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Pot Bellied Pigs/gentle rooting on hand

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Question
Hello,

Been going through the threads and the experts give great advice on my things. definately gives me some great insight on things. We have a micro mini teacup pig and is almost 8 weeks old and right around the 5 lb mark. He has been great. He plays well with the dog and cat is tolerant of him.

We have concerns about his rooting on our hand, if he gets rough we tell him easy and he does. I figured it's cause he is young looking for mom, after he roots a little while he will then try suck on our fingers, guessing he is trying to get moms milk.

I have been getting him to spin before we give him his food cause he seems to get pretty quick to jump on the food when we go to feed him. We currently are giving him 1/2 cup of milk replacer 3 times a day. morning (7-8am), when i get home from work (3pm) and night 9pm before bed at 10. along with this we have been giving him natural pig food recommended but 1/8 cup along with 1/8 of cup of mixed veggies and fruits, at breakfast and dinner. we do training sessions with only cheerios only.

We do our best to correct any actions we dont want done down the road. He has plenty of toys and since weather has been nicer we have taken him outside so he can properly root.

We plan on making him 3 rooting boxes, one outside with clean dirt and rocks good stuff, another indoors with plastic balls like at ball pens for kids and another indoor one filled with rocks and things.

Any recommendations are welcome as this is our first pig but feel we are on good track with him. We are going to be following all your advice on MTP "move the pig"

Thanks in advance,

Mike

Answer
Obesity is a big problem in pet pigs. But, young, growing piglets need plenty of nutrition. The rule of thumb is 1/2 cup per 15 lb of piglet, and many veterinarians recommend offering no less than 1/2 cup per day, even if small piglets don't finish it all.

Milk replacer is nutritious, but it isn't as filling as pig pellets. The pellets are full of fiber and take awhile to digest and allows piggy to feel satisfied longer. Milk has no fiber and the liquid is quickly absorbed through the intestine, leaving piggy hungry again.

So, I suggest upping his pellets, and gradually reduce the milk replacer. Because piggies sometimes don't like to drink enough water, I'd dilute the milk replacer with water, until it's all water with maybe a drop or two of ordinary milk or fruit juice.

It's difficult to concentrate on lessons when you're hungry, so give piggy a light snack before training time. It will help him concentrate on you and reduce his food aggression.

The rooting in the palm is a nursing behavior. Many piglets do this. It drops off dramatically at 12 - 15 weeks, and is usually gone completely by 6 months or so. In the meantime, you can redirect his rooting to a safe object, like a squish ball or stuffed toy.

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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