Miniature Piglet Development between 6 -9 weeks
Miniature Piglets grow and develop really fast during this time. We call it the weaning period. Weaning is a transition period in which piglets get accustomed to eating an adult Miniature Pig’s food and the range of foods which they are interested in rapidly expands as they start to show more interest in a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.
Some piglets are more adventurous than others when it comes to taste buds! They also fully enjoy the pelleted food but still suckle from their mum a few times a day. The sow – piglets’ mum – begins to feed them less frequently and gets more irritated when they demand milk the minute she comes back into the pen. Slowly, she shows that they piglets must forage for themselves and not depend on her for food by pushing them away from her!
During these weeks the piglets are like sponges. They absorb everything around them, learning about the environment and other animals and people. The is the best age to start training them and to continue with socialization.
Rasing Miniature Piglets as Pets
During our Facebook Live Presentation on Thursday 30th April I discussed a range of topics from bathing a Miniature Piglet, the correct feeding as well as the basics of Training among others. We will have a brief look at each of these topics now as many prospective owners seek answers to the questions of raising Miniature Piglets as pets.
Washing a Piglet
Miniature Piglets can be washed either in a bath tab or outside using a hose and warm water. Accustoming your pet to this procedure from a very young age is important to ensure the animals do not get stressed. Smearing some coconut oil or peanut butter along the sides of the bath can encourage a piglet to lick it and not be bothered too much about being washed! Using a mild shampoo designed for human babies or a natural dog shampoo is the best option to ensure the piglets’s skin does not get irritated.
Using Sun cream
Miniature Piglets can get sun burned if they are exposed to full sunlight for a long period of time. Lighter coloured pigs are more at risk of sunburn than darker coloured ones. However, even black or ginger pigs can get dryness at the tips of their ears. We would recommend using good quality sun cream on the tips of the ears as well as along the back of lighter coloured pigs if shade cannot be provided. Often, it is enough to offer sun protection by providing shade in a form of leaf canopy from overhanging trees. Installing sails or other forms of sun protection is another good option. Mud baths can appeal to some Miniature pigs but not all and can serve as a wonderful way of cooling down.
Miniature Piglet Training
Miniature Piglet Training is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your pet and to establish a greater bond between you both. But training is not really only about teaching your piglet commands such as “Sit”, “Stay” or “Come”.
Training, in my experience of having successfully Therapy trained many pigs, is first and foremost establishing trust and respect. A young piglet learns to respect their mother from a very young age by the way the sow behaves and treats the piglets. They soon learn their place in a pig herd hierarchy which is paramount to a well functioning pig family.
Observing sows around their piglets can teach us a lot of things of how we can apply similar principles to teaching piglets to respect us as their new owners after weaning. Winning the piglets’ respect is number one priority before any command training can commence. Trust also goes hand in hand with respect. We have written a lot about building trust between you and your pig on our Therapy Pig Visit to Victoria and Albert Museum as well as How Intelligent Are Pigs page. You are welcome to take a look to learn more about building Trust between you and your piglet!
Considering Buying a Miniature Piglet?
If you are looking to purchase your own Miniature Piglet, why not take a look at our Buying a Miniature Pig Guide? We sometimes have Micro Piglets for Sale as well as young fully trained adults who will make wonderful pets.