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Weight Loss Can an underweight pig gain TOO MUCH in one day?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Jun 19, 2009
Okay, quick backstory:

There was a Craigslist posting from downstate to rehome their pig. So we (Trex and I) worked out a piggy train to bring the pig up here where I have a family who wanted to adopt the pig. The first thing we noticed was that she was underweight. We could feel the individual vertebrae in her spine, her ribs and her hip bones.

The next thing we noticed is that SHE was a HE.

The owner told Trex that this pig subsisted on a diet of straw and occasionally a stalk of celery. No hay, no pellets and no regular veggies.

When I got him home, I took the top of the carrier off to get a better look at him. I checked around to see if I could get a look at what his poo looked like. In the carrier, what I had originally thought at first glance, was a piece of carrot, turned out to be...his poo.

That's right, his poop is bright orange. The poop is solid, which considering his diet before, is GOOD news! No idea what could have caused his poop to be that color though. It looks about the color of carrots.

He is now in a 2X4 C&C. He has water, Kleenmamas TC pellets, 3rd cut timothy hay and has had a little bit of green leaf lettuce (which he apparently loves!). He's got an igloo, a cuddle cup and two sleep sacks. I did piggy laundry last night.

Poo is now back to a healthy brown color and he had his first weigh in yesterday. He weighed in at 708 grams.

Now here is my question...I weighed him today and it says 729 grams. I know that a pig losing 21 grams in 1 day is a big problem but is gaining that much in one day reasonable for an underweight pig?

Pics below:
The first is of what his poop looked like originally. It's back to normal now.

The second is what the little munchkin looks like, for anyone who's curious.


001.jpg 002.jpg
First off, what a cutie! Secondly, thank you for saving the little guy! My guys can gain an ounce(1/2 ounce = 15grams) after eating and drinking so I don't think it's a bad sign. You should weigh him in the morning before feeding him to get a better idea about what he's gaining.
Thanks @Hhbean, he is quite the handsome little guy, isnt he? :) I'm glad we could get him out of the conditions he was in. The truth of the matter is, we didn't realize just how bad the conditions were until we saw him.

He was living in this tiny petstore cage with some kind of decorative straw for not only bedding but for food. It was this shiny, plasticky type of straw that you might see in Thanksgiving decorations.

Aside from the obvious dietary problems, the owners had apparently had this pig for a year thinking he was a female and I can tell you just from a quick look at him, it's plainly obvious that he's got his manly bits. I'd say it's a very good thing he didn't have a female roomie.

He's very friendly too. He doesn't seem to mind being petted or picked up. He didn't immediately try to hide when I put him in the cage. In fact, he started exploring and didn't even notice the igloo for about 5 minutes. He seemed very excited for all the room to move around. He kept running from one thing to the next and back again. The cage he had been kept in was a tiny petstore cage so it's no surprise that he would be happy with the upgrade. So, despite his poor diet from his owner, it's easy to see that he's been well socialized.

Obviously he's predominantly white but upon closer inspection, he does have light but widespread grey on his back. It's very hard to tell on first glance because it's so light but definitely there. Also, all four feet are grey and he has pink ears but with a grey outline.

Thanks for the tip about weighing him. I'll definitely start doing the weigh ins before meals to get a more accurate weight.
He reminds me of a snow owl with the white and little grey. He's SO beautiful. I love white pigs.
You rock for rescuing him!
He definately is a gorgeous pig! I've never had a white one before, even with a little grey! All my babies have multiple colors! Makes me want to go rescue more! Even though my boyfriend says 9 is too many.... :((
People like you make the piggy world a better place! Good thing you got him now before he could get any worse off.

Which reminds me, a pet store in the mall here (rapid city, sd) had a male and female pigs together with no hideys, hard bedding, the cage was filthy, and they didnt have any hay or vegetables. Just brown pellets and a nasty water bottle. I mentioned it to the owner which seemed genuinely shocked and went to clean it up but I've been meaning to check back up on the pigs. If the cage is in the same condition should I report him?
When we brought Sheldon home he was the same way! The sad thing with Sheldon is he is a very quiet piggy until I change his water. Then he screams and freaks out running all over and it just about broke my heart. Once the bottle is back in he stands on his hind legs as if he's trying to hug the water bottle. I highjacked the extra bottle from Huey and Rogers cage and take him with me when I change his water.

@KristenMatejka, If you go back and he hasn't done anything to improve their conditions I would report him.
@Hhbean - Awww poor Sheldon (cute name, by the way!). Good thinking about a 2nd water bottle.

I have a weight update today. I did the weigh in before breakfast and he was 705 grams. It's hard to compare to the other two weights because they were taken after he had eaten. So I guess I will have a better idea of a true weight after about a week or so of pre-meal weigh-ins.

@cavycuddler91 - Ohhh you are right! I couldn't quite place what animal he reminded me of but a snowy owl is right on the money!

@KristenMatejka -Thanks :) Yeah, Trex can vouch for how skinny he was. And although he is here now, she was the one who found the CL ad and posted it on GL to get things rolling. She also was 1/2 of the piggy train to get him upstate. Even though I haven't been able to get an accurate weight yet, I can tell he feels more "filled-out" and not quite as delicate as he had when I brought him here.

As for the petstore, ditto what @Hhbean said. Go back and see if he's actually made appropriate changes. If not, I would report him. I'm sure someone here has info about who you would report him to. Maybe the local police, maybe the humane society, maybe animal control.
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