FreestyleFarm » AN URBAN FARM IN THE CITY

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Living With a Pig

Even though I did my research and read everything I could about owning a mini pig, I didn’t know what we’d really be in for. So after living with Henry for the past 6 weeks, I’d like to offer some honest feedback, and it’s all good. No regrets or second thoughts since this little piggy came home.

GOOD PIG:

  • He’s so laid back and non-agressive. Doesn’t jump up, chew furniture, or bark (actually, we did hear him bark twice, and he sounds like Betty).
  • He stays close to home and never wanders off.
  • He always comes when you call his name. Especially if you have Cheerios.
  • He will want a cuddle then go to bed when it gets dark, and sleep the whole night until morning. He loves to sleep.
  • He’s happy to be left in the bathroom for up to 4-5 hours, with his bed and blankie, without any fuss. As long as you hide some Cheerios under his blanket, he will root happily while you are gone. However, this doesn’t happen too often. Piggies are very smart and will become bored if left alone all day with nothing to keep them entertained.

BAD PIG:

  • Nibbles on my toes when he wants to be fed.
  • Races me to the dog bowl every time I let him out to scarf up Betty’s kibble.
  • Pee’d on our bed once. He’s not allowed in bed anymore.
  • Pee’d four times on the carpet. Our fault for not watching him.
  • He will have tantrums and meltdowns when stopped at a crime scene…like when he’s stealing my heirloom tomatoes, or when he’s trying to break into the coop for chicken feed.

CLEAN PIG:

  • He does his toileting in our walk-in shower and has never had an accident in the rest of the bathroom. I no longer have to use cob litter, he just stands in the corner of the shower, and goes pee. Simply rinse with the shower head.
  • If I run the water and get his feet wet in the shower, he will also go pee.
  • He can go a long time without peeing. And he can pee for a long time (how many times can I use the word pee in this post?)
  • He doesn’t smell or shed and requires little grooming. The occasional shower and towel dry is quick. No dealing with matted fur or spending money on expensive groomers. His hooves have worn down naturally, so I haven’t had to trim them (thank goodness!)
  • He doesn’t require vaccinations. Pigs don’t get rabies, and rarely get fleas or ticks.
  • He doesn’t run or bolt out the door when there are visitors. He’s actually quite indifferent, unless you have Cheerios. Then he’s your pal.

GROSS PIG:

  • If the chickens free-range, he likes to follow behind for some chicken “pudding”.
  • Can’t leave him alone with the rabbit. Henry likes to eat rabbit poop, and they poop LOTS. Rabbit has now gone to live with the monk next door.

HUNGRY PIG:

  • The pig is insatiably hungry. He loves to eat and will eat all day if you let him. Breakfast and dinner is a mixed grain feed. Lunch is grazing on grass or my heirloom tomatoes (bad pig!). At almost 4 months, he is now 11 pounds.
  • He also gets blemished fruit and veggies that the kids won’t eat, basically, he’s a walking composter.
  • Henry doesn’t know we “eat”. If he finds out, he will never leave us alone. He doesn’t get real food, and never will. Except when he found the garbage and helped himself to some Thanksgiving turkey.

SMART PIG:

  • He will push his pillow to a sunny spot to lay down. He loves to sun himself, preferably on a pillow.
  • He will “turn” in a circle for Cheerios.

SWEET PIG:

  • He’s affectionate and greets me with panting and short grunts. (Henry, not Hubby)
  • Loves to be cuddled and held, but only when he’s tired and in the mood. (Henry, not Hubby)
  • He calls out, “maaaaaa!” or “mama!” when he wants me. (I better stop here)
  • When you rub his side or belly he tips over – suddenly – and without grace.
  • He always wags his tail, because he’s always happy.

FUNNY PIG:

  • His soft grunts are funny, it’s like living with a whoopie cushion. He makes us laugh every day.
  • He roots around, poking us with that big fat snout.
  • When he’s tired he stands perfectly silent and still and zones out until you put him to bed.

STUBBORN PIG:

  • You can’t make him do what he doesn’t want to do, unless you have Cheerios.

Update: Here he is at 8 months old…“Oh Henry!”

Update: Here he is just under 2 years old…“Pigs, Before and After”

Harvest Update » FreestyleFarm - […] So there you have it. A constant work in progress. More updates soon including, “Living With a Pig”. […]

Deb - Thank you for sharing your life with Henry! Your post brought smiles and a few giggles! What a great friend he is becoming.

france Simard - he’s so irresistible! we love monsieur henry petit cochon!!! i wonder if miniature pig sales will increase with your fantastic photos and stories : )

Jill - I just wanted to let everyone know what a great pet a pig makes : )

Rowena - Thank you for sharing such beautiful photos and most of all your experience of living with a micro-pig.

I live in Australia and we are yet to get micro-pigs…. I absolutely long for one, but know it may take many years before our very strict quarantine system allows the first migrants to arrive!

i am however, very patient!

I love your blog – it’s inspiring and very tastefully presented. Well done!

Theresa - Thanks for this post! I’ve been toying with the temptation of getting a pig so this was invaluable! LOVE your blog :)

Jhodi - oh please, please, please can I come by and see him?

Nicole - Hi Jill! wanted to share that we will be welcoming our little piggy into our home next July/Aug. We will be getting our little one from Lola’s first litter, I love reading your stories about Henry makes us look forward to our piglet even more!

Cindy Owen - I first learned about your site while leafing thru a copy of Maclean’s magazine in my dentist’s office. I was interested in learning what life with a pig is like and accessed your site this morning. Sounds like fun and thanks for educating me!

Olivia - You have the cutest piggy! But I heard mirco/mini pigs aren’t guaranteed to stay small. Please keep us posed! :)

Shannon - This was a very cute post! We recently came home with a mini-pig as well. He is just as you explained, although we are only at 5 weeks old. (not 11 lbs)….
Thank you for posting!

Stephen Evans-Freke - WE are considering getting a micro-pig…Could we possibly have an update of your experience with Henry a year into his arrival? Thank you.

Rosemary - We have them in Alberta, Canada now. Just wonder about having one for 6 months in the house while it is cold and snowy out. I don’t think they’d appreciate the cold.
Do you think pigs would get along well with border collies? I have two grown males who are lovely dogs.

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