In recent years pigs have become a popular animal to keep as a pet, even for those who do not live on a farm or smallholding. It is not surprising, as they are lovely creatures who are very intelligent, gentle and compassionate. They are certainly an animal that you would trust around children, keeping them entertained with their big personality!

As with all animals, pigs require a certain amount of care and attention to ensure that they remain happy and healthy. Bringing one or more pigs into your life is not a decision that should be made lightly, as they will need dedication from you, as well as an investment to be sure that they have everything they need. We have put together a beginners guide to keeping pigs, which we hope that you will find helpful in making your decision, or enable you to get organised if you are waiting for your new addition to arrive.

Choose your breed carefully

There are many breeds of pig that will differ in size and personality, so make sure you do your research into what will be best for you and your family. A larger breed of pig will need a larger enclosure and will tend to eat more, so be certain that you can provide this in terms of space and finances. If you have young children, a smaller pig may be preferable as they will be able to be more involved in their care, which is both fun and educational.

Prepare your perimeter

Your pigs will require an appropriate amount of space to allow them to roam freely.  Depending on whether you have one or more pigs, they will need a space for their arc shelter, a feeding area and space to walk and roll around as they please. You will then need to ensure that the enclosure is escape proof! A high fence and a sturdy gate is essential, you could also install an electric fence to help deter your pigs from escaping. 

Build a shelter

Pigs prefer to have an arc type shelter, which they can use for sleeping and for sheltering from the sun on a hot day. Ensure that the shelter is set upon an area that is well drained and away from the direction of a prevailing wind. Your pigs may often prefer to sleep outside of their house at night, especially in the summer so that they can keep cool. Provide them with plenty of straw so that they can nest too.

Put thought into their diet

Like all animals, pigs will need access to clean water at all times of the day. They will require a balanced diet, including protein, fibre, energy, vitamins and minerals. Pigs are omnivores, so can eat both plant and animal based foods, but be sure not to give them scraps from the kitchen as this is illegal. Any fruits and vegetables must be fresh.

Give them your time

You will need to set aside time to feed your pigs and clean out their enclosure, visiting them at least twice a day. They also love company, so if you are able to play with them they will be thrilled. Give them a football to kick around their space and they will be as happy as a pig in mud!

Browse our website for some pig keeping essentials!


Post By Kimberley Roderick