New Tricks?

Had a dream about the babies early this morning, so if it is like last time I got a month. Really hope so, I need that month. J But it got me thinking. I do lots of things with the babies as they grow and get ready to go to their forever homes; they learn to jump through a hula hoop, jump on and off the big wooden box, play with the cat, run through the tunnel (which Bacon and Mama killed), and we get them used to wearing a harness. I am sure I am forgetting things, oh like working on standing up on their hind feet. What other things would you like to see me do with them? Feel free to post your comments here. Keep in mind I am only one person now, no helper on a regular basis.

See LuLu tap dance!

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Planning the Piggy Garden, Vittles Vault, and A bit of Sunshine

Well the girl had an exciting weekend. Mama is driving me nuts with her potty pan issues. I got them a new huge pan and she still pooped by my door, right next to the pan. But she peed in it. Things were better by last night, she pooped in it twice. Have I mentioned moving sucks? Lol. They also got some dental rings to play with. LuLu loved hers! She took it and ran around in circles and into the bathroom like she was trying to hide to chew on it. No reason to, Mama looked at it like “What am I supposed to do with this?” She did eventually chew on it for a bit. I thought they were kind of weird. It was a thick ring of cardboard with pet toothpaste smeared all over one side. I think it would have been better if the paste was on both sides.
Saturday they got to enjoy lots of outside time. They explored, tormented Clyde, the rabbit, and rolled in the leaves. Now Mama seriously needs a bath. But she enjoyed flopping that big belly out in the sun and warming the babies. Glad they got to go out, because it is going to be really cold all week and they won’t got out for more than a couple minutes at a time. Then Lu makes me feel guilty by walking around shivering. No one forces her to go out though.
Speaking of babies!!! I got to feel them kick yesterday. It was so excited. I talk to her belly all the time and put my hands on it. I tell them Grandma can’t wait to see them and cuddle them and how much I love them. Is it sad I am spoiling them before they even get here? Hopefully it will only be a couple more weeks until they are here. Though everyone is making me nervous with their big litters, Anita had 10, someone else had 13. I told Mama I wanted 6. I am considering keeping a girl from the litter. And I would be willing to trade one baby for a nice, small boar. I wouldn’t even mind if he was a bit older.
They also got wormed this weekend after a big to do about where the wormer went. I thought I grabbed it from the other house, couldn’t find it. John couldn’t find it at the other house, so $40 later. I also lost the penicillin, but that isn’t a hurry to replace. So they got pumpkin puree and wormer. I think they are good for a bit, since that is kind of a double hit.
While at the store I grabbed some bean seeds so they can have lots of green beans this summer. Hopefully I will have plenty to freeze, because I think Lu is getting bored with pumpkin all the time and I am out of the zucchini I froze for them. I have to grow lots, because winter time can get expensive. $10 in fresh veggies at the store will only last about 5 days. Come on spring. I am going to start some cool weather veggies in the new seedling heat mat kit this week so they are ready to go in the ground or containers soon. I was thinking about making a makeshift greenhouse on the back deck with clear shower liners and put things up on the folding tables. Thoughts? If I enclose it all I could get a good head start and maybe keep some potted things up there all spring and summer to expend the garden. Lots of lettuce, kale, and spinach to go on the deck. I love the cut and come again veggies, they really help save space. And if I get too much, I can dry it and make a powder to sprinkle on top of their winter feedings.
If you saw my post on Pig Addict, I got a Vittles Vault this past week to store their food in. It is airtight, ants can’t get into it, and hopefully neither can Mama. She did toss it around when I left it in the open, so I put it under the sink. Not the best idea, because I can’t get it out when it has 10lbs of feed in it. Woops. It gives me another reason to speed the kitchen remodel up. I need more storage. I got smart on the containers for the cat and rabbit feed. Got smaller ones, they will hold about 5lbs, so they will have to be refilled every 2 weeks.

Change, Change, Change

Well, we are mosty moved into the new house. Barely unpacked. Had a lot of repairs to make first. Lu is adjusting well. I didn’t have any issues with her other than finding the potty pan. Mama is struggling with that as well. So potty pan lessons have started over. Mama has helped me unpack. Not a good thing. lol.

I am sad to say the move did not go well for Bacon. If you follow our Facebook page, you know we lost Bacon. I was unable to get him in for a necropsy right away bc I ended up in the hospital then we had a foot of snow dumped on us. I thought he got too cold for his liking at first, because I was keeping him and Mama Bertha in the basement while I unpacked. But it wasn’t super cold down there when I found him. The heater blew, but it was about 50. It is possible it was Porcine Stress Syndrome. The move, the temperature change from what he was used to, not having free roam of the house, not having his rooting blankets could have all contributed to stress.  In addition there was a bad wind storm that night. Vickie Craig made me think about possible respiratory infections by inhaling something. We did flea bomb a week before moving the pigs. Or I made a careless error by sawing a piece of treated wood nearby.

I feel absolutely horrible and responsible. I have cried and cried. John and I both miss our Bacon Butt so bad it hurts. I cannot fix what happened. And now we will never know the truth. There was a possibility we wouldn’t anyway, even with a necropsy. But I have learned an invaluable lesson and I hope someone else can as well.
So with that change, I have no boar at this time and honestly it may be a while before Bacon is replaced. I won’t ever have another pig like him. He was so awesome I can’t describe it. It took a lot of work to train him to behave in the house, he hated going outside. He was such a wussy about it. Lol. I am considering getting a half-brother to him this spring, so we will most likely not have a fall litter. So our upcoming litter will be the last of the Bacon Bits. Sniff Sniff. Therefore, if you are interested in one I cannot provide updated photos of Bacon clearly, but will of Mama. I ask in advance you don’t judge my house, it is a fixer upper. Lol.
With that said, we are offering a waiting list for this litter. I told Mama I wanted 6 babies, but she had 8 last time so we will wait and see how many she has. To be on the waiting list costs nothing and obligates you to nothing. You have until the babies are 3 weeks old to pick. You will get to pick in order of being placed on the list. You need to contact me via the Facebook page or info@preciouspigs.com if I do not have your email. That way I can send the application to you. This must be returned before the babies arrive in February. I will post the list on this post.
Additional changes to the new litter:
1. Carriers are only sent with piglets that are shipped. If you pick up from our house you MUST bring a carrier. I will not be keeping extras on hand.
2. You will be sent with a month supply of Mazuri Youth. After that is gone, you can switch to Elder feed. Or the feed of your choice. We are sticking to 12% protein, which is the Mazuri Elder. I feel that has given us the best results.
3. Care packet will include: blanket, 1 month of feed, treat ball, weight chart that also has dates altered and wormed, care instructions (these can be sent ahead of time if you make your deposit via paypal), 1 bottle of shampoo, starter potty pan, and a starter harness. If your pig is being shipped, your care packet will arrive by mail ahead of your pig delivery. Shipped pigs also come with a travel blanket and brand new carrier (we never ship in a used or modified carrier), but no litter pan due to size. All pigs will be microchipped, regardless if in state or out of state.
4. All buyers must fill out an application and sign a contract. Please be aware, I do look into people. You must provide proof of homeownership or landlord approval with the application or it will be rejected. You must also provide me with the contact information for a vet local to you that works with mini pigs. Yes, I will call and verify.
5. All females will be spayed upon deposit. They must be shipped or picked up on the 9th day after surgery. If there is a problem with the incision, we will keep them longer. If your state requires additional blood work, that is an additional cost. It is not fair to build it in to the cost of all the piglets when only a few states require it.
6. If your state/country requires quarantine, you must supply the information with your deposit.
7. The deposit is $175. It is non-refundable unless God forbid your chosen pig gets sick and in unsalable or something dreadful happens during surgery. Deposits are not refundable if you lie to me about circumstances, you back out, there is a delay on either party’s end.
8. If you change your mind after the sale… Within one week you can get a refund minus vet bills, microchip and care packet costs, your deposit, and shipping. Shipping fees are always non-refundable. We don’t do this for the money. Return transportation is at buyer’s expense. If you live in another state, we will help you re-home your pig at a reasonable cost. You cannot charge more than you paid. That is called flipping and entitles me to sue for fraud.
9. Breeding rights will only be given to experienced breeders. I do not want to encourage breeding mills or irresponsible breeding. I will want to know your breeding plan and you must agree to keep Precious Pigs in the know. No breeding under 15 months for males, 2 years for females. We want to keep in contact with all buyers, but especially breeders.

Is Your Pig Legal? And Moving the Piggins

There is something really bothering me that was brought up in a Facebook group and I want to take the opportunity to educate. Buyers: If you are having a pig shipped from another state, the breeder is required to obtain a health certificate. The cost of this certificate should be included in either the price of the pig or shipping. Every state has different requirements, but generally the certificate has to be dated within 10 days of crossing state lines when a pig is being sold. If the piglet is over 4 months there are usually required blood tests that have to be done.  I say usually bc I do not have every state memorized, but have not come across a state that does not require it. Only a USDA vet can provide these certificates. They are on a USDA logoed pad, with a copy the vet keeps. Each has its own number. During this vet visit the vet will listen to the heart, lungs, and belly. They inspect the teeth, skin, genitals, rectum, and ears of the pig. If not recently done, they may take a stool sample. This is to ensure your piglet comes to you without external or internal parasites, breathing issues, or a detectable heart issue. Please keep in mind, not all health problems can be identified during this exam. It is like getting a physical from your doctor they look for signs of illness, but do not run every test in the book.

Here is the thing. It is not only protection for both buyer and seller of mini pigs, it is the law. Let me repeat that, it is ILLEGAL to transport a pig across state lines for the purpose of sale without a certificate. If your state requires blood tests it can take up to a week. I know Oklahoma is one state that requires these tests regardless of age.

Now, when you get your pig it should come with the certificate in its carrier. Airlines require the original copy. Your breeder may also email you a copy ahead of time. It is best if all parties have a copy on file should any problem ever arise. Also, in case someone’s computer crashes. I actually had that happen and lost a couple from this current litter. My vet keeps records, so I was not too concerned. It was an in state sale, but my vet provides a certificate regardless.

One very handy thing a health certificate contains is the vet’s contact information. So if you have any questions regarding your pig’s health you can contact the vet that examined them. It also contains your physical address and that of the breeder. God forbid there be an issue, but if there is you know where to go to contact the breeder or report them to their state’s USDA and/or Department of Agriculture’s office.

I would recommend asking your breeder to email you the certificate prior to shipping of the pig. This will give you at least a few hours to call the vet a verify things. It also gives you both a copy in your email. I know that is something I need to start doing, just for extra protection from a computer crash.

If you are unsure of your state’s requirements, something you should know before purchasing an out of state pig, there is a link on the blog for every state on Inspections page.

Note: If your breeder normally sells only in state these certificates are not required, but that does not mean you cannot get one. An intrastate certificate is available and a good thing to have if you live near the border. As one of our piggy friends asked, is it required if his vet is across state lines. The answer, according to Dr. Stolz (my vet), is no. If you are going to visit family, go shopping, or traveling for less than 15 days out of your home state a certificate is not required for ground travel. If you will be gone for 15 days or more you will need one to leave and one to return, so extended vacations with piggy will require you to locate a vet in the location you are traveling to. This is where these Facebook groups come in very handy. People are willing to share what vets they use. However, for a health certificate you don’t necessarily need a vet that is experienced with mini pigs, just swine. The exam and testing is the same.

 

On a happier note, the piggins have moved to the new house. It is so weird not to have the babies. Lol. LuLu is doing well, except she has forgotten where the potty pan is the last two nights and had “accidents” in the living room, which is still piled high with boxes and stuff from moving. And she was really gassy and bloated the first few days here. Not sure why, but it is better now. We have an elevated back porch/deck off the kitchen and I took Clyde out there the other day while it was nice and Lu followed. She promptly pooed and peed on it. Wonderful. She did it like 3 or 4 times as she explored. Once I gate off the stairs on it they can all go out more often, but I will be setting up a potty pan. I think they will like it. Bacon can be outside without being on dirt. Lol. He is such a wuss.

Mama Bertha and Bacon are in the basement right not til they get accustomed to the change. It only took Lu 2 days, but Mama is having a hard time. She has been quite agitated. Bacon not so much, he has been ok for the most part. One of them destroyed their tunnel, they moved the kennel pen, and someone is flipping over the potty pan giving me more of a mess to clean. I guess they think I don’t have enough to do. But I also have to get the living and rooms cleared out so that they don’t do investigating where they shouldn’t.

Come spring I will have the barn set up for them and they can go between the house and barn. Since it isn’t too far away from the house I want to make a fenced area between the two so they can come and go freely to their assigned part of the basement. But that takes time and money, so it may be a bit. I will try to document the new set up as soon as I can. It is friggin cold right now and I need to spend time finishing the move and unpacking. I still have another Uhaul to fill and move over here.

I have to say I was very impressed on how well these two traveled. We took them at the same time in the back of the Kia. They were quiet and checking out the view the whole way. Mama did get a little excited when we stopped at Sonic for tator tots. Lol. Hey, everyone else gets to do it. Bacon hadn’t been in the car since we brought him home. And he did not make a peep being carried to and from the car. He is such a good boy. Mama, on the other hand, screamed like a banshee leaving the house. Maybe she was afraid she wouldn’t come back like the babies. It isn’t like they understand their mommy and daddy are splitting up.

Laid Up and Fed Up

So I am laid up with a back injury and have been left alone to do whatever. Well…kinda like when I get on my ancestry tangents I find something and it lads me to another thing. Well, that is today. A couple of things have irked me.

1. I was reading a pig page today from another person that breeds. I am not posting this to bash and will not name the person, but… this is where buyers have to use their thinking power. The mom was 35lbs at 3yrs old, the dad was 70lbs (no age given), yet the person wants potential buyers to think the babies will be between 25-35. Now I haven’t taken a science class since like 1988, but I can be… pretty darn sure they cannot guarantee babies will be no more than 35lbs. Please keep in mind that pigs will grow til they are 5. Weight is not only controlled by genetics, feeding and exercise play a huge role. If you have questions about what to feed, how much to feed, and how much exercise pigs need, please ask. A pig cannot live off 1Tbs. a day nor does it need 2 cups a day at 6 weeks old. Read labels on feed, don’t feed processed human food, high salt, white flour or sugar products. The only human food a pig needs is veggies and a few nuts once in a while as a treat. A few fruits won’t be harmful, but keep it very limited.

2. Someone posted a pic that was originally posted by a rescue. Now, I know many of you know how I feel about these so-called rescues. And it got me going. First of all, the photo states, “Have you ever wondered what happened to …celebrity pigs?” Well, I call BS! First of all, they are trying to make a point of how pigs end up in rescues and they use Paris Hilton’s pig first? Um…she still owns it. Then we have Megan Fox, they say it was rehomed due to size issues. It took me all of 3 seconds to dispel that crock of poo. Lastly on the photo is Honey Boo Boo. Now, I have never seen the show bc I don’t watch reality TV very often and don’t have real TV. The photo states it was sent back because they didn’t have time for it. Well, A. I can see that as being true since their lives are a TV show. But B. I just happened to know this story. My aunt told me about it and I read up on it. The pig was returned because the kids quit taking care of it. While part of me wants to say “DUH!!” to the mom. I have to give her props for doing the right thing and sending it back to the breeder, not a rescue, not post it on Craigslist. She did the right thing. So in my book, this whole pic is an epic fail.  Now, for those that don’t know why I don’t like most of the rescue people (most, not all ) it is because they get on their high horse and bash, abuse, stalk, and harass people who breed. If you ask what pigs they have for adoption, in my experience it has been a big, fat none! In fact, we have been trying to reach one here in MO that we recently found and our emails and calls go unanswered. I find it funny that they ask for donations for the care of these pigs, but don’t adopt them out. I don’t call that rescuing,I call it hoarding and asking people to enable you. Again, this is my experience with most, not all. There are a few that do good things, take good care of the pigs, and re-home them. If you are looking for a pig and are considering a rescue, you should follow the same rules as you would if you were buying one from a breeder: Ask questions, get health records, get a good estimate on date of birth (they may not know), and get as much background info as you can.

3.  People lately have called me mean, a hard ass, a whatever because I want to know as much about a potential buyer as I can. Oh stalker was the other thing because I do check out FB pages, google people, etc. If you don’t lie to me, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. But I have had people lie to me about being homeowners, being over 18, and other stupid stuff. Like oh I don’t have any dogs, well my dog plays too rough so w can’t keep it. Umm…hello! A pet of any kind is a serious commitment and investment. I want my pigs to go to good, stable, loving homes. I am not going to lie to you and tell you the pig will never grow or if you starve it it will stay small (it may bc you killed it from lack of food). So please do not lie to me about your home situation, age, or anything else. I am a cop’s kid and I will find out.

Ok rant over. Happy piggy thoughts!! After several people didn’t make the cut to buy Burke, I have decided to hang on to him for now and work with him as a therapy animal. He will make visits to local Nursing homes, daycares, and so on.

We are preparing to move to our new location in Berger. That move should be done by the end of the year. I will also be offering pig boarding service come spring. Indoor and outdoor, there is information on preciouspigs.com regarding the rates and what is included. Space will be limited, but if you need someone to care for Porky Pig while you go out of town for a few days, we may be able to help you.

Star’s Big Day Out

Yesterday, we took Star out for the afternoon to help prepare him for his flight to Oklahoma City. It was the perfect day to so- super windy. It was actually tornado weather, but we managed to miss most of the storms. In preparing them for a calm air ride we simulate a noisy, windy, bumpy ride. We drive down windy, bumpy roads with the back windows open so the car vibrates. The radio is cranked up and we talk a lot.

Star did really well. He grunted just a little on the way from the house to the car in his carrier, but it was quietly. He grunted on the first few big bumps, but he quickly settled in and made himself comfortable. He got my meet my cousin and her kids. Gave little Ford his first piggy kiss on the cheek. He didn’t make an oink when the girls held him. They let him sniff acorns, but he had no interest. He did, however, like his grape he got being good. While we were there it started to rain, it was the first time he had been out in the rain, and he didn’t seem to mind it at all. When it was time to leave their house, he went back in the carrier happily.

On our way to St. Louis we stopped at White Castle in Eureka. Unlike LuLu, Star was a pro and did not get excited or beg for food. LuLu conned us out of White Castle fries within 10 minutes of owning her. lol. Star remained quiet in his carrier and let us eat in peace. Maybe I should have him train Lu on this one.

Along our drive we made many quick stops, slammed on the brakes even, and he didn’t make much noise. While on the highway we rolled the windows up for a bit and talked and he grunted along having much to say. His favorite stop of the day was Petco in Fenton MO. He wasn’t their first pig visit, we were told Kevin Bacon stops on occasion, but he was a hit. People wanted to hold him, kids pet him, and lots of questions were asked. He didn’t mind at all being passed from John to total strangers. Walking out into the sunshine (and heavy winds) he was all proud and excited. He didn’t try to jump out of John’s arms, but he stuck his nose in the air and smiled. So he was either happy or smelling Sonic from across the way.

About 10 miles from home John took him out of the carrier as I drove and pulled him up front. He loved the ability to look out the window going down the road. He did not like going back into the carrier as we approached home and got a bit nervous, releasing his fear scent. But all was good going from the car to the house in the carrier and once he got out of the carrier he ran and got his bubbies to show them the carrier and tell them all about his trip. He was a happy piggin and seemed to want to go out again.

Sadly, we did not take photos due to the bad weather. All in all he was out for almost 6hrs and did really well. I believe he is ready for his trip to his new mommy. Going to see the vet later this week. 🙂

Note: Whenever traveling between the car and house we always use the carrier. Until they are a pro at traveling and being outside you will want to do it this way. You never know what could startle them and they could jump from your hands. Even with a harness and leash they can get away. There have been a couple of stories as of late with good outcomes when a pig got away and was gone at least overnight. That won’t always be the case. Whatever else you need to get from the car can be a second trip. Piggy safety is the utmost priority.

Burke’s Big Day Out, Best Deal on Harness, Coconut Oil and Weight Updates

Yesterday Burke got to spend the whole day alone out on the town with me and did really good. First we went to our local Washington farmer’s market where he was held, coddled and cuddled, photographed, and even sniffed. A lady didn’t believe me he smelled like coconut, so she took a whiff. Burke was real laid back, took it all in, and loved getting attention. He did not like the cucumber I bought for him, he spit it out right in front of the lady selling them. I felt bad. He really liked meeting the two ladies walking around dressed up like Christmas trees. I wish I would have gotten a picture with them, but I was too busy talking about mini pigs.
From there we had to do chores, meaning we went to the laundromat to wash all the comforters for winter. He didn’t get to go in, but he got held and cuddled by about dozen people coming in and out. We did sneak into the resale shop down the strip for a minute. They had a really nice antique bed that reminded me of my childhood. I tried to ask if it was ok, but couldn’t find a worker. I just held him in my arms and all was good, including the price on the bed. Burke enjoyed walking around the plaza, cleaning dirt from the cracks in the sidewalks. Had to keep the cigarette butts away from him, he was way too interested. I joked about sending the owners a bill, but they have pigs too, big ones. Eh, maybe they will get a kick out of it. Their family’s business, Geisert Farms, makes the best pork burgers you will ever eat. Don’t worry I covered LuLu’s ears when I typed that. While hanging out I also ran into one of the police officers from my old town. So Burke met his first cop. 🙂 And I think Brandy really liked him, too. I am going to take Prince up to meet Chief when he gets back from vacation next week. I was impressed how he didn’t mind all the cars passing by and how well he did being passed from person to person. We even met an old neighbor that I never knew. Her family lives down the road from our old family farm. Sniff Sniff. Talked about old memories and all the old folk that lived out there. Sad, but made my heart smile.
Then we went to Aunt Jen’s and was babied by the kids, fed some grapes, ate some more grass, learned what a lawn mower was, and met a bunch of new doggies and kitties. I thought it was a great experience for him since we don’t have them outside when we cut the grass. By the third time the lawn mower was started he didn’t even flinch. Then he settled in for a quick nap in my lap in the sun, then Jen fed him some cornbread, then he made himself comfy on Heather’s lap.IMG_20131019_133641_243 IMG_20131019_134439_107
I wanted to take him to Petco next, but we ran out of time and headed to my daughter’s for TV and pizza. He really liked both. The little turd snuck a piece of crust. He liked cuddling on the couch so much he actually ran from me when it was time to leave. He really likes the show Deadly Women. lol. But he got along well with Kayla and her friend’s cats, we kept Mika the dog up as she gets too excited. I really thought Burke was going to move in with Kayla and I don’t think she would have minded.
After a long day I brought him home and fed him his grain and off to bed he went like a good boy, but not before we decided to weigh them all. See the weight list at the end of this post.

Ok…best deal on harnesses…Dollar Tree! Yep, Dollar Tree. I just happened to see them and got a size large hoping it would fit Bacon. Well, it does and at the smallest setting is just a hair big on LuLu. Poor Mama, they didn’t have an extra large. I may check their website. If nothing else, The small and mediums will be great to train babies at a very low cost. They are pretty thick. I managed to snap a pic of Lu in it.
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The verdict on the coconut oil is still out for as far was repairing dry skin. The babies are super soft, almost slick, but Mama and Bacon I am still not seeing much difference. They love it, so we will keep it up.

Last night we started debating about Star’s weight, so we weighed them all. I will admit I thought Star weighed more than he did. I thought the little Porker was almost 11lbs, but I was wrong. Bacon and Lu lost some this week and Mama found it. Mama is back up to what she was when we got her, but she looks so much better. He belly is still loose from the babies, but is tightening back up. And here I thought she needed another pound or so. Now, we did weigh them after dinner, so there is a small room for adjustment.

Mama 55.6 (up 13)
Bacon 31 (down 4lbs)
LuLu 10.4 (down 1)
Star 9.8
Prince 8.6
Burke 6.3 (I really want to feed him a cheeseburger. Just kidding.)

The only differences this week is we went back to Mazuri and they have been very, very active; running around like fools, getting more outside time before the weather changes.

See more pics from Burke’s day out on our Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/preciouspigs