Life with Pigs
Life with Pigs
The most important piece of advice for anyone considering adopting a pig.
The most important piece of advice I can give anyone before they adopt a pig is: Don't. Don't get one. And I don't mean that you shouldn't add the joy of having pigs in your life. I just mean, don't adopt only one. Adopt two. This is the best advice anyone could give in regards to living with pigs. Sure, there may be a few exceptions where this advice doesn't work out perfectly. But, for the most part, many of the issues that go along with living with pigs can be alleviated if not eliminated by simply adopting a pair of piggy pals.
There are a lot of reasons why bringing home two pigs might be a great option. For one, pigs love to challenge authority and see how far they can push those around them. It will still be necessary to make sure you don't let your pigs think they are at the top of your home hierarchy. But, having another pig present means that when one pig gets bossy or pushy, there is always another pig nearby to give it back as good as it is being given. And pigs are very social animals. So, they will quickly learn that their aggression will not go unchecked. Of course, this doesn't mean you just get to standby and do nothing. But, it will help keep any bullying on the part of one pig from getting out of hand.
Another great reason to adopt two is because this will mean that your pig always has a friend. As much as I love cuddling with our pigs and spending time with them, and much of my day is spent with our pigs, the fact remains, pigs love constant company. Living with three pigs, our girls always have someone to cuddle with or hangout with. They are still always willing to welcome any of my human family into their snuggle-fests. And I only have to lay down near them to have the entire pig family immediately swarm around me fighting for the closest position. So, you don't have to worry that having more than one pig will mean that you become less popular or less loved. Pigs have plenty of affection to go around. On the other hand, bored pigs have plenty of frustration and angst to take out on furniture, walls, floors and cabinets. So, do yourself and your home the favor of making sure your pig always has a pal.
Also, pigs speak pig. After living with pigs, you'll start to understand some pig language. And your pig will understand some of your language. But, pigs will truly be able to speak with each other and this is important. I know the scientific community has been reluctant to refer to animals as having true languages. Yet, after living with a mother and her daughter pig and watching them communicate with each other face to face and even hearing them communicate across the house, it is quite obvious that pigs have a language that they use to say a great many things to each other. Now imagine you were taken to a foreign country where you could never fully speak the language of anyone around you? This would be extremely frustrating. I can't help but feel that pigs desire to be able to speak to someone that understands them fully from time to time. Having two pigs will provide your pig with the mental stimulation of being able to have piggy conversations. They may not discuss Immanuel Kant's 'Critique of Practical Reason'… but most humans aren't doing that either. Whatever they are saying, to them it is important enough to be said, and they will appreciate having someone that can understand what they mean.
And possibly the best reason to get two pigs… one is never enough. Pigs are awesome! I've never regretted having three pigs living with us in our home. They are my three best friends. They are family. Every day is better because they are around. When we had two, it was great. Now that we have three, it is even better. If you are a pig person, and feel that your life is destined to have a pig as part of your family, I highly recommend you start with two. And, I can't say it enough: Adopt, don't shop! So many pigs need homes because people think that buying a piglet will be fun and cute without thinking things through and really considering if they are ready for the 20 year commitment and responsibility of adding a pig family member. Plus, no mother pig wants to be separated from her babies. So, don't be the reason a baby is taken from his or her mother. Be the reason a pair of rescue pigs get to celebrate having a forever home!
Look out dogs! Pigs may be man's best friend.
I so wish everyone could have the chance to experience just a little piece of my daily life with pigs. There is something so soothing about being around them. They have a calmness to them when they are cuddled up with you that puts your mind at ease that is like the most soothing meditation. The softness and rhythmic sound of them deeply breathing in and out can cure the worst insomnia. And, being a usually restless person, I'm always curious what it is about them that allows me to escape my troubles by simply wrapping my arms around one or more of them. I can sleep peacefully for hours thanks to them.
Then there are those eyes that so deeply piece into your soul. The similarity between a pig's eyes and a human's eyes is so complete that it is hard not to forget momentarily that you are looking at someone of another species. The wisdom and intelligence is clearly present in their stare. The curiosity they possess for all things is inspiring. They take nothing for granted and find joy in nearly all things. They live how all humans should live. They have a passion and zest for life that is only nearly matched in humans in our youthful days of wonder and excitement. But, with pigs, they carry this over throughout their life.
And the kindness and compassion for others is so palpably clear. The family bond between Pumpkin, Charlotte and Millie is as strong as any human family. And my human family is fortunate enough to be a part of their herd and loved by them in the same way. Our mother pig Pumpkin's love for her children is clear anytime her babies are unhappy. In these moments she always comes to their aid. While she is restrained in her actions, she will let you know that she wants whatever is happening to stop. An example of this is when we were at the vet's office recently and Charlotte was unhappy about getting her shots. Pumpkin saw that I was holding Charlotte for her shots and walked over to me, let out her unhappy whine and then put her mouth around my leg gently (without the least bit of pressure) to say "Don't let my baby get hurt." And, yet when I respond to her in a soothing voice telling her that it is okay she seemed to understand and watched closely to make sure that her baby was okay. But, it isn't just for her pig family that she does this. If Pumpkin feels that one of her human family is in danger, she reacts in much the same way. And there is something magical about the way they snuggled up close to you on the couch or the bed and then put their snout near your nose and stare into your eyes. You can feel that they are filled with love. Without experience this, I imagine it is hard for people to understand why I consider our pigs as much my family as my human family.
When people say that dogs are man's best friend, I think this is in part because we've never fully given pigs a chance to compete for this position. But it is also because pigs truly do view us as equals in our relationship with them. They won't worship us like gods as dog do. They will give us a chance to be their best friend. But we have to earn that. And something about that makes them all the more special.
Top pig health concerns answered by a veterinarian
Veterinarian Dr. Kristie took the time to answer 10 questions we had about Mini Pig Health. If you've ever wondered if your pig is a healthy weight, what the health benefits of spaying and neutering pigs are, or when you should seek immediate medical care for your pig, this video has answers to all that and more. And the best part is that Dr. Kristie specializes in mini pig/pot bellied pig health. So, she is speaking from years of experience working with mini pigs.
Adorable sounds of pigs munching on food.
Watching our pigs chomp on anything is a favorite pastime in our house. So cute, so funny, so much fun!
Cuddling with Pigs is the Best!
I woke up with Pumpkin's snout up against my forehead, Charlotte's against my chin and Millie firmly snuggled up against my stomach. And top that all off with Emmie the Yorkie cuddled up against the top of my head. That is a perfect way to start a day!
6 of the Best Things About Life With Pigs
by Rousseau Ysabella Grace Phillips
#1 I love when Charlotte jumps up on the couch and then cuddles up in my lap. Then, longing to be with her sister, Millie comes and nudges in behind me, squealing until she gets comfortable. And sometimes if you are lucky Pumpkin decides that since her babies are there she’ll join them.
#2 You can never go to the kitchen alone. As soon as Millie hears any kind of noise from the kitchen, she comes running. Soon after Charlotte comes and they both stare up at you waiting for treats. Their faces are so cute as they longingly wait for something to eat. If you start giving them food, Pumpkin will stand up on the couch and wait for you to deliver her some food. She always seems so happy to have a personal delivery service. Sometimes Pumpkin will even come join her babies at the kitchen and all their faces will look up in unison.
#3 You have never seen the pinnacle of cuteness until you have seen piggy cave. Piggy cave is when all the pigs crawl under the papasan chair cushion. It’s absolutely adorable when you lift the cushion and all of their faces peek out at you. Sometimes Pumpkin and Charlotte with be hidden under the cushion and Mille will try to find them. She’ll scream and look everywhere for them, until she finally squeezes under the cushion and gets cozy.
#4 Usually the pigs are lined up with Millie in the middle. This is when the belly rub domino effect happens. When you give Pumpkin a belly rub she will either roll over onto Millie or reach out her legs and kick her. This causes Millie to roll over, Charlotte who is already getting a Mohawk feels Millie kick her and so she rolls over too. Then you have to figure how to scratch them all.
#5 Our pigs are usually clean and for some reason, naturally smell good. We hardly ever have to bathe them. The myth about pigs being dirty isn’t true, our pigs prefer air conditioning over mud any day. The only time they get into mud is on hot summer days when they’re outside. Pumpkin will root out a small hole in the cool dirt for her to lie in. Charlotte and Millie will do the same thing. But even after that, the mud will come off when it’s dry.
#6 Our pigs are very calm and relaxed, as long as they have all their meals promptly given to them. Our pigs will lie around on the couch all day and snuggle together. Sometimes they can be caught sunbathing with our dog Emmie. This doesn’t mean that they’re lazy, Millie, the youngest, has lots of energy. This sometimes annoys Pumpkin and Charlotte. But most of the time they can be found cuddling up on the couch.
The Unlikely Friendship Between A Puppy and a Pig
Emmie the Yorkie finally found a friend her size. To do this, it required meeting Elden the piglet. At first, Emmie was her usual distrustful self. She's learned to enjoy the company of her human family and her three larger pig sisters. But, Elden was just the right size to win over Emmie. I've never seen Emmie play and get so puppy-like (she's actually 9 years old now). So, check out this musical montage to their friendship!
Now, if you are wondering if he is a micro pig or a teacup pig, I should make it clear that there is really no such things as a micro or teacup pig. Elden is a piglet. That is why he is small. Most pig experts agree that it is very unlikely to meet a pig that is healthy and remains under 50 pounds.
Why Are So Many Mini Pigs Abandoned?
Mini pigs make awesome additions to your family. So, if that is true, why are 90% of mini pigs abandoned by their original family? Click the image below to see our video on one of the main reasons this happens:
Pigs are Extremely Affectionate Animals
Everyone knows that there are few animals on the planet that show affection as openly as a dog does. But, does this mean that dogs are the most affectionate companion animal? Not necessarily. Pigs can be extremely affectionate as well. Some pigs are better at showing affection than others, but don't let the poker faces of pigs like our Pumpkin trick you. She isn't fooling anyone by at first laying just out of reach. Then moving her head a little closer, and then closer until finally her head is on your lap or up against you. You can't read her love for you on her face like you can with many dogs. But, in her eyes, you see it. And her actions tell the real story.
And our middle pig child, Charlotte, insists on cuddle time the minute she is done with breakfast. She wants me laying on the couch so that she can climb up on my chest and nuzzle her snout against my cheek. And if I try to get up in the middle of snuggle time, the disappointment is palpable. You can feel her fighting against your effort to unearth yourself from her embrace. She also loves to snuggle up in our laps. She doesn't care that she hangs over a bit on each side. In her head, she's the still same size as our Yorkie.
And Millie loves to lick our faces and give snout kisses with her little wet nose. And she follows us everywhere we go. Just like a dog, much of the time it is motivated by affection. Sometimes she is hoping for a treat. And sometimes she just wants to be a part of the action. She is always ready to snuggle in close with someone on the couch. And, unlike Pumpkin, Millie's face shows her affection. She almost always looks like she's smiling.
But, not only are pigs affectionate towards their humans, they are super affectionate towards each other. You can see the amazing family bond between all three pigs. Pumpkin is Charlotte's mother. And Millie is not related to them, but you'd never know that Millie wasn't Pumpkin's daughter. She is always with them. They snout kiss each other. They cuddle endlessly. And if Pumpkin hears either of her daughters in distress, she is ready to come to their rescue. And when she can't get to them, it clearly bothers her. When I work with Millie on being picked up in the bedroom, Pumpkin can hear her squeal in the living room and wants to come and rescue her. Since there is a gate blocking her, she knocks things over or tries to tear up blankets or pillows. Exactly what you would expect from a distressed mother of any species (including humans). I can only imagine what pigs on farms where they are raised to be eaten feel when they see family members taken away. Their poker faces might not show it, but there is no doubt they are very aware and affected by such events.
So, if you are considering adopting a pig in need from a rescue near you but worry that they won't be as affectionate as other companion animals, please know you have nothing to worry about. I cannot imagine my life without the love I feel for and from my beloved pigs. I can honestly say that I have never felt so close and connected with any other species of companion animal. And if you are worried that adopting an older pig will mean you missed out on key bonding time when they were a piglet, this couldn't be further from the truth. My connection with Pumpkin (she was 5 when we met) is every bit as strong as the bond I have with Charlotte and Millie who I've known since they were 8 weeks old. So, please rescue a pig in need and they will return the favor a million times over in the love they will give you back.
Don't forget to grab your "I Love Pig" bumper sticker in our store!
Bored and Hungry Pigs Can Get Destructive
As I noted in my article "Can Pigs Be Destructive?", pigs definitely have the ability to do some damage when bored, frustrated or hungry. But, I thought the best way to get this message across is through pictures of pigs doing exactly that: being destructive. Of course, these are usually out of the ordinary events. Most of the time, pigs can be very well behaved. And some things are just normal pig behavior. For instance, they love shredding up their blankets and beds to make them better. They don't think of it as destruction... to them it's home improvement. And that has largely been the extent of our pigs' destructive behavior. They've ripped a bunch of blankets and beds. Oh, and the couch, which is technically their bed too.
Now enjoy a pictorial tour though: What Mischievous Pigs Can Do. I've included the story provided by the individuals sharing these wonderful images.
Lizzie Ronsick wrote, "My Rupert gets in my night stand when I don't pick him up at night. He wants me to cuddle him and sometimes I don't wake up to his oink. In turn he knocks everything off of the shelf."
Trish Brown Jones shared, "If you zoom in on the window casings, you can see where the boys have eaten most of them."
"You can see where they’ve eaten my drywall here."
Nicole Rhoades shared, "Only half the destruction after looking for the granola aka crack."
Dawn Braudt Bleeker pointed out, "Joy is hiding behind the desk."
Nic Rich Lily describes that their pigs, "ripped through the sheets to get to the down bed topper...."
Chrystal Lynn Limon points out that the "only thing my Belle has ever destroyed was her bed."
Karen Buehrle Overlin stated that this is "Oliver after he stole a bag of shredded paper."
Elizabeth Keyser shared these pictures of Rosie and Josie's efforts.
Delaine Rangno - "My deck. Everything tossed. Bernard wanted in the house, and I wasn't home."
Leanna Sherfy Myrick points out that, "This used to be covered in lanolium.... Tink, Penny, Tut, and Goblin."
AnnaMarie Klassen Drywall,they have got 4 different spots in 4 different rooms,tell me again why I love my pigs lol
Trish Brown Jones One more for ya! Just came home to this. Oscar ripped the bottom drawer face off my oven tonight. Thank God he’s cute...otherwise I might have gotten upset.
What should be equally clear as the fact that pigs can be destructive is that we, the companion humans to these amazing animals, wouldn't have it any other way. We adore our porcine family members destruction and all.