Lilly and the vegetables

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 12:03 pm

Lilly is my new 3 month old girl, who is currently living with my two other girls.
She was never fed veggies before coming to our house, besides carrots.
During quarantine she wouldn't touch a single veggie i gave her besides carrots, strawberries and tomatoe, but just a few nibbles(except carrot).
After introductions and living with the two older sows(two weeks ago) i was hoping she would start taking more interest in veggies. She started eating romaine since then and the ocasional green pepper, but just a few bites and goes back to eating pellets or hay.

When i put their dinner plate full of veggies in the cage, she shows no interest in it, she hardly ever tried to approach it. I tried putting a little bowl of veggies near her hideout for her, but again she just nibbles on them and then the other pigs come and eat her share.

I don't really know what to do with her, i have to go on vacations for 3 weeks in around a month, and my mother in law will come and give them veggies, but i'm worried Lilly won't touch them and get sick.

I thought she would start getting interested in them once she saw the other pigs eating, but not really. She just sits in her hideout, or goes and eat hay.

Do you guys have any advice, or have been in the same situation? Do you think that in a month or so she will eat like the other pigs?
She has been gaining weight, but it's mostly because i give her veggies from my own hand during lap-time, but i really need her to start eating with the other pigs in the cage because i'll be gone for 3 weeks in a month...


Help me convince her that veggies are good!


Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 12:08 pm

Just in case she's not really eating a lot of veggies by your vacation time, do you think your mother in law would hold her and hand feed her?

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 12:18 pm

I don't really think she'll have time for that. I could ask her to try and give her some veggies in the cage with her hand though...but then again Lilly doesn't recognize her voice and might not come out at all.

Same thing during lap-time since she just becomes a statue if she doesn't know the person who is handing her veggies(she won't eat from my husband's hand but from mine she will)

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 12:19 pm

Fred took about 2 months to really be convinced that veggies were ok. I think he was an extreme case. He STILL is afraid of parsley though. Lily is just taking her sweet time making up her mind that veggies are ok. Since she is still hiding it sounds like she's nervous in general. I think she'll realize that she's safe and happy soon.

If you can get your MIL to hold her with some veggies then you won't have to worry.

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 12:38 pm

Yeah Lilly is a nervous piggie. She still screams when i pick her up(she's been treated for Mites already), but she used to scream alot more.

She seems to like being petted since she relaxes and makes happy/relaxed noises.

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 1:42 pm

I had a screamer and picky eater like that too, Yuugi. Baby was about 10 months old when I got him. He came complete with a dreadfully small pet store cage, but the lady was quite kind and topped off the extremely soiled bedding with a fresh layer of shavings so it looked nice and pretty. He was in the car all of five minutes before we were sniffing the air and wondering what that smell was and realizing it was the cage. Anyway, point being that if she couldn't even properly clean his too small cage, I doubt he had much handling while he was with this woman.

He spent at least six months here before he really warmed up to us and obviously began to trust us. He used to scream like the girl that just classically went upstairs and then twisted her ankle and fell down when the madman serial killer is two feet away in your standard B rated horror movie. lol He was so dramatic about it! He only did this when being picked up and otherwise was a calm, sweet pig, but it didn't matter where he was being picked up from. Take him out of his cage - screaming ensues. Pick him up off of the floor - more screaming. Even passing him from lap to lap caused it if we were not super quick about it. We came to the conclusion that he was not used to being handled and having his feet off of the ground freaked him out because he, like Lilly, was happy once he was held and being petted. You know, maybe he had heard the saying "When pigs fly!" and thought we were going to test his wings. That's certainly how he acted about it. Today he is still a little freaked out when he's lifted, but there is very, very rarely any screaming. He usually just gets a little wide eyed, squirmy, and burbles his disapproval until his feet hit something solid again. Trying to put him on his back will definitely bring back the B movie queen i him, though! We are going to get him one of Weaver's Cozy Cavy cups to sit in when we have to pick him up. Hopefully this will help him feel more secure since he will not have his little feet kicking in midair.

He also was very picky about his veggies and fruits when we got him. Green leaf lettuce was okay, but red leaf and romaine were evil. Parsley was surely poison and cilantro was ok for a nibble or two. Peppers and baby spinach were out of the question altogether. The only sure things were carrots and fruits. Baby had a sweet tooth! He'd gobble anything sweet and ask for more. I kept offering everything, even the "ewwwww....poison!!" veggies and he eventually started trying them and realizing he actually could stomach them. Today he eats a broad range of veggies, but as the years pass and he ages his love of sweets is fading a little. Carrots are still a hit, but he only nibbles most fruits now and prefers his greens instead. I have just recently in the past few months gotten him to eat pepper, but only orange. Green, yellow and red bell pepper is still turned down without so much as a single nibble.

Just keep offering Lilly a variety of healthy foods and she will get brave enough or curious enough to try them eventually. It might overload her little senses if you offer too many types of veg at once, so rotate various combinations at different feeding times. I am not sure how big your other pigs are, but Lilly looks fairly small. Something I learned with my foster pigs (an adult sow acting as a nanny to two young pups) was that it helped to make a space accessable by only the smaller pigs to feed them in. I used a cardboard box with openings only big enough to allow the babies inside. They would get their veg in there and their nanny, Veronica, got hers in her dish. It worked out fairly well for the time being. After a few days I put less veg in their hideout and some outside of it, in between the box and the dish. This made them come out to get what was there after they finished what was inside their box. I kept working them closer and closer toward the dish over the next few days. They've been here 2.5 weeks and everyone eats together now. Veronica gets a little pushy at feeding times occasionally, but the boys are starting to hold their own and push back a little now, too.

I'm done rambling now. Just thought I'd share my stories so you do not think you're alone.

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 2:59 pm

My other two sows are adolescent so they are quite territorial about their veggies,but since i feed them on a dish she has room to get in there if she wants.
I also give her veggies on a little bowl , but she takes little interest in them.

I guess i just have to give it some time.

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 3:41 pm

None of my pigs I have now got veggies before I got them, and I had a hard time convincing them that veggies were good and not poison! Junior ate nothing for weeks when I got him, but he was sick and I ended up syringe feeding him for weeks. Once he felt better, he started sampling everything I put in his dish, and now he wheeks for veggies all the time! Elmo never had veggies either, and it took a few months before he was eating them regularly.
My new girls only had oranges for 9 months, but they have adapted to veggies very quickly for some reason. I now hear a chorus of wheeks at veggie time!

Give her time. She will come around. I would see if your mother in law could assist you with feeding her several times a week now, before you go away, so she will get used to her. Maybe have your mother in law hold her, and you feed her. Then switch, you hold her and have her feed her. Then see if she will let her hold and feed her. Maybe she will adjust to that before you go so you won't have to worry. Good luck!

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 3:46 pm

I'll echo the giving her time/letting her come around thing. With the MiL thing, it really can't hurt to at least ask her... keep trying, and don't give up.

Lilly is precious.

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Post   » Sat May 17, 2008 11:41 pm

I would try seeing if she's interested in an oxbow vitamin C tab in the short term. That plus proper food is more than sufficient to keep her from getting sick. You can work on veggies when you get back.

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Post   » Sun May 18, 2008 6:35 am

Something I tried with my fosters was holding them and basicaly stuffing a long slender bit of the veggie in the side of their mouths till they chewed by reflex. I did'nt really force any one who struggled too much, but after a few tries they all figured things out. It went a lot faster than waiting for the pigs to get a clue on their own. :)

We also supplemented with vitamin C, since their diet was very poor. You can try having the tablet crushed on a veggie she will eat OR you can crush the tablet, mix it with some water, and immediately syringe it to your pig. We were very naughty and flat out refused to eat vitamin C so out came the syringe.

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Post   » Sun May 18, 2008 7:22 am

So oxbow vitamin C doesn't need to be crushed?
I think i'll order that then, i'm sure my mother in law wouldn't mind giving her a vit. C.

Thanks so much everyone!

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Post   » Sun May 18, 2008 8:18 am

Er, I dont know if other people's pigs will just eat the vit c tab. I automaticaly crushed and sprinkled. the syringing wasn't too difficult to do, but you'd have to crush mix and syringe right away before the vit C becomes inactive.

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Not a Fighter

Post   » Sun May 18, 2008 9:41 am

I got my Vitamin C in liquid form from the vet - probably costlier but the pigs love it. I tried to get a liquid vit c from GNC but it had other stuff in it and pigs would not touch it.

I have a 2year old pig that I got about 6 months ago. Before he came here, he never ate any veggies. Now he will eat lettuces, but I can't convince him that peppers or other crunchy stuff are good. Time, time and more time.

Eventually your pig will "get it". Maybe she'll always be a little nibbler (but chances are she'll be the biggest one lol)

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