PIG Q&A

Questions about pet pigs?? You have come to the right place friends!

What does your pig eat? Elly eats a lush assortment of veggies and some fruits! She also eats a mini pig food that I order from Ross Mill Farms! The pig eats far more veggies than our 7 year old. In fact, its like having an extra ravenous, vegetarian man in the house 24 hours a day 7 days a week!

Where does your pig go to the bathroom? When we first brought Elly home we litter box trained her. Pigs need all pine shaving litter in case they ingest it! Once the weather warmed a little (pigs HATE the cold) we started training her to go outside. Pigs cannot do stairs though.. so we had to have a ramp built off the back of our house to help her get outside. We installed a bell by our back door and have taught her to ring that if she needs to go!

Was your pig easy to potty train? Not for a lack of intelligence! Elly would use retaliation turds and peeing on my favorite rug to seek periodic revenge! Revenge typically ensued after leaving her for too long while working, raising my voice to her, arguing with her over where to use the bathroom, and eventually getting carried down the stairs to use the bathroom! This all stopped after we spayed her.. and she has pottied appropriately every since!

You live in the city… why did you spay your pig? Lady pigs go into their first heat cycle around 6 months. They get raging PMS and will scream and throw emotional fits. There is only room for one of us to act that way in our home, so the pig lost and got fixed. It is also important for their reproductive health and reduces cancer risks.

Why couldn’t you be a normal person and get a cat or dog? My husband is crazy allergic to EVERYTHING including all animals with fur. He really wanted the pig and after some convincing I agreed. Pigs grow hair and their skin is similar to ours. No allergy issues in this house!  

Is having a pig like having a dog? Definitely not! Having a pig is like having a 3 year old child that never grows up! Pigs are extremely intelligent. No cats versus dogs here, they are heralded as the 4th smartest mammal on the planet behind humans, dolphins and chimps! They are loving, mischievous, noisy, and GET INTO EVERYTHING! Pigs need constant stimulation and attention. If your pig gets bored it will find its own entertainment. Typically in the form of eating your house… your shoes… your flooring.. (you get the idea).

Where does your pig sleep? Ours sleeps under a GIANT pile of stuffed animals in our daughters room! She also sleeps under a GIANT pile of blankets on our bedroom floor. And when she is feeling fancy, also sleeps in our daughters pink princess tent!

How big will she get? Please understand that there is NO SUCH THING as a teacup pig! Elly is a very small breed of pig called a Juliana. The definition of a mini pig can range from 50-250 pounds depending on the breed. Pigs grow until they are 3-5 years old. Those adorable, cute, pocket sized pigs that you see all over the internet are BABY pigs. They will grow much bigger, which is why there are pigs over crowding rescue sanctuaries all over the country. To be honest, we don’t know exactly how big our pig will get, but that’s ok with us! We love our svelte little lady!

What do your neighbors think about the pig? They LOVE her! Overall the response has been positive! They love seeing her outside and come over to feed her if we are both working late. Our neighborhood is quite diverse! Our Latin American friends across the alley joke about when we will BBQ her… our Polish neighbors enthusiastically ask us about sausage.. we stand firm that our pig is not food! Its all in good fun, and people really enjoy her!

Where does she stay when your not home? Elly has a good amount of freedom in the house. We do not crate her but many people have good success with that. We just close a lot of doors and hope for the best! Typically she sleeps in our daughters stuffed animal pile while we are gone. But if we are gone too long she gets mad.. and knocks our dining room chairs over and then locks herself in the bathroom! The pig does best with being home alone 5 hours or less. My husband and I work jobs with wonky, offsetting hours so it works ok for us. I would not recommend a pig for a family that is gone 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week. They get too lonely, bored and then act out.

Does your pig let you hold and cuddle her? Sort of. When she feels like it. And when she initiates it! Pigs are prey animals and typically do not appreciate being picked up. Elly “tolerates” my husband and I holding her but does not love it. She does like to snuggle on the couch with us though. And she loves sleeping next to our daughter. Pigs are affectionate and love their fellow “herd” members deeply, but it typically falls on their terms.

Are pigs quiet or noisy? Noisy! Very very noisy!! Pigs are intelligent communicators and make over 20 different sounds to their fellow herd members. When a pig squeals in fear everyone stops and notices. It is literally ear piercing! They also honk like geese, grunt, groan, chatter, and HAHAHA. Its a rainbow of sounds.. none of which are quiet!

How long do pigs live? 15-20 years! Fancy that! Our pig is going to empty nest when our daughter leaves for college in 10 years. She will be in good company.

Are pigs legal pets? Here in Chicago they are. We are very lucky and do not even have to obtain a permit for her. But many cities have local ordinances about pigs being classified as livestock and do not allow them. Always check before adopting a pig.

Did I miss anything??? If so feel free to ask away in the comments section!