Feed: One easy way to feed your pig is “Pot Bellied Pig Pellets” you can get a 50 pound bag. Feed newly weaned piglets ¼ - ½ cup twice a day, as they grow, you increase the amount of feed. This isn’t an exact science, your pig will always think they are starving, so just watch their waist line. After the pigs are about 6 months old, I split the feed ½ pot bellied pig pellets, and ½ alfalfa pellets (or alfalfa hay is great too!). I feed on the ground, you can try a feeder, but likely they will flip it, it’s up to you! You can also change the feed, just watch to be sure your protein is about 17%, commercial pig food has medication and higher protein for faster growth. If you have a lot of grass they will get a lot of their needs met eating that. The key is to not overfeed them as you will damage their organs, just like a dog or human.
Your pigs will be fully weaned when they arrive, they will know how to eat pig pellets, so you don’t need to worry about milk. But, pigs like milk and eggs and cheese, so they will be happy to eat any leftovers you give them. They eat fruit, veggies, bread, anything you will eat. Be sure if you are supplementing their food you give them less of their pig food. Fat pigs have health problems.
Always call your pigs when you are feeding, even if they are right there. Call them by name or whatever routine you establish and they will get excited. Then they will learn to come when you scream/yell, this is handy if you ever have a lost pig. You can certainly train your pigs many other things, but this one is key.
Water is key for your pigs, you may feel like you MUST have clean water at all times (when really, you MUST have water at all times, it won’t always be clean). You should clean and fill water regularly, then accept it will get dirty – especially in summer or when your pig is hot. I use one of three things for water. Either heavy duty plastic (Fortex® Rubber Pet Bowls) bowls, or, as the weather heats up I go to bus trays that you can buy at Smart N Final or Cement mixing trays that you can get at Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can also give your pigs a baby pool. Just be sure the pigs can drink the water with their fat necks.
For bedding, you can use just about anything. I give the adult pigs straw and the baby pigs and farrowing mother grass hay. They don’t need bedding in their entire area, just where they sleep. You don’t have to, but the young pigs really seem to like a hut, or dog crate to sleep in. This would have bedding in it, they won’t need it anywhere else. Blankets are fine as well. Pigs do need a safe, dry place to be out of the elements.
Potty Training (if desired) -- When they poop the first day or so, decide where you want them to go to the bathroom. Then put the first days poop there and leave it. Just pick up about half of it when you clean the first week. If you give them a few days they will almost always use that as their restroom.
When I got pigs I spoke with my vet about vaccines, she strongly felt that there was no reason to vaccinate, so I don’t. If you are interested in vaccinating your pigs there are tons to choose from, I don’t know as I don’t do it.
The one thing you will do is worm your pigs. I use safe guard pellets or Ivermectin, typically there are pig instructions on most wormers. I don’t do it often, maybe once every 7 months, if I see an issue. I’m not big on drugs, so I am pretty conservative.
Heat: If it’s cold you can give young piglets (less than 3 months) a heat lamp or heating pad, this will vary based on the number of pigs that can snuggle together and your weather. In Southern California I only give newborns heat lamps if we are having bad weather, I don’t need it for weaned pigs. But, it depends on you… You may want to do it for your peace of mind.
You may need to occasionally trim hooves on your pig. You can get them ready for this by touching their feet a lot while giving belly rubs. When and if you need to trim hooves you can use goat hoof trimmers, horse feet trimmers or a Dremmel. Depending on the surfaces that your pig walks on you may never need it. I use Pam, she does the pig hooves for me, I think she is far more of an expert than I will ever be!
Car Sick –Pigs and piglets will occasionally get car sick. If you plan on traveling especially down a curvy road (like ours), plan for them to be car sick. This seems to vary by age, but it is normal.
How many pigs – Some people have pigs as their constant companion, that works great! But, if you are going to have a pig that you visit and hang out with for a bit each day I suggest having two pigs. Pigs like to have friends, they don’t want to be alone, they prefer their own kind, but may adjust to another animal that is intelligent, like a dog or a person. They just don’t want to spend their lives alone.