moved her yet, I started looking for a friend for her. I actually came across two bffs that were about the same exact age as her, that were at a nearby animal rescue league (they had lived together before being given up so were already connected at the hip). I contacted them, went to meet the boys, and fell in love. I committed to bringing these two home and did just that. I moved Mabel outside shortly before we brought the boys home and let me just say, no one, and I mean NO ONE prepared me for the pig introduction. Holy crap! That was brutal for a little while and I immediately worried I’d made a bad decision moving her outside and adopting the two boys, however, after about a week, they were the three little piggies… happy as can be. Our one boy (the biggest) is definitely the dominate one and though Mabel got her butt whooped a little for those few days-a week and cowered and basically begged to be let back in, I stayed strong and protected her as best I could, got out the tote lid to “move the pigs” away from her at times to give her space, they all live as one happy family now. Mabel was most definitely growing grumpy from being bored in the house as she hated any and all toys, except ripping cardboard boxes, getting into cabinets, and forever rushing into the pantry when a child stood there debating what food to get out. Taking her outside; she was able to graze and sun bathe, play in her pool (or poop in it as she’s famous for doing; how ladylike, right?) and root up holes as round as she is. I checked on her so many times the first week and I bawled like a baby. I still have my moments, but sometimes she’ll come in and visit and I find myself sitting with her inside her gazebo as she’s buried under her straw and hay and giving her belly rubs and talking to her. She’s happy now (though she misses the AC on the hot days), and I’m upset I hadn’t moved her outside to do pig things until recently. I litter trained her so she would never even go outside when she was in the house. I worry that I’ll be a sucker come winter and wonder how quickly I’ll open the door for the three… my husband will probably kill me lol. But everything you said in this post was spot on for us too… the good and the bad… literally all of it. I’m also so glad I stopped being selfish and realized what she needed, provided it, and now she’s living her best life with two pals who are well mannered and so handsome. It’s the best when I walk out, and ask “where’s my girl?” and she comes a running… neck jigglin’ and all! :-)

Molly Roe

Thursday 26th of August 2021

Hello! I am in the process of transitioning my mini pig Rosie Rainbow, to outdoors. I bought an igloo for her, but I dont know what to put inside. Do I just use her blankets? What can I do to help her when winter comes? I need all the help as I have no experience with this but love my Rosie Girl so much. I want to make her safe and cozy outside. Thank you so much!


Monday 30th of August 2021

Hi Molly! Aww I think Rosie is going to love it. Our pigs love straw and their fleece blankets in the igloo.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.