Pigs for pets? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-27-2014, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Pigs for pets?

I'm not talking about pot bellied pigs, "teacup pigs" or "micro mini pigs"...but the actual farm pigs that are used for meat. It wouldn't a house pet, but an outside pet once we move out to my farm within the next year or so. I've always loved pigs, my favorite (by appearance) is the Hereford. I'm going off to do some more research, but was just curious if any of you had experience with the larger breeds of pigs.

Do any of you have any experience raising them? Are they friendly with the other animals and people? I have only came into contact with them at local fairs and they were being shown and auctioned off for meat and they weren't very sociable...but my gosh are they cute. They were extremely curious and seemed like they would make a fun farm pet.

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post #2 of 4 Old 04-27-2014, 12:43 PM
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We are planning on raising pigs for meat our two breeders are young right now and we are training them to walk on a harness, come to use when called, basically training them like dogs. We want them to be friendly to us and social, so far so good. We let them in part of yard to graze during the day, and they stay in a smaller pen at night. I think it is doable to keep them as pets, as long as you spend time with them and teach them how to behave. Our two little pigs, Blondie and Dagwood, love horse treats so use those as rewards for them.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-27-2014, 01:33 PM
Weanling
 
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I raised meat pigs for the county fair back in the day.

Pigs are very sociable, extremely intelligent, very easy to train. All you have to do is invest the time and interest in them. My pigs were like dogs. They were extremely well mannered, followed me around like dogs. I placed very high in Showmanship because they listened so well.

That said, full- sized pigs grow to be simply enormous. You must realize that generally pigs are auctioned off for meat as mere juveniles, 250-280lbs. If not slaughtered, they will mature to around 500- and I've seen some enormous 800 pounders. It's not impossible.

Even breeding sows become quite huge.

Other than that, if you give them room (like a pasture) they will tear it to pieces and rut up the whole thing. Every. Single. Inch. Be prepared for that.

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-27-2014, 01:43 PM
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They also often have a ton of health problems as they become mature adults and seniors because of the ENORMOUS amount of weight on their bodies. They're bred to gain weight, and fast- not for longevity unfortunately. My friend had a giant pig of some sort as a pet- he hit 860 lbs at one point but had to be put down at 7 years old because he began to get sores from laying down constantly and his body was just too big for his organs and legs to support. He was basically slowly suffocating. It was really sad.

If you bought a lesser known breed though, that maybe isn't so genetically engineered...you might have a better chance at health throughout their lives.

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