Monday, March 4, 2013

Cooooool piggy...

Lucy HATES the snow...

FiddleSong Farm just would not be the same without Lucy. Potbelly pigs make interesting pets. They are pretty fun and easy to train, and have individual personalities. They are clean and don't smell at all. They are funny and lovable, but they have some very special needs that cannot be ignored. Just like any family pet, when you adopt a pig into the family, you are committing to provide care and shelter, good feeding practices, and a safe haven for the life of this animal. Potbellies can live up to fourteen years, and they are NOT for everybody! 

When we adopted Lucy, she was a darling little squealer! She weighed about 10 lbs, and quickly learned to go potty in a litter box provided especially for her. We made her a salad every night to go with her special pig chow, and she LOVED grapes!!!  I didn't have any idea what having a potbelly for a pet would entail, so AFTER we brought her home, I got online and started searching the Internet for all of the helpful hints that I could find. Looking back, I wish that we had done a few things differently, but all in all we did OK, because Lucy has turned out great! If you are considering a pig for a pet, find all the information that you can FIRST!! Too many piggies end up at animal shelters having been neglected or abandoned, just because their people didn't know what they were getting into.

Here are a few basic hints:
1. ALWAYS spay or neuter your piggy!! (We didn't do this, and BOY are we sorry!)
2. Don't let your pig eat too much. A pig can literally eat itself to death very quickly, so be vigilant about keeping all food products safely out of your piggy's reach. 
Feed in moderation~ a fat pig is unhealthy.
3. Too hot or too cold is not good! Potbellies are tropical animals, so protect them from extreme temperatures.
4. Watch out for dogs. Even your own dog could be your pig's worst enemy. Our dog Jack is a little jealous of Lucy, so we keep Lucy separated from the dogs unless they are supervised.
5. NEVER REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR WITH FOOD! If your pig "snouts" the door at pig dinner time and you feed her, she will snout the door every day FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. Pigs have a memory like a steel trap, and they have incredible problem solving abilities, which leads us to~
6. A gardener with a pig better build her fence "pig tight". Lucy checks the garden gate EVERY time that she walks by it, because one day I left it unlatched.
7. When your pig is naughty, TELL HIM! Your pig can tell by the tone of voice if you are unhappy with him. "LUCY, NO!" stops her in her tracks, and she thinks about what she is about to do. Usually this is enough to change her mind, unless there is something edible within her line of sight, then it is:CHARGE!!! EVERY PIG FOR HERSELF!!

Lucy's Cozy Cottage, complete with heat....

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