Pigs make great pets. But we find that not many people know much about them. Here is some basics if you are new to pigs or thinking about getting some pigs.
Pigs need shelter to get out of the sun, and to keep warm. They have very little hair and they do not have sweat glands. This makes them more prone to getting sunburnt, or too hot, or too cold. A good house should be clean, dry, and draft free. Hay makes a good base as they enjoy burrowing underneath this.
Pigs should be vaccinated every six months for leptospirosis. (Other vaccinations may be required. Talk to your vet for any specific farm requirements). Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease (can be transmissible to humans and other animals). It is passed on in the urine and pigs can catch it from rodents. We have a vaccine run for pigs every February and August. Let us know if you would like to enroll your pig to this programme.
The two main pig parasites to keep in mind are whipworm and Ascaris suum (large roundworm of pig). Young animals and animals that are under pressure e.g., breeding, are more suspectable to infection. Drench injections are often the easiest way to give drench to pigs. Target drenching can be carried out at the same time as vaccinations. This drench also covers external parasites. They may need more frequent follow up injections if external parasites are suspected. Talk to your tech or vet for specific recommendations for your farm.
Pigs are monogastric, so they cannot live off grass alone. Pigs require a well-balanced diet, usually based on pelleted feed, to provide all the essential dietary components (such as essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, etc.). Without the correct diet, pigs are likely to have a nutritional deficiency which can lead to poor growth as well as serious health issues. Commercial feeds are generally an easy way to ensure they are getting a complete and balanced diet.
It is illegal to feed uncooked meat to pigs.