First time piggy mama.... need step by step help!

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Post   » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:35 pm

Hello and thanks in advance for all your help.
Just a quick overview; I am a pre-school teacher. A student's family "donated" a guinea pig to our class. The said they had two and could not take care of both. I very quickly found out why! I accepted a pregnant sow! I had no idea when the event happened so I could only guess at a due date. One Monday morning I had more pigs. There were four. Sadly one was dead by the time I arrived at school. The mother was moving and the remaining three babies were moving and nursing. Everything seemed to be going well. Tuesday morning I arrived, the mother had died and one of the babies had died as well. By then I was in a panic, I called my local vet, he was not a small animal specialist, and the specialist could not get any new patients in that day. Although they suggested to make a mash of pellets and water. I was giving both pig bites all day, and still the pigs were weak. So off to the pet store I went! ( I realize now that they are not the best for information, but it was all I could think of at the moment.) They gave me a powdered goat's milk kit. That night one pig died. The last pig is doing better, gaining weight, and drinking about 1/2 tablespoon every 2-3 hours. Fast forward to a week old. I have introduced hay, fresh veggies, and water to him, along with the pellets. He will eat the pellets, carrots, and hay. He will not drink water! out of the bottle or a small bowl. So I am still giving him the formula. Is there anything I'm missing? Any and all help would be appreciated.
Harvey's Surrogate Mom

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Post   » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:41 pm

I am sorry for your losses! It sounds like you are trying to do the best you can.

There is information here on feeding pups. Do weigh your pup daily so you know that it is getting enough food.


Post   » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:45 pm

Should I keep up with the formula since it seems to be working (poop and peeing with out help and gaining weight) or change to pedialight ? I worry about dehydration.

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Post   » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:49 pm

I think I'd start trying to wean him off the formula. If he's eating hay and pellets, he really doesn't need the milk. You can gradually dilute it more and more until you're down to just water.

Also, he needs leafy greens (red or green leaf lettuce) and bell peppers for veggies. Pigs, like people, can't manufacture their own vitamin C, and bell peppers are a good source. Here's a link I wrote for another forum on how to teach them to eat veggies:


Post   » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:17 pm

I'll give it a try! So far he will only eat carrots and butter lettuce. So green pepper is next on my list. How much pellets is enough? I give him unlimited hay and pellets. I will dilute the next batch of formula (2 am feeding). Wish me luck!

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:39 pm

Unlimited hay always, all his life. Unlimited pellets until he's six months old, then cut back to 1/8 cup per day.

What he really needs is a buddy. They're herd animals, and they do much better with a friend. It would be great if you could find a neutered sow, or a very calm older boar -- they often make very good nannies, and are patient when the young ones are going through puberty.

What city are you close to? We might be able to help you find a good rescue to look for a friend.


Post   » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:56 pm

Would the father be a good buddy? I'm pretty sure the other pig from the student's home is the father. I'm willing to take him on if it would help. I'm familiar with my local rescue. I've fostered kittens for them.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:02 am

Yes, maybe. It all depends on the personalities of the pigs. They should do fine right now since the pup is so small. There'll undoubtedly be some drama when the pup hits puberty, but if you can provide a large enough cage (at least 12-14 square feet) and if you have a bit of luck, everything should go well. But I'd get the dad as quickly as possibly if you decide to do that -- he'll teach the pup to eat whatever he eats, to drink from a water bottle, etc.


Post   » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:27 pm

Are you sure of the baby's sex? How so?


Post   » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:46 pm

I've checked the little guy, and had other people look too. To me it looks pretty clear it is a boy. I can feel the little "bone" under the skin too.


Post   » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:23 pm

OK, good, just wanting to be sure before you put the dad in there with him.

I personally think putting dad in with the baby boy is a win-win scenario. Good for dad, good for baby. Baby will rebel a bit when he hits adolescence as all teens do, which means there will be some spats that will look and sound worse than they really are. Just make sure there is enough space for them and they should be good together.

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