Personally, I think keeping pet pigs outside, in a pair, in a sizable garden or pasture, and utilizing a weatherproof shed (filled of straw as their housing) is the ideal method to keep them. The easiest method is by far keeping pigs outside. Pigs reared outside are a self-sufficient unit that require less maintenance and rely less on people. The likelihood that they will get bored is substantially diminished because they have each other, the capacity to graze, and other environmental stimulation.
Always keep in mind that a bored pig is more prone to become a problem and to harm your property.
Some people have no choice but to keep pigs inside their homes, particularly those who reside in chilly locations or lack adequate outdoor space. Keeping a pet pig indoors was a reasonably typical practice during the initial potbelly fad in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and it's still fairly widespread today.
I'd say that compared to the UK, indoor pigs are much more prevalent in the US. The hurdles that come with keeping a pig indoors must be overcome if things are to go smoothly. One of them is unquestionably potty training.
If you intend to keep your pig inside all the time, you'll need to provide it with a play area that is roughly 60 square feet in size and is located on a single floor (single storey house). A home with a second story (two or more storeys) is not considered since mature pigs in particular should not be forced to walk up and down stairs as it is highly terrible for their joints.
There Are Two Ways To Potty Train
There are essentially two instances of potty training:
When it comes to training your pet, each calls for a somewhat different strategy. I still advise keeping a potty spot within your house, even if you intend to let your pig use the restroom outside. Because piglets can't retain their bladders well until they're around two years old, partly potty training must be taken into account.
Your pig will need to relieve itself at night and at times when no one is present to let them out. Therefore, even if your pig has some access to the outdoors, some potty training will be necessary.
Your situation and your living space are important considerations when deciding whether to keep your pig inside or outside. It would be inhumane to keep a pig pent up in a house if you work eight hours a day (or something comparable); the pig would also likely do damage out of boredom and loneliness.
Additionally, it becomes nearly impossible to use the first method of potty training if you are gone from the pig for a lengthy amount of time.
Your pig has to be kept outside with appropriate space and stimulation if you plan to be gone from home for an extended amount of time (toys, things to graze on, etc.). You'll have to work hard to keep it occupied and amused.
It is possible to keep a pig indoors and toilet train them if you are fortunate enough to have a really spacious house and you are home for the majority of the day.
It's crucial to bear in mind that female animals must be spayed before being kept constantly indoors or at night. It is impossible to potty train a female or sow who hasn't been spayed. An un-spayed sow will urinate anyplace while she is in heat, which is one of the ways she attracts a boar. If she isn't spayed, you'll have to deal with this behavior every three weeks.
Regardless of whether they are housed indoors or outside, male pigs should be castrated, but you already knew that, didn't you? The only exception to this guideline is if you intend to use the boar as a breeding animal, in which case you should keep him outside in a separate space. Never keep a breeding pig inside a house; doing so is asking for trouble, to put it mildly.
When they get sexually mature, intact males are terrible! They emit a fragrance that is intended to draw the attention of any surrounding females that are in heat. Unfortunately, only female pigs enjoy this smell; we humans do not.
Pet Pig Potty Training: How to Begin
It's challenging to toilet train a pig. It requires persistence and patience on both your and your pig's parts. A pig must be properly trained to use the bathroom for up to a year.
Pigs frequently relapse while being trained, too. You might have to start their training over if this occurs. This is one of the key causes for why I like to keep my pigs outside. Anyway, enough blathering; let's get to the training itself.
When the piglets are born, potty training begins. When a piglet is mature enough to walk, they will leave their nest place and urinate on the side. To locate the ideal toileting location, each piglet in the nest uses their keen sense of smell. Once a location is chosen, everyone will be able to find it when they need to get there.
When the piglets get a little older, they will typically choose to poop in the same location as the sows, which is typically as far from their area of bedding and watering as possible. The second phase of potty training can start once the piglet has been fully weaned and moved to a new residence.
A young piglet will need to go potty frequently, typically every one to two hours. Pigs a year old should be able to manage their bladder for about 4-5 hours. Pigs between the ages of 2-3 should have very good bladder control and be able to hold onto their urine for at least 12 hours.
Your piglet must be confined to a restricted area for the first week or so, as was mentioned in the previous chapter. You can use a garage or a sizable laundry room for this if you're keeping your pig indoors.
Pigs housed outside should have a small pen set up around their shed or sty. Give the pig enough space so that they have a place to sleep, a place for food and water, and a place for their bathroom.
The desired size of the litter box is 3 feet by 3 feet (maybe larger if your pig is on the big side). For a piglet, you might start with a smaller-sized box, but you'll need to adjust it as the piglet becomes bigger.
The pig needs adequate space to be able to turn around without difficulty, according to the general rule of thumb for litter box size. Use a box that is too small, and your pig might decide to relieve himself somewhere else instead.
The pig should have no trouble entering or exiting the litter box. Make sure the box has low edges because pigs don't like to step up when they go to the bathroom. Your pig should have no trouble entering and exiting the box.
The floor of the box should be non-slip as well; otherwise, the pig won't want to use it. An excellent non-slip surface can be created by cutting a rubber mat to size and placing it in the bottom.
Never use clay pellets or cat litter as pig litter. These are frequently consumed by pigs, which can be deadly. Old towels, paper pellets, or pine shavings all perform as well. If you decide to use old towels, make sure to wash or replace them every few days to avoid developing any unpleasant odors.
Additionally, be careful to maintain the box as spotless as possible. The occasional poop in the box is acceptable and should motivate them to use it, but avoid letting the waste accumulate too much or your pig may decide to relieve itself somewhere cleaner.
Before you bring your pig home, all of these tasks must be completed. Once your pig has arrived, you don't want to be constantly altering things, adding litter trays, and shifting things around. He or she will be afraid when they first move into their new house, so making changes won't help them feel more at home.
How to Toilet Train Young Piglets
Place the litter box close to the young piglets' bed if you are working with them (try to keep it away from the feeding and watering area though). Young piglets will regularly need to use the bathroom, so the less steps they have to walk, the better — they'll pick it up faster.
You can begin to move the box farther from the piglet's bed once they've gotten the hang of things. Some pigs won't use their potty box if it's placed too close to their bed or feeding area; if this happens, consider moving the potty box. You can start gradually moving the box farther away from their sleeping and feeding locations once they've gotten used to utilizing it.
Getting the Training Started
The likelihood is that when your pig was transported to your home, it had poop in its container or cage (this might be a trailer if you are moving an adult). Place a few poop fragments in their litter box after picking them up. The pig should be more likely to use the allocated bathroom as a result.
You will be making an effort to get to know your pet within the first few days after arrival. Sit down with them, chat with them, pet and scratch them. Praise him and cause a fuss if you see him using the restroom and performing his business where it belongs. The pig needs to be reminded that what he's doing is right. Avoid rewarding him with goodies every time he uses the toilet correctly because the pig can soon learn that doing so will result in food, which could lead to further issues in the future.
Move any stray feces to their litter box immediately. Once more, this will assist in teaching the pig where to go and how to relieve itself.
Until there are no more stray accidents, the pig should remain in this small space with their litter box. You can start letting them out into the other area of your house once the pig understands the idea.
Piglets can't hold their bladders in place for long enough to be left out of their litter box area, so return them periodically and let them use the restroom.
Moving your pig to the litter box will be lot simpler with harness training
Before going outside to play, right after a nap, and right after eating, make sure your piglet does pee. The key is to keep your piglet's bladder as empty as you can, reducing the likelihood that he will have any accidents in undesirable locations.
Give your piglet the "toilet" or "go potty" command once you've returned them to their box, for example. Once they've finished, shower them with compliments for being such a good pig. Your pet will eventually pick up on this command, which should speed up the process of returning them to their litter box for a poop or pee.
You might need to continue making "hourly returns" to the litter box for indoor pigs for up to six months. As was previously mentioned, tenacity and patience are essential for success. Naturally, some pigs will visit their toilet area more frequently than others. Even if your pig seems to be doing well, be ready for the occasional relapse. Additionally, be ready for the pig to test the limits and attempt various locations around your house for potty breaks.
Letting Your Pet Pig Go Outside for Potty Training
If piglets have access to outside area, they can decide to start going outside all of a sudden. This is alright; a pig's preference for going to the bathroom outside is very normal. Their bowels can naturally be stimulated by the scent of the ground, the grass, and the leaves.
Your pig will probably choose a location outside and remain there. Moving his waste to other locations should urge your pet to switch to a new potty area if you do not like this one.
For the occasions when your pig cannot go outside, you might still need to have a litter box there (during the night and when you are not at home).
When they need to use the restroom, some pigs become agitated and boisterous. This is sometimes a clue that they need to go outside.
Pigs that use the restroom outside can be trained to signal you when it's time to relieve themselves. I've heard of someone training their pig to pull a rope with a bell on it to sound the alarm when it's time to relieve itself. Select the signal that is best for you and your house.
One option for providing your pig with convenient access to the outside when needed is to install a large dog door (also known as a large cat-flap style door) at the front of your house. Just make sure it won't compromise your home's security if you fit something similar. Please keep in mind that you wouldn't want a thief or other intruder to utilize this door to enter your house.
Some pigs can be hesitant to leave the house to use the bathroom in the winter or in colder areas. A few adjustments can be made to encourage Piggy to relieve himself. First, attempt to position their toilet as close as you can to your home. The sooner your pig can get there, the better. Second, make sure their location is protected and wind-free.
It may be helpful to erect a roof and some walls around his toilet location. You have a better chance of your pig wanting to go outdoors when the time comes if he can get to his spot quickly and without getting pelted by wind, rain, or snow.
Managing Mistakes And Relapses
Pigs frequently experience a relapse at a later stage in their training. Sometimes after months of teaching by the owners, the pig will find a new toilet site and stick to it. The owner attempts to stop their pet from coming there repeatedly, but nothing appears to be effective.
There are two possibilities here:
The scent in the region needs to be thoroughly removed as a first step. You must use a cleanser made to get rid of animal odors to clean the accident site (or spots). It's crucial to use a high-quality cleaner to get rid of any odors because the smell of the pig's urine will keep luring them back to the same location.
Try moving a heavy object over the issue if this doesn't resolve it. To cover the accident areas, you might try moving some of your furniture around. Your goal is to keep the pig from reaching their new, preferred bathroom location.
If you are unable to hide the damaged places with anything substantial and your pig continues to use these locations when you are not looking, you might want to consider setting up an alert system. You might be alerted when Piggy sneaks off to their new position if you have a set of wind chimes hanging extremely low to the floor (low enough for your pig to bump into them). A few cartons of ringing balls could accomplish the same goal and warn you when Piggy is being mischievous.
If you detect a sound, you may be able to stop them before they go to the bathroom. Take them as soon as you can to the appropriate potty box if you catch them in time. You will have to rebuke them, tell them off, and confine them to their sleeping quarters for a few hours as punishment if you found them too late or in the act.
You might try feeding your pet pig at their new preferred bathroom location. Pigs prefer not to relieve themselves near where they eat. Sometimes, this can help break a harmful habit.
Pigs learn quickly and have excellent memories, but they unlearn things very slowly. Be aware that it can take some time to break any undesirable habits they develop.