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Pot Bellied Pigs/7 day old pot bellied pig

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Question
I have took in a newborn pot bellied pig.  My female delivered 3 babies 7 days ago and due to cold weather and her smashing one and pushing the other away I felt it would be a good idea to take the other due to cold weather that it Kentucky all of a sudden.  See we didnt know Charlotte was expecting. she got with our male evidently without our knowledge and was out wondering around so she wasnt in the barn at time of delivery.  I have had QUINN which is the only piglet left now for 7 days. she seems super healthy and is having normal stools.  I feed her every 4-5 hrs 30mls of goats milk with 1 and a half tsp of gerbers rice cereal.  she has just started in the past couple days constantly rooting on everything.  My question is,is this normal,is she still hungry, or is there something else I should be doing.  Thank you for you time. Ellie Hayse

Answer
I t can be tricky to tell the difference between hunger rooting and instinct rooting. If you try feeding piggy while piggy is rooting, and piggy acts totally hungry and food crazy, piggy is hungry. If piggy is just so-so about the food, it's probably rooting instinct.

As babies nurse, they root on Momma's tummy, which encourages her body to produce milk. When babies are bottle or pan fed, that kind of rooting action while eating doesn't help, it just makes a mess. But, babies are hard-wired to do this, so they root elsewhere while they are not eating.

You can teach baby to root on a pile of old blankets or a stuffed toy. When babies are small, the rooting can be annoying. When they get older and stronger, it can be really uncomfortable when they root on you!

Momma pigs normally wean babies at 8 or 9 weeks, and babies stop nursing/rooting about the same time. But, when babies are weaned early, they continue nursing/rooting longer, sometimes until they are almost 6 months old, but they will stop eventually.

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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