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AnnaRie
01-28-10, 11:19 pm
First, I know I probably should have posted this in the "HOT TIPS" section but I'm too new of a member so I figured this would be the next best thing. And it DOES pertain to floor time so it's not completely irrelevant.

Second, a backstory about this:

If you want to skip right to the tips, scroll down about half way, and sorry I'm so long winded :expressio

When I got my first pig he came with a pet store cage. I love him dearly and the cage is about as big of one as my boyfriend could find. It's roughly 8.75 sq. feet and he was just a baby - in the next couple weeks we planned to get him a bigger c&c cage. Shove ahead a few months...illness happened and plans got pushed back a little. Then we adopted another pig from a petstore (more of a pet supply store owned by a little old lady in my town ... she helps find homes for "unwanted" pets). SIDE NOTE: We thought our Anya was a boy, but she's not... Attila (our boy) has since gone in for his neutering and Anay is, unfortunately pregnant with her brother's babies (her old owner didn't know to separate piggies early). She's been checked out by the vet, so far so good... more updates later in the appropriate thread.

Sorry to get sidetracked...back to the point...

Finances were in shambles and my boyfriend and I couldn't afford the bigger cage our piggies need. So we improvised. Neither of us is particularly good at building things, but we had an extra empty bedroom in our apartment, so why not pig proof a room... We slid some draft blockers around the closet door, steam cleaned the carpet to disinfect, and moved the cage into a corner. The cage became the kitchen and, after setting up some towel tents and other hideys, our pigs suddenly had a 10' by 11' "cage." The pigs seem to love all the space, they certainly chase each other enough and my boyfriend and I both love taking a pillow into the room to read or relax while the pigs play or come up for cuddles. But we did have a little bit of a problem: piggy poops and pees stain our light colored carpet. And our landlord doesn't really like the stains.

TIP - HOW TO POTTY TRAIN A PIGGY

Luckily, pigs are creatures of habit so this can be done with relatively little effort.

SUPPLIES:
Small plastic baskets (I got a few, they are about 5"x10" and 1.5" deep, from Target. They come in packs of 3 for around $1.00. I would get several packs)
White paper towels
Pig-safe disinfectant (my vet suggested distilled white vinegar and warm water)

WHAT TO DO:
1. Fold a piece of paper towel in half and use it to line the bottom of the basket.

2.Pay attention to where your pig uses the potty, in the cage and out, and put a basket there.

3. Find any place your pig might find to use the potty (they like dark corners and other places hard for their humans to reach) and put a basket there too.

4. Put some soiled bedding and poops (slightly gross, but worth it) in the baskets to mark it with each pigs scent. (The bedding is only temporary, just until the pig understands basket = bathroom)

Eventually the pigs will start using the baskets. Mine (and I'm assuming others?) have picked only one basket to use so I eventually removed the rest of them and keep them as backups (they like to chew the plastic a bit).

Another way to work with this: during lap time my pigs get a little nippy when they have to pee. I used to hold them for a second or two longer then place them directly into a basket so they could go. It worked sometimes, and sometimes they would hop out and pee on the couch - probably just to spite me. I think the concept helped a little.

As your pigs become more comfortable with the idea, you can just bring baskets with you when you're not in a normal pig play area. For instance, for a change of scenery my pigs will sit on the couch with me and watch TV (we're big fans of Food Network) for a half an hour or so. I usually place a basket next to me and they reliably use that for pee. Poops are a little more unpredictable but luckily much easier to clean.

To clean the baskets, throw away the paper towel, soak in some vinegar water and rinse thoroughly. Replace paper towels.

This took some time and effort but was definitely worth it. I never have to clean the carpet or furniture anymore as long as I have a "litter box" close by.

Good luck!

Ly&Pigs
01-29-10, 12:40 am
Litter/potty training will generally only work if the pig has an inclination to want to do it. You can't force a pig to train, but you can provide areas for them to use if they so want to. Most of the time they end up only peeing in the litter pan and pooing wherever they happen to be.

While your post is appreciated, these tips have been posted here on many occasions.

larasteele
01-31-10, 11:54 pm
i appreciate this post.
-from a new piggy owner