Pot Bellied Pigs/Sunbeam McSwine


I have a pot-bellied pig named Sunbeam McSwine.  She is my second pot belly.  When I bought my first one. Moonbeam McSwine I didn't know that the breeder had held that pig till she got used to being handled without screaming.  When I got Sunni, I didn't realize that I had to do that.  I thought if I was nice to her she would be as gentle and loving as Moonie was.  Didn't happen.  Moonie lived to be 17.  I had to put her down because she got arthritis in her back and could no longer walk.  Sunni is 8 years old now and she is such a gritch.  She complains if I move her if she is standing or sleeping or whatever.  She doesn't like being told what to do without carrying on.  Is there anything I could do that would cure her of this stinky attitude she has.  She comes when called.  Sits on command.  Loves to have her belly rubbed.  She just hollers at me if I disturb her.   Francine

Some pigs, especially females, can be extremely vocal. I've seen females who "talk" non-stop when they are awake, and even grumble in their sleep!

I'm assuming Sunni was always on the vocal side and that she was spayed. A dramatic change in behavior, like a quiet pig suddenly becoming constantly vocal, can mean piggy is uncomfortable or ill. In this case she may need to see a veterinarian to rule out any health issues. Dental health in pigs is largely overlooked, and many older pigs loose teeth or suffer from dental infections.

Two other possible health issues are arthritis and hearing. If she is stiff and sore, she will be reluctant to move when standing, and may be uncomfortable when she's lying down. If she can not hear as well as she used to, she may be startled by unexpected touches.

Another factor here is the way pigs see the world. To a pig, the world is a ladder with each person, pet or pig having his or her own rung. Now that she is an only pig, she may feel insecure about her place in the world.

If Sunni knew any tricks when she was younger, like twirl or whatever, start practicing them again. Try motivating her with treats when she needs to do something. For example, if you want her to go outside, put her out then give her a small treat, like a single Cheerio. She may always talk about what she's doing. But if she knows a treat is coming, hopefully she will sound a little happier.

Make sure she is able to hear you. For example if she's lying down, call her name and clap your hands before touching her. Make sure she's awake, and tell her what you're going to do before you do it, like "Belly Rubs".

Try using hand signals and treats to teach her to move out of the way or go to a particular spot.  

Pot Bellied Pigs

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Helen Morrison


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!


Owning, raising, and caring for small pet swine, including "Vietnamese" pot-bellied pigs since 1992.

Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

BBA from KSU

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