Urban homesteaders raising backyard chickens has been a popular trend for a few years now. Chickens provide companionship, a learning opportunity for kids and fresh eggs! If you have been looking to expand your backyard homestead, you may be thinking of branching out into different farm animals.
Are you thinking of adding a potbellied pig to your homestead? I have had my two potbellied pigs Clem and Tubbs chilling in my backyard for about three years now, here is my advice to help you know if you are ready to bring a pig into your family.
Potbellied pigs are different than hogs
Potbellies are smaller and not traditionally used for meat. They do make a great pet if you have the right environment for them to thrive in.
Keeping pot-bellied pigs as indoor pets
I have heard of people keeping pot-bellied pigs as their indoor pets. They have domesticated them to be able to walk on a leash, sleep on the family couch, and, in the case of a family friend, even take a shower with them! If you want a pot-bellied to be this tame and indoor-friendly you need to start when they are as young as possible. The more time your pigs spend with humans the easier it will be to domesticate them.
Pot bellies like to “root” into the ground in search of bugs and other yummy treats
My pigs are outdoors only — and for good reason. Here is the thing, they will root — even indoors. They’ll dig up your tile or flooring, and possibly make a snack out of your drywall. So be prepared to have a special space for your pig where they can root to their hearts content. Otherwise they will destroy your garden and landscaping.
Space for your piggies
Pigs like to roam — especially mine. You need to make sure their area is properly secured. We have an electric fence to keep them in their large pen, otherwise they will wander into my neighbor’s yards or worse, onto the busy road. Make sure you have the proper environment to keep your pigs safe and secured. It is not an easy feat to round up a wild pig. Trust me!
Make sure you have access to a nearby vet and feed
If you have the right space, and, after reading this, you still want an adorable little piggy, another consideration is to make sure you have a vet nearby who knows how to properly treat a sick pig, and administrate the proper vaccinations they may need. You also need to make sure you have a feed store is nearby to purchase the proper grain for your pig.
They will eat pretty much anything
Our pigs make great little composters. They are all over any leftover food that is about to go bad, food scraps, and garden waste! The only thing they don’t seem to like are Brussels sprouts and other brassicas.
If you have the resources and you are ready to welcome a pig into your family there are some benefits of pig-ownership. They make wonderful pets — our pigs love to be pet, scratched and loved on. And if you have the right environment for them, you should definitely consider a backyard pig.
Any other pot-bellied pig owners out there? What are your pieces of piggie advice?