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Pot Bellied Pigs/Sleeping through the night?

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Question
We have a male 13 month old Juliana/Kune Kune mix.  He is a great pig!  He is affectionate and well behaved.  Our vet agrees that he is healthy and a proper weight.

Our problem is that he gets up at 3am every morning and begins to nudge us until we get up and let him outside.  He usualy urinates and is happy enough to go back to bed again.  However, he continues to wake every 1-2 hours and wakes us up.  We have tried to ignore him hoping that he will stop, but he outlasts us everytime as the nudging is annoying/painful.  

We have also tried taking him out later at night and feeding him later and these do not seem to help.

Can we encourage him to remain sleeping at night?  Do you think crating him would work?   If he is crated would he still need to be taken outside at 3am to relieve himself?

Thank you in advance for your help - we would really appreciate an entire nights sleep :)

Answer
It's difficult to outlast a stubborn pig. Crating isn't the answer here, even if he manages to hold it all night long, holding it may cause a urinary infection. Male pigs have a long, narrow twisty urethra that's prone to all sorts of problems. It's best to let him pee when he has to.

One solution might be to give him his own "bed room" with a bed, litter box, water dish and toys. Put him in at bed time, leave him there until wake up time in the morning. Naturally the first few nights will probably be rough for him, and he will try to escape and complain loudly if he can't.

Another solution might be to put him in his crate after his 3 am duty. Be ready for him to complain loudly about this, too.

You could try adjusting his feeding schedule by giving him some veggies for dinner, then his main meal of pellets right before bed. Mixing pellets with warm water causes them to swell, so to piggy it seems like he's getting "more" to eat. But be warned - if feeding his main meal before bed does not solve the problem, he will still expect a bed time treat from now on!  

Pot Bellied Pigs

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Helen Morrison

Expertise

Pot-bellied or other miniature pet pig care, including diet, housing, training, health care. Can provide information about zoning, adoption, supplies, and organizations. Questions about any kind of pet swine are welcome!

Experience

Owning, raising, and caring for small pet swine, including "Vietnamese" pot-bellied pigs since 1992.

Organizations
Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

Education/Credentials
BBA from KSU

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