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Did you know that pigs are considered the 4th most intelligent animal? Pigs are intelligent, inquisitive, social animals, who require mental stimulation just like a dog. Like dogs, a pig can learn their name very quickly, can learn tricks such as sitting on command, can be trained to use a harness and can be trained to use a large litter box. Pigs are known for having good long-term memories. For example, pigs can tell which people are nice to them and which aren’t, and they can distinguish between pigs they know and pigs that are strangers. Most importantly, pigs are sensitive and complex animals, who exhibit emotions and feel pain as deeply as you and I. 

 

We are very excited to be rehoming an increasing number of pigs lately. To help facilitate the perfect adoption fit for the pigs we are rehoming this blog will delve into the essential factors you must be aware of before bringing a pig into your loving family. 

 

Check with your Local Government Authority

The first thing you must do before considering adopting a pig to be your furever family member is to check with your local council and acquire a permit for the pig to be kept on your premises. Not all local councils in Australia will grant the permit, therefore it is vital to have the permit before going through with the adoption, otherwise, your new family member will, unfortunately, need to be rehomed again and you may be fined. 

 

There is a second legal requirement all potential adopters must be aware of. That requirement is that the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Pigs is followed. This document outlines the minimum standards for animal welfare for keeping a pig. These standards are aimed at the commercial pig industry, however, still must be followed when keeping a pig as a pet. As long as you are looking after your pig as well as any other family member, these minimum standards will not affect you as you should be treating your pig above those standards anyway. 

 

Housing

Housing for your pig is something that needs to be considered before your pig arrives at your beautiful home. Your pig can be kept indoors or outdoors, the choice is yours. Remember wherever you choose to keep your pig must be spacious. If your pig becomes bored, they can start to destroy the area around them as they try to remedy their boredness. We recommend that you provide your pig with nesting materials such as old blankets, or straw, as pigs love to nest. 

 

You must provide your pig with an outdoor area, especially a shelter to protect him or her from the elements, especially the sun. Pigs are prone to sunburn and skin cancer due to their light colouring, providing a mud bath in summer is a great way to keep your pig cool and helps to protect your pig from the sun. Having a spacious outdoor area is vital also, as it ensures that your pig has room to run, exercise and use their natural instincts to forage. 

 

Please be aware that your pig’s natural instincts are to forage and root around your property. Therefore, it is normal for them to dig up their outside areas. 

 

Food and Drink

Pigs will eat almost anything! Ideally feeding your pigs either wheat, barley or oats, as well as apples, kale and root vegetables are going to be the best diet for your pig. Food scraps that are destined for the compost can also be given to your pig. To ensure your pig gets his protein feeding them small amounts of beans, or peas are vital or alternatively purchasing pellets can also do the trick. 

 

Your pig will need fresh water daily. Don’t be alarmed if your pig tips over his water. Pigs do this to create mud to wallow around in. If you would like to prevent your pig from doing this, we recommend obtaining a heavy container for the water. 

 

Health needs

Your pig must be desexed. Undesexed female pigs go into heat every 3 weeks if not desexed. That means every 3 weeks your pig will become restless, vocal and moody. A male undesexed pig will become aggressive, restless and smelly. Therefore, desexing your pig, either male or female, is vital. 

 

You will need to annually worm your pig and ensure their hooves are trimmed. 

 

We hope this has covered any questions you may have about adopting a pig. If you have further enquiries do not hesitate to contact us through our Facebook Messenger and our adoption consultants will look after you.

By Luella Botteon