George (pig): Arrived: 24 May 2014.
Introducing the gorgeous and sweet-natured little pig called George. The family that bought this little guy were not adequately informed about the destructive habits of pigs – it is very natural for a pig to dig great big holes (called “rooting”), a trait that is not well received in suburban gardens. George’s new family didn’t know that he would soon turn their paved back yard into an excavation site – which meant they had to try to contain him in fenced off areas but alas, being the truly resourceful pig that George is, he was constantly challenging their efforts. The other problem George had was that he was getting bigger and stronger – outmatching his cat friend and the little girl he was originally purchased for. George is not big by any means – not yet, but pigs are very strong, so a playful push can be quite devastating to a small child or kitty. The reality is that mini pigs can reach over 100 kg and 60 cm to the shoulder once they’re adults – the size of a medium to large dog, but three times the weight and strength! This was going to be a problem for George’s house friends. To add insult to injury, Georgie’s humans were not told they needed shire approval to keep him so that was just another possible problem for him and his family, should he stay where he was. Suffice to say, Georgie’s days were numbered as he was upsetting everyone around him, and although his owner loved him and found it hard to let him go, she knew he was not going to be able to stay where he was and needed to find a place where he could be himself – he urgently needed to find new “digs”.
And so this rambunctious little ball of porcine energy found his way to us… and even here on our large property, he challenges us with his Houdini talents. However, having room to run, constant stimulation with lots of other animals (including other pigs), and a good hearty diet* that befits his energy and growth requirements, George’s habits of destruction and rough play are decreasing considerably. When he first arrived here he was constantly digging, almost to the point of obsession – leading us to believe that perhaps he was using the digging instinct as a bit of a crutch to help him through boredom or the desire to run in more open spaces. This happy little fellow doesn’t dig too much now, and he is learning with some basic training not to get pushy or too demanding. He has been dubbed “the happy pig” by visitors as he is always trotting around busily checking out what everyone is up to, with a cheeky little grin on his face. He has dominion over the holding paddocks, as no internal fences are a challenge to him at the moment; he can easily squeeze under almost any fence-line, but hopefully he will grow too big for such naughtiness before too long. Happy George loves a good belly rub and will flop down at your feet if you offer him one; with a sweet smile of bliss he presents his tummy for your attention, oh and please massage my legs too… that’s the spot… ahhhhh.
We are delighted to have you here gracing us with your happy ways George, and we are so glad we could help you out of that sticky situation you found yourself in. We only hope that your story helps potential purchasers to realise the unique requirements of that “cute little mini pig”.
Though we would never assume to know what pigs are thinking, it would appear that George and Peppa (who arrived in November 2014) have a little love affair going!* It is sometimes recommended by breeders to restrict a “mini pig’s” diet to maintain a smaller size, but we feel this is not optimal for their health – when you think about it, this is essentially calorie restriction to stunt growth, which cannot be healthy in the long term.
Would you like to help us to Take Care of George? One off donations and sponsorship gifts are available now to support our work. Thank you for caring about farm animals.
** Happy Hooves Farm Sanctuary – Where The Good Life Begins **