Pet Landrace pig?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by pjd, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. pjd

    pjd Well-Known Member

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    Oklahoma
    I purchased 3 Landrace cross pigs last spring for butcher. 2 boars and 1 gilt. The gilt which my husband and kids call that sow has quite a personality and they want to keep her as a pet. I have never raised a pig past 10 months old because we butcher them. Will she continue her current attitude as she gets older? She has come into heat and then went out. Will there be health issues if I don't breed her? When I get 3 weening pigs this spring, can I put them with her? What about artificial insemination, how would it affect her if she had one litter per year? I don't have a problem with feeding her as a pet, but before my kids get too attached I need to know if it is feasible to have a pet pig.

    Thank you for your help!
    Phyllis
     
  2. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Phyllis,
    There is no reason at all why you shouldn't make a pet out of this pig but make sure you know what your taking on and prepare accordingly.

    Your pig is going to grow very large and will need good fencing if she is to free-range. If you don't want the paddock she is in dug over, you may also want to look at ringing her nose.

    I have personally not had anything to do with AI as I keep my own boars so you may wish to talk to your vet about this and they will be able to point you in the right direction. There will be no health issues if the sow never has a litter but be aware than sows can (but not always) become quite aggresive when they come on heat.

    I personally wouldn't put weaner pigs with her if you decide to keep her. Not only could she bump them around, but being the larger pig, she will bully them and take the lion's share of the food which isn't good for them or for you if you are trying to grow for the freezer.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     

  3. pjd

    pjd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. The pen is secure and I will build a second before my piglets arrive in April. She has come in heat twice already and I am thinking she may be a better pet if she doesn't have babies. Family agrees if she becomes too aggressive she is sausage. I have other animals and my own business so I don't really want to spend the time and energy in raising my own piglets. This board has been so helpful.
     
  4. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    We raised a few pigs as kids, and I'd dearly love to get a sow and do it again. Our two mammas were Petunia and Ann. Both had personality plus, even after several litters. My sister and I would rush out to the barn after school and play with the piglets, and the moms would be so apprecative to have a small break while their babies played with us instead of jumping all over them!
     
  5. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Many people keep them as pets. They do get quite big. If you have pasture that will be good for her to get out on. She'll provide you with a good bit (2 tons) of excellent manure a year, can till your gardens and clean them in the fall. Our Yorkshire sows, which are not pets, are very friendly. They are now about 400 lbs. Our kids trade back rubs for piggy back rides in the fields.

    I would caution you _not_ to feed her from your hand. That is a bad habit because it associates your hand with food which could lead to dire consequences. :( Teach her to come by calling (We use "Pig, pig, pig!") and toss the treat to the ground for her to snarf up. Realize that when she gets big she can be dangerous and those teeth are real.

    All that said, our sows are very friendly. If they were otherwise they would be sausage, bacon and ham already.

    On the breeding issue, go for it. Breed her and sell the piglets you don't want to raise yourself. I have no personal experience with AI. I looked into it but found a local farmer who'll bring his boar by periodically to service our sows. He gets the pick of the litters in exchange. Works for us.

    I would keep her separate from smaller pigs if you have them in confinement. On pasture it won't be such an issue.

    Cheers,

    -Walter
    in Vermont
     
  6. pjd

    pjd Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Thanks for the advice about the hand feeding. Her name is now Suky and we are looking into AI for her. It is getting harder to find pigs around here and we are thinking about AI for her and keeping 2 or 3 of her offspring and then buying a boar for them. We have room for them and enjoy the work. It looks like I am going to be needing this board a lot in the future now that I am going to be a pig farmer. Thanks all!