Pot Bellied Pigs/Training an Adopted Adult Juliana Former Boar
I had an adult Juliana boar wander onto my property and into my Tamworth pasture this past Sunday. Animal control suspected he was brought out here and dumped (he had been spotted all over the county for five days but could not be caught) and we agreed that I would give him a permanent home if we could catch him and castrate him. We did on Tue. and he is recovering and getting to understand he is safe in a pen in the barn. However, he won't let me anywhere near him, and trembles when I get any closer than about two feet, and tries to run away. He is comfortable enough to lay down when I am sitting about three feet away. He won't take food from me and did not eat the apples and eggs I left in a bowl for him after trying to hand feed him. I am a Tamworth breeder whose pigs still flop over for their belly rubs, so I suspect he is definitely neglected and probably abused. Any advice you can give me on helping him overcome his fear, and to be a lovely friendly 'farm mascot' would be greatly appreciated. I love him already, and want him to feel safe in his new forever home. Warm regards, Susan
He sounds like he is well on his way to calming down. He might not know that apples and eggs are food. But pigs enjoy exploring and investigating and as soon as he samples them, he'll figure it out.
Work with him the same way you'd work with a piglet. Go into his pen, sit down, and just talk softly to him. Let him come up to you at his own pace. Keep trying different foods, and make him come to you for treats he really likes. When he's comfortable next to you, try touching him as he eats.
The difference between working with him and working with a piglet is that we don't know what happened to him in the past. So as you work with him, watch for things that scare or upset him, and avoid them if you can. For example I once had a foster rescue who could not stand to be covered with a blanket or wear a coat. So, that's something we just didn't do.
Keep working with him and he will relax and come around