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Pot Bellied Pigs/3 week old pot bellied pig diet

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Question
Hello! My family rescued two adult pot bellied pigs about a year ago, and the mother just recently had a litter. She rejected them for some reason, killing all but two babies, which were about 3 days old when we rescued them. One sadly passed away, she had watery poop that we couldn't control, but the other one is doing wonderful! We are feeding him about 1/2 to 1 ounce of Unimilk milk replacer with a bit of baby rice food and 200iu of vitamin E, and when his sister was alive, we gave them just a bit of Pedialyte in their milk to keep them hydrated, every four hours. Today he is one week old and is very active and loves to follow you around and play in the grass when you take him outside, but I'm thinking a bit about the future. I know that we should stay on this diet for about 2 weeks and then introduce pellets at about 3 weeks, but how often at 3 weeks old do you feed them? One site said 3 times a day, is that enough?

Answer
Good nutrition at this age is vital. Many people free feed babies up until they are about 6 weeks old. Just let baby have a little bit more at each meal.

Babies under 8 weeks need to eat often, three times a day is probably not quite enough for a three week old. Four or five smaller meals would be better.

Pigs wean their babies at about 8 weeks old. Very young piglets are not interested in anything other than mothers milk. As they get older, about 4 or 5 weeks, they may sample foods they see Momma pig eating, but they may just chew and spit it out. By the time they are 6 or 7 weeks old they will eat some of whatever Momma pig is eating.

Start with starter pellets, sometimes called youth or baby pellets. These have more milk and nutrition than adult pellets.

Put a few, like three or four to start, pellets into the formula and let it sit until the pellets are dissolved. Stir it up and feed it to the baby. Each meal add more and more pellets, until baby is eating something that looks like cream of wheat.

At that point, gradually begin switching the formula to plain water. Start by using maybe 1/5 water and 4/5 formula, each meal use more water less milk

If baby has trouble with the pellet mixture along the way, reduce the number of oellets and stir in some yogurt or sour cream, to make the food a slightly thicker consistency. Sometimes it's easire to introduce the pellets into a thicker food than the thin formula.

When piglets nurse, they root on Mommas belly to encourage milk production. When piglets are pan or bottle fed, they can't make this nursing movemenbt while eating they way they normally would. But their instincts still force them to do this, so they may root excessively on anything and everything - pillows, toys, people. Normally this nursing behavior stops at 9 weeks or so. But, when piglets are weaned early, it lasts longer. Usually it stops by 3 months

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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