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New pig

Warthogs, razorbacks, Potbellies, Bearded pigs, Any breed or species of Pigs, hogs, boars

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the_unstable
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New pig

Postby the_unstable » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:19 pm

Hello all. I've returned and I have some questions. I bought a pig from a swap meet a few days ago. I don't really know anything about her history and I did not get to meet the seller. Her crate tag said "teacup female". I can tell you, she wouldn't fit in any sort of ordinary tea cup. Pigs are something I've been interested in for a while, but hadn't researched much (bad, bad, I know). She was sort of an impulse buy. When I first approached, she was there in her own crate along with crates containing three other pigs that appeared to be litter mates. None of them seemed very interested in interaction. When I went back later that day to look, she was letting me pet her through the wire and drinking from my water bottle. I was charmed, so I bought her. She was only $100, so she's likely not from extraordinary bloodlines or particularly well-bred or well-raised.

I am surprised at how affectionate she is. The first night she was a bit jumpy when touched. Since then, that gradually eliminated itself. She loves to be petted, and rolls over on her side to have her belly rub. She follows me around, and lays at my feet (as she is now). If I sit on the floor, she will climb in my lap. If I start to pet her, she'll sleep in my lap. I am working on harness and house training her (to go outside).

Well, onto the questions...
*How big might she get to be? I knew before I got her that they can be a hundred or more pounds, and that many "mini pigs" are said to be underfed to force them to stay small. I've been reading about them on the pigs4ever website (which I saw that Lasergrl had linked to in an older thread) which stated that information. I have no idea how old she is, or even if she's old enough to be weaned. She's maybe 10 pounds at most, and doesn't seem to have front teeth? When she yawns, I can see rows of small teeth on the sides of her gums/mouth, but not really any in the front. She doesn't really try to suck on my fingers or anything.

*How much should I be feeding her? I've been giving her some pig food I had on hand, though it is not minipig food. I've been looking up this question and finding different answers. Some sites also mention feeding vegetables, but haven't really been very specific about how much/how often. Is this important?

*When should she be spayed? According to the pigs4ever website, most vets prefer to spay after the first heat cycle. I don't know if she's old enough to have experienced this yet or not.

*How can I remove the ear tag? She has one of these: http://www.ketchummfg.com/mc_images/pro ... ags007.jpg
It's bloody and crusty and nasty looking. The first night I had her, it was bleeding enough to drip blood on the floor. I have a vet appointment for her on Wednesday and asked that they remove it, but I'm worried they won't be able to. I really don't want it there, I feel that it is dangerous and harmful to her health. She rubs her head against things and scratches at it, so I think it may get torn and get infected (if it's not already). I have tried to cut it, but it is much too hard to even leave a mark on it. I've been cleaning it with sea salt water (like one does with a body piercing).

*When awake, she will snort every couple of seconds. It doesn't bother me, but I am curious if most pigs do this, and if she will likely do this her whole life?

I suppose that is it for now. Here's a picture of her laying in front of the refrigerator:
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Ash
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Re: New pig

Postby Ash » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:44 pm

Oh, my! That is one adorable pig! :) I don't know much about them, but I do know sometimes people will buy the micro pigs and they turn out to be just as big as a normal pig. I've read they're smart too and you can teach them things, but that they can also be destructive to floors.

Do you know her name yet? Or are you waiting for it to come to you?

Will she stay black with the pink feet do you know? She looks so cute like that.

Welcome back, by the way. ;) Been wondering how you've been!
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the_unstable
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Re: New pig

Postby the_unstable » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:01 pm

Hello again Ash :) Thanks for the welcome back!

I've heard that, too. That'll be my luck, she'll grow the size of a farm hog!

I haven't named her yet, I'm waiting for it to come to me. Thus far, I'm thinking Puddles suits her...she makes LOTS of puddles. She seems to urinate a lot more than a dog, cat, or other similar sized animal, but maybe I forget what it's like to have a puppy...can't remember how frequently a puppy might urinate. She's made many puddles thus far. I also thought of ham, as an accidental pun, because she is such a ham :)

I think she will stay black with pink feet. I haven't read anything about them changing color with age, and I've seen pictures of adults that are dark. She doesn't seem to have any other pink on her, just the feet.

An update on her: She's continuing to amaze me. I bought a harness at walmart (a "step-in") to see how she would do with it. I rubbed it on her a bit yesterday and today, she was laying down and I lifted each foot and slipped it under her and buckled it over her back. She responded by rolling over to be petted. When she got up, she moved a bit funny and has rubbed on the walls a bit. Overall, she's done amazingly well. I also walked her on the lead and with just gentle tugging, she followed me.

The harness does not fit her very well so I'm about to go out and find a different style. I found the pig harnesses online, but I'm hesitant to buy them since she will grow out of them so rapidly.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: New pig

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:18 pm

It's been way too long since I worked with pot bellies. I don't remember how much we fed the piglet but he was cute for the most part I didn't really like them but he was cute.

100-150 is typical for a standard potbelly so I'd go ahead and expect that but that's far from huge. Still tons smaller than a dog that same weight. Rationed feeding is important to keep them smaller and for their health. I just am not sure how much.

We gave a small scoop of food morning and night and some veggies once a day, usually sweet potato and some greens. They also got hay. They like alfalfa hay and it's good protein and fiber for them. Oh we also always poured a bit of water on the pig food even for adults.

The vet should have no problem removing the ear tag it takes a special tool if for some reason they don't have it you can buy one but being they treat livestock they should have it on hand.
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the_unstable
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Re: New pig

Postby the_unstable » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:06 pm

I wasn't sure if feeding less was okay, after I read that website. When you say rationed feeding to keep them smaller, you mean to limit growth or to limit obesity? I am always concerned about underfeeding animals, so I tend to overfeed probably. Though most animals I've had will just leave whatever's left when they're full...which of course is not so with pigs.

When you fed them vegetables (particularly the sweet potato) was it cooked or raw? And for the hay, was that given as much as they want or a particular amount?

I don't know that the vet sees livestock normally (he is my exotic vet) but hopefully he will have the proper tool. Maybe I should go pick some up though. Do you know what they're called? I was researching removal of that type of ear tag and couldn't find much information, but I did find people saying that the ear tag is "tamper proof" and not meant to be removed, ever.
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Re: New pig

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:27 pm

I don't know much about pigs in general, but that ear tag definitely can be torn out. That's one of the reasons that the pig industry doesn't use ear tags, just tattoos and ear notches. I believe even the tamper proof ones can be removed if you have the right tool. But, her ear tag looks like a simple one (actually, it looks like one meant to be used in sheep... :roll: ), so a tool like this or similar should do the job.

http://livestockconcepts.com/en/ear-tags/314-y-tex-ear-tag-remover.html

Also, the only other word of advice is that you shouldn't rely just on alfalfa for protein. Pigs are monogastrics, like us, and can get little more from the alfalfa than we can. It is a very good source of fiber though, and they do love to eat it. They also eat soybean meal (good protein) readily but be sure it's just the meal not oil or ground whole soybeans, as well as corn for carbs.
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1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: New pig

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:21 am

A little of both. Pigs will grow bigger if you feed them more, of course you don't want to under feed and stunt them but they need a lot less than you or they think.

We gave them raw. They hay was rationed. We just gave a handful on top of their food. It was veggies one meal then hay the other. Though when they were in the petting zoo and not on the farm we put hay nets out for the other animals and they would hang out and eat all the alfalfa that would fall from the others eating. Was more that way but we still didn't give tons it was grass hay nets with some alfalfa in them too.

Here LG says she gives 1 cup to the piglet and grass viewtopic.php?f=52&t=5901
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pat
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Re: New pig

Postby pat » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:05 am

your little piglett is sooooooooooo adorable.

I don't know much about the mini ones. I only raised the farm pigs.
someone I know had pot belly pigs in the house. (adults) they rooted up
their floor. don't know about the mini's indoors

please keep us updated on your little guy..
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

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the_unstable
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Re: New pig

Postby the_unstable » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:26 am

Bluebaby - I think you're right, it's a sheep ear tag. Maybe the breeder primarily breeds sheep and felt the need to put one of these tags in their pigs, too. I looked at the tool you linked. I'm not sure how it would work to remove this type of ear tag? I hope that the vet has something. I may call Monday to ask about it further. I am worried they may have to anesthetize her and use a very sharp saw to cut the bottom then separate the pieces by lifting it up and out of the ear. It seems the metal tab goes through the ear and then tucks under a little metal bar to keep it in place. If such a procedure is required, do you guys think I should wait until she's spayed and do both at the same time, skip it all together, or find another vet who might be able to remove it differently?

How can I tell if I am under or over feeding her? I gave her up to two cups a day for one day so far and her belly was very firm. I've since reduced it a bit, to about a cup and a half and gave her some vegetables. She has also grazed outside a very minor amount.
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Alynn
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Re: New pig

Postby Alynn » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:27 pm

I don't know much about pigs, but I did petsit for a full grown potbelly pig a year or so ago. She had been house trained and would go outside to use the bathroom. They had her crate trained too for when they weren't home, and I believe it was actually two large wire dog crates modified together to give her a really long one, if I can remember correctly.

She was very smart though and they lived in a historical district of our town, so they never really had much of a problem with smell, I personally never noticed it.

Good luck though, I found the noises that pigs make to be absolutely endearing.
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the_unstable
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Re: New pig

Postby the_unstable » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:42 pm

Do you know how much the pig weighed? I am hoping that she will house train and do well indoors, but if she doesn't, I'm able to house her strictly outdoors as well.

Last night, she didn't urinate or defecate at all. When I took her outside in the morning, she went. Coincidence, probably. She's been a little quieter today, less frequently snorting. She makes this chirping/sucking sort of sound which is rather interesting. So far, I'm having a blast with her. I'm surprised more people aren't interested in them as pets.

Edit: I'm researching pig vocalizations and none of the websites thus far mention the chirping. Closest I saw was lip smacking, which I think it's probably produced by sucking, but I'm not sure and it doesn't quite sound like that. Anyone know what this sound is?
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Re: New pig

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:15 pm

The "chirping" is the sound of her teeth grinding together. It's normal for them to grind their teeth.
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Re: New pig

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:38 pm

the_unstable wrote:Bluebaby - I think you're right, it's a sheep ear tag. Maybe the breeder primarily breeds sheep and felt the need to put one of these tags in their pigs, too. I looked at the tool you linked. I'm not sure how it would work to remove this type of ear tag? I hope that the vet has something. I may call Monday to ask about it further. I am worried they may have to anesthetize her and use a very sharp saw to cut the bottom then separate the pieces by lifting it up and out of the ear. It seems the metal tab goes through the ear and then tucks under a little metal bar to keep it in place. If such a procedure is required, do you guys think I should wait until she's spayed and do both at the same time, skip it all together, or find another vet who might be able to remove it differently?


I tried hard to find something suitable for you to watch, but there are thousands of videos on how to get an eartag put in, but almost none of how to remove them. This was the best I could find. The lady really shouldn't be using scissors, but...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D9lPw-JCwQ

Basically, that tool has a very sharp blade in the crook of it that will slice through the plastic stud of the eartag, making it easy to remove. It doesn't need to be done under anesthetic unless there are other complicating features. And since you said it looked like it was freshly done, her ear may even heal the hole closed instead of remaining open. But, that usually only happens if you do it relatively soon after the tag is placed.

I kinda assumed it was plastic, metal ones aren't that common. If the whole thing is metal, then you should be able to ply the stud rounder so that it will fit back through the hole. But you will probably want someone else to hold her still, she likely won't like it. Or, you could get sharp wire cutters, since it's pretty thin.

https://www.google.com/shopping/product/7992425633110299762?q=wire+cutter&biw=1366&bih=667&ei=ZT1LU6SYOcnCyAHovIHgDA&ved=0CLUBEKYrMAI
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys
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Re: New pig

Postby Jen Jen » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:09 pm

Oh my goodness, she's so completely adorable!

Maybe this time I can get stuck in your chimney, cause I'm totally stealing her!
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the_unstable
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Re: New pig

Postby the_unstable » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:32 am

I had the same issues - finding lots of information on inserting but not removal. I am worried about tugging at the ear tag too much since it's already so irritated and I'm not convinced it will budge that easily. We have some wire cutters, but they weren't able to leave even a dent in the ear tag. It's some seriously tough metal. At this point, I'm not sure the vet will be able to get it out, either.

Jen Jen, when you're in my chimney, I'll be busy climbing down yours to steal Tribble! I've been following her thread while lurking. She's such a beautiful vixen!

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