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Caring for pet pigs

Diet

Water

  • A supply of clean, fresh drinking water must be available to pigs at all times. 
  • Drinkers/bowls should be cleaned regularly.
  • Pigs must be able to access water in icy weather. Make sure water does not freeze in winter (ice should not be removed using chemicals).


Food

  • It is illegal to feed any waste food to pigs. This includes meat, bones, blood, offal, or other parts of an animal. Also, used cooking oil and table/kitchen scraps can’t be fed to pigs, even if no meat or meat products are prepared in the kitchen.
  • A commercially prepared pig ration, available from agricultural merchants, should be fed.
  • Feed, suitable for their age and breed, should be provided to give them a balanced diet.
  • Food dispensers should be cleaned regularly.


Company

How many pigs to keep?

Pigs are social herd animals and you should allow for at least two pigs, which get on well, to live together.


Health and welfare

Always contact a vet if you are concerned about the health and welfare of your pigs.


Exercise

Pigs must be exercised regularly to avoid obesity, constipation and prevent their feet from becoming overgrown.


Veterinary care

Pigs must have regular checks from a vet to make sure they are in good health.


Pet pigs are prone to some specific health problems, including:

  • dry, scaly skin
  • arthritis and lameness, particularly in older animals
  • pot-bellied pigs can suffer from inverted eyelids.


Vaccinations:

  • Consider vaccinating your pigs against diseases such as Erysipelas (every six months), Parvovirus, Escherichia coli, Clostridial infection and various parasitic agents, such as mange, lungworm and lice. Contact your vet for further advice on this.


Find out about some important considerations regarding the environment for pet pigs.