goats and more goats and pigs, oh my!

NinapearlAugust 25, 2011

i suppose i should put this in the "farm life" forum but alas, my goats are pets and i have recently added a little pot belly pig to the herd.

introducting "porkahontas"...

i built her a little wallow and she loves it! she walks into it, buries her whole snout and blows bubbles. it's hilarious to watch her!

she has been here almost 2 weeks and i think she thinks she is a goat...

for obvious reasons, the lil porker can't jump but she does run and play with the goats, grunting the whole time. she isn't quite tame enough for me to touch her yet but she is getting more gentle each day. she no longer scurries away from me and will eat out of my hand. :)

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Pigs are some of my fav people, lol. Never have been around pot bellies, but used to bottle-feed a couple farm piglets. Pigs are terribly intelligent. They love to root of course and my kids used to keep a couple of old bowling balls in their yards as toy. They push them around with their snouts.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:41AM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Oh my gosh, Nina, the picture of the pig in the middle of the goats is just precious!!! LOL She is so cute and I love how well they are all getting on. Now you have added goat/pig whisperer to your title!!! LOL Life on the farm looks good.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 4:56PM
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a bowling ball! what a great idea! i will have to see if i can find one. i'll put an add in the paper..."wanted. used bowling ball. color not important. piggy needs a toy." that should get some calls, right? LOL

well, i've been called a lot of things but never a pig whisperererer! :O

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 7:49PM
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I've seen used bowling balls at Goodwill.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:11PM
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oh how fun! You've got quite the collection of critters now, don't you? I've had potbellies for 20 years, 3 in all (3 little pigs, heh, heh, heh) so if you have any questions, let me know. Pigs are herd animals and do prefer to hang out with their own kind, so if you can get her another young friend, it would be a good idea. How old is she? She sure is cute. And, um, you built that wallow? Pretty impressive! While she's young, you should try teaching her some tricks. They are VERY smart. That's one regret I had with my pigs - that I didn't teach them more tricks. I've attached a link to a great site for info on piggies. My piggies are below. From top, Rudy (lost him this Summer), Pudge (sleeping at my feet), and Harleybabe (crossed the bridge 4 years ago).

Here is a link that might be useful: Shepherd's Green Sanctuary

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:11PM
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awww, betsy, your piggies are adorable! i am having so much fun with this little girl. she is getting a LOT braver, will come running when i call her and it's SO darn cute to see her scurrying across the pen.

i do have a friend who will be breeding her pair so i'm sure i will end up with another one. question...when it comes to pigs, would 2 females get along ok? i don't want to breed so i don't want a male unless i get him castrated. she would be about 15 weeks old now.

yes ma'am, i built that wallow all by myself! LOL! i just dug a hole (not easy in dry sand, it kept caving in!), dragged an old rubber truck bed mat over that i wasn't using, made as big a depression in it as i could, surrounded 2 sides with rocks to give it a more "natural" look, filled it up with water and within 1 minute, she was happily dunking her snout in and blowing bubbles. sooo funny to watch!

she is gentling down quite a bit. i found that i can scratch her butt with a long slender tree branch and she seems to love that. hopefully, i can work her up to letting me do it with my own hand. :)

thanks for the website, it looks very informative!

oh, another question...what, exactly, do they mean by providing "browse"? the goats love sassafrass leaves and i am constantly cutting branches with leaves and throwing them over the fence. porkahontas seems to enjoy them, too.

thanks for your help!

nina :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:34PM
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Nina, she is very cute! How old is she?

Betsy, your herd was a handsome bunch! Did they get very big?

I've wanted to get a few goats for the past few years but hubby refuses. I think he knows I would be bringing them in the house in winter!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:05PM
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lynn, i don't recall her exact birthday but she would be about 15 weeks now.

i LOVE my goats but i don't think i'll be bringing them in the house. LOL! they do just fine in the winter, they have two shelters they can use and i bed them down with a thick layer of wood shavings.

i will get a little igloo dog house this fall and put it inside one of the shelters for porkahontas to use. i'll probably bed that with straw to keep her toasty. :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:39PM
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I had 2 boys and a girl, but I would think two females would get along fine. Make sure you get her fixed NOW!! I didn't know that my girl needed to be fixed when young, and wasn't able to get her fixed later. It's a very complicated operation for a pig, and when they get older and fatter, it's too difficult. If you don't get her fixed, she'll go into heat about every 3 weeks and it's awful. Complete personality change. They become aggressive and hump everything that moves. They will literally not leave you alone and chase you. They're small pigs compared to farm pigs, but still average at about 100 lbs, so having a 100 lb pig chasing you, attacking you and humping you constantly for several days every 3 wks is no fun. The boys have to be fixed. They are not fit to be pets if they aren't. They smell constantly. They're much more aggressive. Their tusks grow faster. And they hump nonstop. They're in a constant state. Now, I know what you're going to say - - that most males are - - but I mean CONSTANTLY. :)
You have to be careful not to overfeed them bc it puts too much stress on their little legs and they become "fat blind" and generally unhealthy. Harleybabe was about 110, Rudy about 85, and Pudge was the big boy at 150, but that is a healthy weight for his frame. (He's still a young'n in pic above)
Once she begins to trust you more, if you scratch her, she'll be your best friend for life!! They LOVE to be scratched. I buy those rubber handheld things with nubbies on them that are used for horse grooming and scratch the pigs with those. They stand real still, their mohawk goes up, and suddenly, BAM, they flop to the ground in a state of bliss, waiting for a belly rub. It's hilarious.

Providing browse? I'm not sure. Did you see that on 9 sites? Only thing I can think of is browsing room. Sadly, a lot of people would get potbellies as pets, and try to keep them - alone - in small spaces. They need room to run around outside and graze and preferably a herd mate. You'll read lots of stories of people who became disillusioned in their pigs bc 1) they got big when backyard breeders dishonestly marketed them as mini pigs that would stay small (no such thing) 2) they became aggressive from being in confined, unnatural for them, small quarters 3) owners did not take the time to learn about their needs as pigs bc they're completely different from cats or dogs. I've spent a lot of time reading about them; I still do.
One more thing -- as soon as she's letting you close, make sure you start trimming her hooves now while she's young, so she's used to it and will let you continue to do it. Really important. If their hooves aren't trimmed properly, they grow sideways and the poor pigs can become lame as a result. I'm attached another link for you. It's a Yahoo Group that you should join. A little on the chatty side, but still very informative. Well, GW won't let me link it, but you can find it in Yahoo Groups - "Pig Info and Chat"
Kisses to Porkahontas,

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 9:37AM
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yes, i have already talked to a vet about spaying. when she tames down enough to handle her, i will schedule that. don't want to have to "corner" her and cause stress at this point.

i am BAD about overfeeding! i really have to make myself NOT dole out treats every 30 minutes! i did find out that she really likes cherry tomatoes so that is what i am tossing to her. i threw several out in the lot for her to find.

i have her and my goats in a 100' x 80' "dry lot". there is quite a bit of grazing even though it's all sand and we haven't had rain in ages. i can't remember where i saw that...i have been reading stuff all over the place online. :)

the girl i got her from is coming next weekend to work on trimming her feet. i think by then, she will be much tamer. she is getting really good about letting me get close.

it's really hot here today...i just came in from freshening up her wallow. OMG, where's the camera when you need it??? every time i poured another bucketful of cold water in, she would jump in, roll around, jump out, roll in the sand and do it over and over. rinse and repeat! LOL

i have those same rubber curry brushes that i use on my dogs and they LOVE it. yesterday, she seemed to enjoy having her butt scratched with the end of a branch. i'm working on getting her to let me scratch her back. i know once i get to that point, she will gentle down.

i will check in to the yahoo group. thanks for that info, also!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 2:25PM
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