The Year of the Horse?
By Caroline Matterson
If you follow the Chinese Calendar 2014 is the Year of the Horse, but here at Nevins Farm, it's the year of the potbellied pig.
Since Jan of 2013 we've taken in a record 22 pigs, 8 in just the past 3 months. Although potbellied pigs make wonderful pets, but unless owners are educated as to what is involved in owning such an intelligent and large animal and educated on pig behavior, the placements often fail. This may account for the large number of the little cuties being turned over to the MSPCA.
These are intelligent animals and learn quickly to sit on command and can be litter box trained. Like a dog they can be walked on a leash, learn tricks and be house broken. However, they’re often much larger than many dogs and although they can be very dog-like, they are still farm animals at their core – making a peaceful co-existence with them living solely inside your home a challenge.
Lots of positive stimulation is a must to keep them from becoming bored which (just like a dog) can yield destructive behavior. Above all, these friendly little creatures are still pigs and will do all the things that come naturally. In the house they will often root up your carpets and flooring and root in your house plants. Outdoors, their same strong rooting instincts will help remove pesky grubs – but will likely damage a manicured lawn and flower beds in the process.
Having a potbellied pig as an indoor pet might be very appealing – they’re so smart and dynamic - but many cities and towns have zoning regulations restricting them and should be checked before bringing your little friend home. However, if you're educated about potbellied pigs and prepared to take on one of these smart creatures, stop by and meet the boys and girls we have ready for adoption.
Finally, we are always happy to help you understand what is involved in successfully and happily living with these creatures, so please feel free to reach out to us with questions if pondering a potbellied pig!