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Andrea

I'm pigsitting - couple of questions

I've been left in charge of someone's pig and it all seems fairly straightforward. However, this pig is kept in a concrete shed apart from when I'm cleaning it, with nothing to do. I'm sure she'd like something to play with, but what?

Second, a neighbour said they'd drop round a pile of peaches but questioned whether I would have to remove all the stones before I fed them to the pig as the pits were poisonous. Do I? Is there anything else obvious that I should avoid giving it?
Dee J

Oh dear, poor pig.
We've never kept a solitary pig, nor kept one indoors in a concrete shed. Something to root through seems to be the best entertainment - whether its their bedding straw or an armful of green stuff (comfrey, grass, weeds etc). Don't know about peach stones - our pigs don't have such luxuries...
Dee
Andrea

I've suggested that the peaches would be better fed to me, and the chest high weeds fed to the pig. But they looked at me as if I'd just put my knickers on my head. Sigh.

Wishing I had a handy football for the pig, but failing that I have some empty plastic water bottles that I can't imagine would harm her if I took the lids off.
Shan

Chuck some small treats or pignuts into the straw. Occupies them for hours. I used to do that when we had to bring Jabba in for farrowing.

Not sure about the peach seed - but I would definitely agree with eating the peaches yourself!
dpack

pigs are best with a few together but as this one is a loner some extra interests would be nice.

deep stuff to root about in is good ,a bale of straw is bedding, a place to hide nibbles etc.a plastic bottle might well get eaten but a log would make a safe toy.i would think peaches would be a very popular treat and pigs are smart enough not to choke on stuff especially if they can crunch it to bits so i recon peach stones should be ok.corn on the cob is another possible treat if there is any about.too much green stuff might give it the runs if it isnt used to it and be careful not to give it toxic "weeds".

pigs are at least as clever as dogs and a lonely under stimulated one might be a bit difficult to handle,be careful ,try to make friends with it ,bits of foods etc helps with that but they do like a neck scratch ,kind words etc etc .

i feel rather sorry for it ,im used to pigs in small family groups in deep littered pens or pottering around the farm yard when young weaners.apart from a few "difficult"ones they have all been charming and fairly easy to handle.
Tavascarow

I agree with all of the above & can also add I have fed whole peaches to pigs with no repercussion.
Too many will give them the trots, & the noise they make when they crunch the stones is amazing. (makes you realise you don't want your fingers anywhere near their jaws).
Andrea

Thanks. There's not a whole lot I can do to change this particular pig's environment other than speak to it's owners when they return and give it some company in their absence. This is only day two of a house/animal sitting favour, and I'm realising already that I don't know these people nearly as well as I thought.

There is nothing at all, not even straw, in this pig's pen other than it's food and water bowls. They give it food scraps in addition to it's rations, not not weeds and green stuff. In fact the only weed the lady could identify was plantain. I gathered a bunch of fat hen and wild amaranth, on the basis that if it doesn't hurt me it's unlikely to hurt the pig either and chucked it in. When I went back ten minutes later the poor love was lying on it Sad

Interesting fact about peach stones time. They contain cyanide which is probably where the neighbour's query about their suitability came from. However, in such small quantity that a 70kg person could consume over 1kg of peach stones without harm. Assuming the pig weighs at least that, I don't think I need worry.

If these much talked of peaches ever arrive, I still don't guarantee that the pig will get many though!
Shan

Poor pig. Sounds like it is kept in awful conditions!!!
Andrea

That's a tough call Shan, because by local standards it's conditions aren't bad at all (although they could do with a LOT of improvement!). On the basis that the pig is clean, sheltered, well fed and not abused it could be considered lucky.

Bear in mind that it was only last year that the law was changed in Portugal to make cruelty to pets a punishable offence.
Shan

It doesn't have any ability to perform any of its natural instincts in the environment in which it is kept.
Andrea

I know and it's not my idea of how to keep her, which is why I posed the question of what she might enjoy playing with in the first place.

I was just trying to illustrate the size of the barrier that needs to be overcome here.
Andrea

I've found the perfect toys! Me and a hosepipe Smile The pair of us had a tremendous time and I don't think I've been so muddy since I was about 6. Shame I only brought one pair of work jeans with me!
sean

Smile
dpack

pigs love a good wallow and it it good for them to get some mud on their skin now and again.
next time i get chance i might have a go with them Laughing
Shan

I know and it's not my idea of how to keep her, which is why I posed the question of what she might enjoy playing with in the first place.

I was just trying to illustrate the size of the barrier that needs to be overcome here.


I'm not criticizing you. Well done. It sounds like you have given the poor thing some pleasure.
gregotyn

I think the law now requires that pigs must be kept in the company of, or in sight of their own kind. If they are kept in a piggery then as I read it they have to have a method of occupation regardless of the numbers in the pen, usually straw is added or a chain hung up as a toy. Unless of course you have a 'pet pig' and then the law isn't in force as I understand it. It is fact that pigs need stimulation as their intelligence is quite high. So anything you do to give it an object/s to give it a challenge or pleasure to play with helps, and everybody seems to have covered that, including you and a hose pipe! In my youth I worked on several pig farms and the main object of fattening a pig was to keep it stress free and that is what a pig is if it has mental and physical stimulation. We even kept boars with an 'in-pig wife' to keep him happy, and another when she went away to farrow. Happy contented pigs grow fastest too. I would put as many of the weeds you can find in the pen and feed on top of that.
Andrea

I wonder how a 'pet' pig is defined?
gregotyn

Not sure myself but there was a spate of pigs which were kept by people as pets; all premises suitably registered with holding number-yes even 42 Acacia Avenue qualified. Surprising how destructive they can become in the living room as they are not so good in the house as a dog or cat, and tend to get large and don't understand 'no'.
Andrea

I've never understood the farm animals in the house thing. There's a woman on one of my goat FB groups who keeps her goats in the house. She publishes photos of them snuggled up the sofa with her. Each to their own I suppose.
Tavascarow

A close friend had a Vietnamese pot bellied pig that was house trained but she couldn't stop it from chewing the electricity cables.
Lived outdoors after they discovered why the TV didn't work. Lucky for the pig it wasn't on at the time.
Andrea

Very Happy Very Happy
dpack

my half wolf came to me in a bit of a tizzy one afternoon,he showed me the problem which was a gos asleep in our bed Rolling Eyes .i shut the door when i went out after that Laughing
Andrea

So many opportunities there for an off colour remark Very Happy Very Happy I shall resist.
gregotyn

Andrea, ask we all want to know what the other half is!
Andrea

And that was the LEAST concerning part of the story Laughing Laughing
gregotyn

One step at a time, Andrea
dpack

Andrea, ask we all want to know what the other half is!


the other half was newfie x gsd.i think he was probably the runt of the litter at about 45 kg after a nice lunch.a perfect gentleman .
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