Pet Pig Keeping
A pig is for life, not just for Christmas!
Keeping pigs and micro pigs has increased rapidly in popularity over the past few years and can be a very rewarding hobby. Pigs are very sociable and intelligent animals that can be a joy to own. They can be taught to do tricks in a similar way to dogs and are easy to toilet train. There are however several factors to consider before setting your heart on a piglet for Christmas.
Pigs are farm animals and are therefore subject to disease controls and regulations. Details of these can be found on the DEFRA website or by contacting your local animal health office.
- All pigs require movement licenses before they can be moved. This includes taking them for a walk.
- Male pigs will develop tusks and can become aggressive. If they are to be kept as pets they should be castrated at about 10 days of age.
- Piglets will grow! Make sure you choose your breed carefully and consider the space you have available.
- Pigs are naturally foragers and will destroy lawns. If kept indoors they may also damage furniture.
All that said, pigs are social, clean animals that can make very good pets under the right circumstances. Smallholders and pet pig owners also play an important part in preserving some of the more unusual breeds of pig. There is a variety of weird and wonderful breeds out there, many of which are not suitable for commercial use and are only preserved by people keeping a few animals on smallholdings or as pets. Careful preparation and forethought however are required before embarking on pig keeping.
The following links may be useful if you are considering this rewarding and exciting hobby: