Setting Up The Nursery

Try to pick a nursery location that will not make the pig feel isolated from the family but will nevertheless keep it confined to a partic­ular area of the house. Full access to the house should be given gradually, after the pig has shown it is reliable about its toilet habits. If possible, pick a room that has exits you can barricade with see-through gates. This should be a room frequented by members of the fam­ily, because if the pig is isolated in a bathroom or utility room, it may become bored, frus­trated, and lonesome. Think of your pig as an infant or toddler in need of both companion­ship and rules.

The nursery should contain the following:

  1. A litter box that the pig can enter and turn around in easily. The size of the litter box should be increased as the pig grows. The bottom section of a travel crate for pets, with its existing door open­ing, works well. A small child’s wading pool may be used, but for most pigs, es­pecially very small ones, an entrance must be cut. Be sure to tape the edges or file them smooth, and round any cor­ners so the pig does not injure itself. Wood shavings make ideal litter for the box. Avoid cat litter, which the pig will most likely taste and sometimes eat.
  2. A bed your pig can call its own, with an old comforter, blankets, or towels. The top section of a travel crate works well, as do dog beds and baskets. You can be as elaborate as your decorating skills and pocketbook allow.
  3. A few blankets and towels for your pig to root in and burrow under. Be sure they are washable.
  4. A non-tip bowl for water. Always keep fresh water available.
  5. A non-tip shallow food bowl that permits sorting through the food.
  6. An assortment of playthings, such as balls, rawhide chew treats, plastic soda and milk bottles, old knotted socks, squeaky toys, and a stuffed animal or two.

If it is impossible to let your pig have access to a whole room, you can use a large child’s playpen or a dog exercise pen as a substitute. But this does not give your pig much room, and may only teach the pig how to get along in confinement instead of teaching it to  relieve itself outdoors. In addition, you will need to provide all the apparatus listed above, which will not give the pig much room to move around.

If you must use this method, take the pig outside more frequently, and let it out to investigate the room when you feel confident that it will not have an “accident.”

Letting your pig sleep in your bed is not recommended. Although this seems cute when the pig is small, a pig will become very pushy