Potbelly pigs are very intelligent animals. They have herd dynamics and to be content, they need the companionship of both other beings and most importantly – other pigs.
Pigs stay together to keep safe, because they are a prey animal. But, they also need other pigs to play with, eat, sleep and sort out the herd. It is important for pigs to live with other pigs because it provides enrichment, mental and physical stimulation and a unique companionship that other animals can’t provide. Believe it or not, if a pig doesn’t have a companion, they can become bored and depressed, and those can lead to the pig becoming ill. Pigs entertain each other, so by getting 2, you will spend a lot less time providing physical and mental stimulation.
Pigs are some of the most social animals. They form big herds in the wild, mainly as a form of protection.
In the wild, potbelly pigs live in about 8 members of a herd. The herd usually consists of 3 sows and their babies. With these pigs, a social hierarchy is formed and promotes social maturity. Also, in the wild, communal nesting is common. When cold, the herd will huddle together.
A potbelly pig is not protected by fur. Remember that when you have them outside, that they have adequate shade and shelter. In the wild, potbelly pigs wallow in the mud to protect themselves from the sun. As weather changes, make sure to keep your pig warm, dry and away from drafts in your house.
Pigs are also good animal companions for humans, as they are affectionate and trainable. The potbelly pigs at A Home For Hooves sure love belly rubs! A lot of the pigs at a Home for Hooves have been rescued from bad situations like neglect and abuse. The fortunate thing is that pigs learn to trust humans, which is quite evident at the sanctuary. It does take them time to be comfortable around other people and trust them, but they learn that not all people are going to hurt them.
Pigs also require a good diet. A Home for Hooves ensures that all of their pigs are fed healthy food, and they love treats like watermelon and apples. Your pigs will need a good living space, where they can root around and have enough room to be comfortable.
Potbelly pigs have an average life span of 12 to 18 years, so please remember they are a lifetime commitment!
Author - Alex Singleton