Initial Considerations Before Taking on Pet Pigs
A pet pig is a life-time commitment
The first and most important of the initial considerations is can and will you commit to keeping pet pigs and meeting all of their needs for the rest of their lives? Well cared for pigs can live for up to 20 years or sometimes even longer. Except for in very rare circumstances, pigs should be kept in at least groups of two. They are social animals who need same-species companionship to live happily.
Have you given thought to who will take over their care needs if you are unable to due to sickness, holidays or any other unforeseen circumstances?
Do you have consent from your landlord or neighbours to keep pet pigs?
If you rent your property or land have you checked with the landlord (council or private) that you have permission to keep pigs on the property? We often have to rehome pigs because their owners are being threatened with eviction by disgruntled landlords.
If you are the property owner, check deeds or local authorities for any restrictions which may apply with regards to constructing fencing and/or shelters.
If there are any horses nearby, particularly in adjoining fields, check with their owners as horses can be scared of pigs. Ask whether the horses have ever encountered pigs before and how they reacted. Do you have a contingency plan in place if a nearby horse becomes fearful?
Whether you own or rent the land the pigs will be living on you may need to check in with your neighbours beforehand to ensure no problems will arise after the pigs arrive. Another frequent reason we are contacting with rehoming requests is due to noise and/or smell complaints made by unhappy neighbours.
Can you afford the ongoing costs of keeping pet pigs?
The financial cost of keeping pet pigs should always factor heavily into your initial considerations. Although costs can vary, there is always going to be some amount of financial expenditure involved in keeping your pigs happy and healthy. (More details for much of the following are provided in other sections. They are mentioned here to illustrate some of the expenses you need to consider)
Land rental or purchase (around half an acre with a minimum of two pigs)
Stock-proof fencing (initial purchase and ongoing maintenance)
Food (it is against the law to feed pigs food waste from your kitchen)
Enrichment toys to keep pigs mentally stimulated and prevent then from becoming bored and destructive
Creating a wallow (mud pool) or a suitable replacement if no natural water source is available in their habitat
Vets bills for neutering, vaccinations, worming, hoof trims, injuries (vets bill will often increase as pigs age)
Transport costs (you may need a suitable van or trailer to move your pigs if needed)