Currently I have 3 sows, a 2 year old named Sophie that we adopted from a local shelter, a 1 year old named Pepper that we got for free from a family that didn't want her, and Kitty, a 3 week old that we just acquired this weekend from a lady that rescued a pregnant sow. Kitty's sister will be joining us in a few weeks!
My two big girls share a 12 square foot cage made out of one 2x4 "Kaytee Rabbit" cage and one 1.5x2.5ish "Guinea pig starter kit!" cage that has the wire taken off and grids put in for walls, as it's the kitchen area I couldn't get my hands in there to grab out piggies/put in new hay! They have a ramp that I made connecting the two, I'm quite proud of it! Nonslip rubber mat tacked on with carpet tacks over a thin pine board with cup hooks holding it onto the cage!
Kitty is in a 1x2 foot cage, she has her very own piggy pocket that she loves to hide in, she is a very skittish, but smart pig.
We got Pepper first on December 1, my boyfriend works at a retail store and some customers went to buy pig food, but they were out. They got to talking to my bf and offered him the pig and the cage for free. He texted me, I texted the landlord, we said OK. We went to pick her up and noticed they had 4 small children, the two girls were away at that moment (Hmm, wonder why?). Poor Pepper was in the 1.5x2.5ish cage on the floor with a neurotic toy poodle bouncing around. She had pine chips for bedding and only had oranges for her "veggies". At this time we had done a bit of research and new red flag, red flag, red flag! So we took her and ran, later getting a text from them that their daughters really missed her, I'm assuming they were not informed of "Ariel"'s departure. She was a Christmas pig from Petco and lasted less than a year with them. She is a very untrusting pig and will teeth chatter and flee from you at times, but accept petting and chin skritches at others, she's moody as all get out. We're working on the trust thing, every night for food time I put her on my chest and give her 1/4 of a green pepper (Her favorite food, could you have guessed?) and pet her a bit. She squeaks sometimes in protest but she's right at home up there. I'm pretty sure she is boss pig, as she has attitude to spare. I also want to add that she is the queen of kissies!
Sophie we got because we couldn't leave Pepper to be alone, so we got on petfinder and found a guinea pig for adoption at the humane society the next county over. We went there a week after we got Pepper (we had bought the 8sqfooter by then), met her, she bit our fingers, and we left with her. Sophie was/is a large pig, about 3 pounds at last way at the vets a few weeks ago (Pepper is 1.5) she was fed hay and the multi-color pellet junk as well as veggies. They told us she doesn't like carrots, but this tub will eat anything (except zucchini). The two were introduced gradually, I didn't do the quarantine period as she had been at the shelter for a few months without incident. I switched their toys and hides every day for a day or two, let them go nose to nose in a separated playpen, then let them go. They still aren't the best of friends, but have never made the other bleed. Lots of nose battles and soooo much rumblestrutting. Sophie attempts to mount Pepper from time to time but Pepper is half her size and twice as quick. She is a total sweety, loves her pets, oinks at us, begs etc. Since she's technically obese we feed her veggies separately, as I swear she doesn't chew and inhales everything, then she eats Pepper's share and gets wider. She gets about double the free-floor time (2 hours or so) to work off the rolls. I'm worried about diabetes with her, but so far so good with her restricted diet.
Kitty we just got this Sunday, she's an abyssinian floofball that's super silly. We got her thinking we could only fit her in with the space we have, but adding her sister might not be a bad idea, she seems a little depressed being alone in her small cage. She's sharing floor time with Sophie (separated) and is having a ball popcorning and running and grunting grunting grunting, she never shuts up when she's happy. The other pigs ignore her for the most part, yesterday was when they were introduced on separate sides of the cage and Sophie just wanted to go visit the baby, Pepper ignored her. Tonight Pepper and baby might have been grooming each other through the bars, not too sure. I have no experience with babies, but I think she's doing well, drinking and she loves her pellets. I don't believe she cares much for the alfalfa hay I give her (her pellets are alfalfa based), I've seen her nibble it once or twice but I have to replace the pellets a lot more. Her "mom" lives 3 hours away and only delivers her pigs through her fiance that lives over here, he's not set to visit her until a few weeks from now so we have to wait for sissy.
All pigs have fleece bedding with puppy pad liners, spot cleaned daily, flipped every 3 days and replaced every week. I bought a compressed 50lb timothy bale for the big pigs, it's not all "good" hay but they still eat it and it was only $15 and will probably last through the Summer.
My future plans for the pigs is, well, I'm moving in a month or two, so hopefully I will have more room at the unknown new place, but a friend of mine is selling me her home made rabbit hutch, it's 3x5 feet made on a folding table. I plan to put the big pigs in there and then add the 2 babies once they're over 6 months. Babies will get the 8sq.
Just had Sophie and Kitty together, Sophie chased her a bit and I think tried to mount her, nosed her a lot but no teeth. She's a projectile pee-er and Kitty got in her butt a bit but no pee, yay. I'm thinking Sophie is dominant pig now, it's hard to tell with these 2 because they're pretty hostile towards each other. Sophie gets mount-y when she's in heat.
I've blah'd enough, gonna figure out how to post pics of the cuteys.
This is why her full name is Caterpillar
Pepper's chubby face
The two big pigs mowing down in play time
Sophie post-bath, she is very fluffy and fat and you can tell.
Does this towel make my butt look big?
I am a pancake.
Visiting my parents, Pepper had a pepper on her head.
The mod-ed little cage/kitchen area. Zip-tied together and double gridded.
Side view of whole cage. Lighting in here is awful and I use my phone as a camera, so can't really get a good full shot.
I'm working on "taming" the baby, for veggie time I will catch her and hold her in my lap while she eats romaine and green peppers and I pet her. Do this for like half an hour then let her go and roam, leaving more lettuce and peppers around me so she associates me with goodness. I'm trying to get her used to being petted while she's on the ground, not really working but I'm trying. I move my hand slowly towards her and extend a finger, she usually runs off when I advance said finger. Some day she'll get it.
For now she's enjoying her full free time alone, scooting around and popping out of her skin.
What time, you ask?
Time for another BABY!
Kitty's sister is coming to us on Friday, I've, shamefully, successfully found the lady on facebook and took a picture of the baby off there to show you guys.
Also, pigs all get to travel home (about 50 miles away) to stay with my friend who is a pig nut while I go on min-vacation.
I did some "fun" playtime with the baby today, took her in her pocket on my tummy while reclined in my chair, got her out with a piece of pepper and let her play around on me. Only peed on me twice! HA. Took some pictures but due to baby being black and poor lighting, they didn't turn out very well :(
Edit: Oh some notes on mini pig number 2: She is supposedly the runt and a huge "whine bag" and super fluffy
You're right, linshad! Except Sophie has yellow pants and your Latte has white! They're such a pretty color of pig :)
I really hope the sisters will get along in the small cage I have for them, I'm moving back in with my parents soon and will be setting up my friends 5x3 foot ex-rabbit hutch for the big girls and the babies will get the 4x2. I just need to get a job in town first.
I used to feed them romaine as a staple, but I'm now cutting it out and using green leaf lettuce and a variety of other stuff I have no name for. I used to not be able to do this as Pepper is a picky little snit, except when fed with Sophie, where she has to be competitive and eat as much as she does (HA). I "fixed" this by separating the play pen and feeding them on either side, and feeding baby on my lap (chest. I'm not going to lie, I'm calling it breast feeding). They got about a leaf of green each (baby got like a third) plus some curly little lettuce stuff and a halved grape tomato. I'm hoping this helps clear up the excess calcium in their system. They also got their usual piece of pepper for the vitamin C. Baby only got the lettuce and pepper as she's got white spots in her cage too (had them since we got her :/).
Now the big pigs are almost finished and I gotta watch to make sure fatty doesn't knock the barrier over to get Pepper's veggies.
I leave you with this crap picture of the baby eating her veggies on me. She shook her head and sprayed my face with juice right after this. Very thankful she didn't pee on me this time.
Picked her up right after work today, she screamed the whole way home, as the lady said she would. She is a WHEEKER. Big lungs on that tiny thing. I gave her a drink of water and nibble of lettuce and let her meet her sister through the bars (After the little thing ESCAPED. TWICE. THROUGH TINY HOLES I THOUGHT WERE SEALED.) all went well so they got to be together, they were very happy, popcorned, snuggled, ran together. I gave them a leaf of lettuce to make Tyrannosaurus quit crying. Then I separated the play pen again and let the big pigs in on one half so they could meet with them. The runt is way to small to be with the big pigs with how hard they play, I just don't want to risk putting them together right now. I think in a few weeks when she puts on more bacon I'll let them romp together.
Here's an album of them together. They are so happy, both are tearing around right now.
I'm going to cry if they keep me up wheeking in the night... mama's gotta work in the morning.
We still haven't found a solid cause of death for the TRunt yet, but she most certainly had the diarrhea. Possibly from too much rich food, though I took every measure to limit what she took in and made sure there was always hay in front of her.
My 3 pigs stayed at a trusted friend's house while I was on vacation for 3 days. Unfortunately that friend's grandmother died during this and the pigs got a little less attention than they should have, but no harm no foul.
Poor Sophie had a run in with what I call Satan in Fur, my friend's cat. Luckily he was afraid of this big beautiful 3 pound earless rabbit
Their first night back home I got a family portrait, though it turned out crappy (thanks, phone!)
My friend gave Kitty a new cage, it's definitely larger than her old one, she really loves it and popcorns around a lot now. I will be adopting her a new friend in a month or two when we move back home after I get this (Hopefully!) new job.
My friend and I went to two different PetSmarts looking for CC, but found none. I got some young pig Oxbow food, vitamin C tablets, and Oxbow veggie treats (limit of 1 every 2 days per pig).
Pepper is still a poo eater. I've changed their veggie diet to a low calcium one with more variety, she still prefers poop over veggies. Freak pig.
In the meantime I think I'll take today (my day off) to make the bathroom into a pig safe zone so they may venture in and out of there as they please during play hours.
So, went to Petco for some bowls for Kitty, who has taken to knocking her non-tip-resistant bowls over and peeing in them. To make the story short, I think we're getting another pig.
This poor little boy has been in there forever, whenever we go we check out the pigs and he's one of those boys that they separate and keep in the big column tanks. He's been alone for so long, he looks like he's well over 6 months old. He popcorned when he saw us looking at him, went absolutely bonkers, he wants out.
I'm going to call the vet in the morning to see how much a neuter will cost. If it's decent, we'll pick him up and make an appointment. We have grids and fleece, just need to figure out a bottom part, probably going to be cardboard for now, can buy some chipboard from work later. He'll stay in our room, away from the girlies, hopefully the cage we make will be enough to keep his raging hormones out of the living room, though the girls are locked up pretty tight and off the ground.
Lucky dude's going to have a harem.
We reserved our boy tonight, the girl was so happy that we were taking him, he's been in there for several months, they believe he's over 6 months old when they usually get them at 2. He's going to be in a very makeshift cage, 2x2 grids with a tarp bottom, I'll raise up the tarp on the sides to make sure he can't get his nose out.
The girl took him out for us and he was absolutely darling, very used to handling and loved his scritches. So excited to take him home tomorrow!
Here's an album for you all http://imgur.com/a/1sjsZ
He's a very interesting pig, lots of personality and lots more to get to see, he still hasn't learned that veggies are good things, but he's learning. He's very comfortable around us, had his first playtime today and boyfriend and I both laid down in there with him, first thing he did was tunnel down my side and jump on my butt. He jumped on and over us the whole time, allowed petting, and just checked everything out.
Playtime is held close to where the other pigs are kept, so he's spending lots of time mooning at the girls and trying to poke his face out the wire barrier. He's managed to climb on top of his pigloo, so I've decided to put some grids on top of his cage (awe crap, forgot to get pics of the cage!) that will hopefully keep him in. The girls are in petstore cages so he shouldn't be able to get to them if he does escape.
His cage is 2x2 grids with a tarp bottom, tarp pulled up 3 grid holes and clipped on with binder clips. He's rooming in our bedroom so he's away from the girls/can't really smell them but sure can hear them.
He's in quarantine so we're having fun washing our hand a lot more now, having to switch out towels for playtime so no contamination. His first appointment at the vet is tomorrow, then we'll make the surgery appointment.
Meanwhile, I got a job offer about 2 hours away that I am taking, so we will be moving back to our respective parents' houses. Pigs are coming with me, by then the quarantine period will be up so he can be in the same room as everyone else, but still will have a few weeks before he can be with his ladies. Hopefully we will be able to move into an apartment with bf soon after, bf seems to really be bonding with Chester and I feel bad for making them split.