Company for a piggy

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7 years 2 months ago #530203 by Remrem
Company for a piggy was created by Remrem
Over the last couple of years we've reared 2 pigs at a time for the freezer, which has always gone very smoothly. This time round though one of the two has required several vet calls/visits and has never really come right (the vet could never figure out what was going on with her!). she is now still a very scrawny little pig, while the other is at the ready-to-kill stage. I'm not bothered at the likelihood she'll end up a pet pig rather than dinner, and hopefully she'll come right over time (she's happy and eating just not 'doing well') i'm just trying to figure out whether she'll be ok as an only pig or what to get her as company? Any thoughts? We don't want to get two more piglets until June/July and we're thinking of making a moveable run to put in the orchard to give her more variety in life. Is she likely to pine on her own? Thought about getting a kunekune or similar (got one pet pig, might as well have two!) but is introducing pigs like that asking for trouble re: fighting/bullying etc? We've tried to separate her from her current pen-buddy to ensure she was getting enough to eat and she'd freak out until they were back together again :-(

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

Farming on The Main Drag in the Rangitikei since Feb 2013

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7 years 2 months ago #530205 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Company for a piggy
We had a similar (sort of) dilemma this year, when we bought one piglet instead of the usual two - there wasn't going to be enough milk for more than one. She was pretty miserable for the first few days away from the mob she came out of but gradually settled and now appears quite content on her own.

Have you considered the other option of putting her quietly out of her ongoing 'unhealth' when you do the one for eating? You're potentially buying into a lot more health care if you keep her going, not to mention the distress of the change you're about to impose. If she never really does come right, what sort of life quality does she have anyway?

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7 years 2 months ago #530207 by Remrem
Replied by Remrem on topic Company for a piggy
Thanks Ruth, yes we have considered that option, and she almost met her maker once when really ill, but when my husband went down to do the deed she had suddenly perked up so we decided to give her another chance. If she was in obvious pain/discomfort or not eating we would do so, but i'm hesitant to in case she just needs time. Hard to know how much time to give though isn't it.

Farming on The Main Drag in the Rangitikei since Feb 2013

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7 years 2 months ago #530209 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Company for a piggy
Yes, it's a tough one. I've dealt with enough creatures over the years which have been strugglers, for whatever reason - genetics, accident of birth, an illness they'd not have survived if I hadn't intervened but from which they never fully recover, etc. - to have become a little tougher in making those decisions about quality of life for them and quality of bank balance for me. (The bank balance question is mostly about retaining enough for any health needs in the rest of the population, not about wine, entertainment or expensive cars!)

You end up spending a lot of emotional energy on a sickie, too. The relief when that's gone is enormous. That's actually the biggest expense for me in the end and one I account for early in the piece, when making such a decision.

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7 years 2 months ago #530210 by kate28
Replied by kate28 on topic Company for a piggy
Maybe HUHA or similar animal rescues have another pig with special needs looking for a good home. What breed is the pig?. You don't really say how unwell yours is, will it be able to eat the food before the other one scoffs it all?

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