View Full Version : Conditions Special Needs Pigs, Weight Loss- Quinn and Parker

12-02-14, 01:09 am
Hey Guys,

I am not new to pigs, but I have recently taken in two special needs pigs. One has severe head tilt that was not cured in time and is now permanent. (Quinn) When I received him from a friend he was extremely plump, living in a 4ft x 1 1/2ft cage- very social. Overall he is a normal pig, but struggles to walk quickly/run due to the head tilt, and tends to end up in circles or tipping or when he stands.

Secondly, I have Parker, an adoption from a local pet store. When they called me they mentioned he had been up for adoption for about a month due to his extreme shyness. When I got him home, I noticed that he shakes even when standing in one spot. Originally when I first saw him, I thought this was because he was scared. Instead, I think he may have been dropped at some point and had a fracture or injury that did not heal correctly. It's almost as if he has Parkinson's- he just shakes and wobbles back and forth. He has an extremely hard time walking quickly and will tip over and flail (because his balance is terrible and he cannot get up quickly.) On the bright side, he is my sweetest pig and doesn't fight being picked up, cuddled, etc.

SO, with that being said- Here's a quick run down of my cage- I have 6 x 2 with 4 boars. There are 3 water bottles, 2 pellet trays and 2 separate hay racks. There are also 6 hideys, plus a few toys they can roll around or nibble on.

The problem is, that since I have adopted Quinn I have noticed that he has lost a decent amount of weight and you can now easily feel his hip bones. I worry that there may be too much food competition or that the "normal" pigs are getting to it too quickly for Parker & Quinn to keep up. (I have noticed that as soon as I put fresh water in one they all RUSH to it, even though there are two other bottles?... Also, the bottles are filled every day/every other day as necessary, so they're never OUT-OUT) I don't WANT to divide my cage, but I'm thinking that will be the quickest way to end the unnecessary rivalry.


12-02-14, 08:01 am
One of my pigs hogs most of the food, and two of me piggies started getting skinny. So now I separate the two thinner ones when it is feeding time. usually I put them on a towel on the floor. Also it's awesome that you decided to adopt those two special needs pigs!

12-02-14, 08:34 am
Weight loss can be a sign of underlying health issues and not necessarily that the other pigs are stealing food. If you don't yet I would recommend you start to weigh your piggies regularly and keep a chart so that you can catch a problem before it gets worse and see whether your pig is normal in weight:


For now you should try to handfeed as much of his veggies and pellets throughout the day as you can to make sure he's actually eating as well as monitor him for any other changes. Or separate them out for meal time but monitor to make sure he's eating plenty. If he's not eating at all your should take him to the vet:


12-02-14, 11:21 pm
Thanks for the thoughts guys!

I am going to start separating them at breakfast/dinner time so that there isn't such a fuss over the food. I'll try that first. If not, I may separate them into two sections...(which would be a great excuse to expand the cage.)

Hand feeding could potentially be an issue as I'm not always the one that feeds him (We try to split it evenly so they don't favor one of us over the other). I also refrain from this after what happened this summer.... I had a pig that I hand fed, and I went to a week long training. Even though there was fresh food being put in 2-3 times a day he wouldn't eat without me there.... By the time I got home he was so weak that he ended up passing away a few days later. Unfortunately my spouse who was taking care of them hadn't noticed in time... otherwise I would have drove home early.. :(