Introducing Your Micro Pig To Your Home

Introducing Your Pig to Its New Home

If you are fortunate enough to have a pig who has been socialized and gentled by the breeder, you can skip this section. But if your pig is not gentle, follow these guidelines. Place the crate in which you brought it home, in a small, confined area. Open the door and let the pig come out gradually and check out its new surroundings. Remember, it has left everything and everyone it knew, it is vulnerable, and it needs your kindness. When it ap­pears less afraid, sit on the floor with the pig, and offer a treat from your hand. If the pig is frightened, move your hand slowly and delib­erately in its direction. Do not make direct eye contact with the pig at this point. If you can touch the pig, scratch its chest and side with a gentle touch. Continue offering treats and scratching.

Repeat this process as often as you can dur­ing the day. If necessary, feed the total ration for several days in this manner, until it is forced to accept you and your attentions. Eventually, the pig will come to you. Talk to it in a reassuring voice. Do not make any fast moves or try to pick it up. Pigs resist being picked up and hugged. Eventually, however, most pigs love to sit on the lap of the person they live with. Each pig has a personality all its own. Some want to get close and touch their owners, while others prefer being more dis­tant. Remember that most pigs really would like to be friendly, and respect their fears of being restrained and held up in the air.

Have both your nursery and outside pen prepared by the time you bring the pig home. Take your pig to its indoor area immediately and do not let it out unsupervised again until it is totally reliable in the house. After showing the pig its new litter box and bed, introduce it to its water bowl and its food bowl. The whole family should take time to socialize with the pig and make it feel welcome. Let it ex­plore the territory inside for a few minutes, then pick it up and take it outside to its pen. If your pig runs away, further gentling is needed.

Walk beside your pig in a slow, nonthreat-ening manner and talk to it. By being in its small area, you will be socializing and litter-training it simultaneously. What you want is for the pig to trust you. Try to gain its confi­dence by sitting down on the floor with it, while talking to it. Coax it closer by offering it tidbits, scattering a few pieces close to you. The pig will gradually get close enough for you to touch it. When it does, very slowly move your hand under its chin and scratch it.

At this point, things should fall into place rapidly. Soon you will have your pig “eating out of your hand,” both figuratively and lit­erally. Call your pig by name from the time you bring it home. Pigs tend to bond tightly with the people of the household (their sur­rogate “herd members”), and are generally aloof and indifferent to visitors. Pigs hand-raised on bottles from a very early age tend to be friendly to all people, but could become biters as they mature.