Pot Bellied Pigs/Adding a Second Pig
Recently we decided to introduce a baby (11 wks)to our very spoiled big boy (80 lbs)... Did not go well!!! We were told by the breeder to take him home and turn him loose with our brat boy... To expect our boy to side posture, head swing, and nip/bite at him till the baby ran away, that lil one would submit easily and it would be over fairly quick. Our boy did this: He mohawked, foamed and charged, got lil one in the butt. Baby ran away, but hell hog tried to pursue?!? like he wanted to kill him! We were told to not allow him to chase after lil one and we didn't... This went on for a few hours. We intervened each time our boy tried to hunt lil one down, which led to our brat attacking one of us?!! At that point I freaked and ended up returning lil one after discussing the situation with the breeders. I feel I acted hastily by doing this and regret it!! My questions are... Was this the proper way to handle their introduction? Would my hell hog hell have serious hurt lil one or killed him? Did we make it worse by interfering in the process? At what point should we intervened if at all? I am so confused!! Is my boy so spoiled that he will never accept another?? Pls Advise!!
Pig introductions can be rough. Usually, it looks and sounds a lot worse than it is. Pigs rarely seriously injure each other in routine introductions in homes and farms. Long, sharp tusks are dangerous, so most pet owners keep tusks short.
Ear biting is a concern. Pigs swipe their heads at each other, if they happen to latch onto an ear they can tear it. Wiping the pigs ears with a little Vasoline before the introductions will prevent this, because the ears are too slippery to hold on to.
Pigs see the world as a ladder with each person, pet or pig having his or her own rung. Newcomers upset this balance. The two pigs will have to work it out between them. People can try to intervene, but that usually just makes the fighting last longer.
Usually when one pig is large and the other is small, the smaller pig is nimble enough to stay out of harms way. The larger pig wants the smaller pig to know who's in charge, so the attack and posturing will seem really serious. But the worst that will happen is the smaller pig will get flipped a few times.
The balance may change when the younger pig reaches adulthood at age 2 or 3. At this point, some pigs need to improve their rung position, and will challenge higher pigs, other pets, or even people.
The best way to make the introductions is to start by putting the two pigs in a place where they can see and smell each other, but not touch. Switch bedding, so each pig has the other pigs scent on the bedding. After a day or two, grease their ears, put them together, and walk away for an hour or so. It's scary! But, remember, it looks and sounds worse than it is, the goal is to scare the other pig, so it is scary to watch.