Pot Bellied Pigs/a 2nd pig?
Okay, I have my 7-8month old neutered male and the 9month old male neutered cat who are getting along great. The rescue group told me that they have a 6 month old female who weighs around 15 pounds who needs a home. Should I get a second? I keep hearing conflicting arguments. One side is telling me that my current pig enjoys being an only pig and that the best I could hope for is that they tolerate each other. I also hear from other folks that pigs are naturally social animals and enjoy the company of others within their species and that pairing pigs is encouraged. The lady says that her little pig gets along with her dogs and cats but I know that just because a pig gets along with dogs and cats doesnt mean that she will get along with other pigs. I don't know what to believe. Here are some of my concerns.
My current pig, Hamilton, seems to be pretty well behaved. I keep reading horror stories about pigs tearing up carpet, drywall, etc... and other stories about biting and aggressive pigs. Hamilton has not behaved in these ways and maybe will teeth on the edges on a wooden table now and then. Could adding another pig trigger bad behavior in him or cause him to act out?
I read where it could be dangerous having a smaller pig with a larger pig. The pig that needs a home is around the same age of my current pig (7-8 months) however Hamilton weighs around 33-35 pounds while the new pig only weighs around 15 pounds and her parents each weighed 30 and 35 pounds at the age of 3 (so I would assume she would be much smaller than Hamilton) Would it be safe having a pig that much smaller around?
It seems as if this new pig that needs a home is an outdoor pig. Hamilton and my cat are indoor pets. They share a small extra room where there is a litter box, water bowl, toys and whatnot and roam around the house when I am home. Would it be very hard to have an outdoor piglet adjust and become an indoor house pig?
Please let me know because I would like to give a new home to her but not if it isn't in the best interest of both pigs
Pigs see the world as a ladder, with each person, pet or pig having his or her own rung. When a new person, pet or pig joins the household, the pig must figure out where the newcomer fits on the ladder. When that newcomer is a pig, BOTH pigs have to figure out where they sit on the ladder.
Naturally most pigs do not want to be the "bottom" pig, so pigs may squabble quite a bit when they are first introduced. But, it is never really as bad as it looks or sounds. They don't really want to hurt each other but they do want to scare each other!
Young piggies adapt more easily than adult piggies (age 2 or up). Because both these pigs are still really just babies, they should get along with a minimum of fuss.
Putting a large, older pig with a young, small actually works very well most of the time. Piglets understand that they are small and vulnerable. They are content to be low on the pig ladder, and do not argue with the adults who want to be on higher rungs.
A bigger concern is that the female is unspayed. Unspayed females have piggy PMS. They may become escape artists and roam the neighborhood or forget their potty training. If you decide to get this littler girl, she will need to be spayed.
In rescue we often take a new pig directly to a vet for a check up and spay or neuter. We bring the pig home after surgery. Your vets evaluation will help you decide what to do next. For example if the new pig has mange or another problem you may want to keep the new pig in quarantine for a week or two.
Let the pigs see and smell each other but keep them apart for a while. Just how long depends a lot on the pigs. At least a day, maybe a couple of weeks. This also give the new pig a few days to recover from the spay in her new home, to learn to use the litter box, etc.
You may want to always feed the pigs separately. Also, when trick training, it's easier to do one pig at a time. I highly recommend harness and lead training for both pigs, because once s pig learns to walk on a lead the pig will always remember.
When the pigs reach ages 2 or 3 they might squabble a bit. This is when pigs reach adulthood, and the subordinate pig may try to be dominant.