Bringing home a new show pig can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. It’s important to ask the right questions to ensure that you and your new project are getting off to the best start possible.
The more you know about your pig the better equipped you’ll be to raise it to its full show potential! When searching for the right show pig, don’t be afraid to ask these questions!
What vaccines have they already been given?
When bringing pigs home to your barn, make sure you know that they have been properly vaccinated to ensure a healthy start. It is helpful to ask what type of vaccines have been administered, especially when bringing home multiple pigs from different farms. Common vaccinations given include porcine circovirus, mycoplasma and swine influenza.
You can also ask the breeder what kind of vaccine schedule they are on to give you a guide on any further vaccinations that may be beneficial.
Have they been dewormed?
Deworming show pigs is another critical factor for overall health. If left untreated, parasites will rob pigs of essential nutrients needed to gain weight and grow. Deworming also helps to prevent skin issues, internal parasites and animal discomfort. Find out if pigs have been dewormed yet.
It is safe to start deworming pigs 2-3 weeks after weaning and you will need to continue this process on a regular schedule. On my farm, we try to deworm our show pigs monthly.
What type of feed & water has the pig had access to?
Before purchasing your pig, it may have been fed a different feed than you plan on feeding. If so, you will need to transition your pig to your desired feed. For example, pigs may be fed a pelleted feed, but then switched to a meal. When I need to transition a pig to a new feed, I will blend the new feed with the current feed for a few days. Mixing feed types will allow pigs the time to adjust and help ease any stress they might otherwise experience.
Another factor to consider is what type of watering system the pig was exposed to. Whether it was a nipple or cup waterer, pigs may need to be trained to learn how to access water in their new environment. This can be done numerous times throughout the day by running the water to show the pigs how it is accessed. Ultimately, observing the pig’s behavior when eating or drinking will help you assist the pig’s transition to its new home.
When do you think this pig will reach the desired size?
Depending on your end goal, it is important to ask the breeder when they predict their pigs will reach a desired size. No one should know better than the breeder how their pigs will grow and mature. It is important to mention what shows you plan on attending and when those shows will be held. Breeders know their own genetics and will be able to give you the best advice when purchasing a pig.
Is it okay to contact you to get advice on feed & caring for this pig?
Most of the time, breeders enjoy staying in contact with you and helping you out along the way. They should be able to answer questions and give advice when it comes to providing proper care and improving nutrition for your pig. Personally, as a breeder, I love to keep in touch with buyers to help them out with any questions and stay informed with the progress of their project.
By asking these questions, you can build a relationship between yourself and the breeder. This relationship will allow both the buyer and seller the opportunity to be involved with the successes of the show pig. Not only does this help the buyer learn more about caring for their show pig, but it can also lead to a consistent customer for the breeder, overall, leading to a positive pig purchasing experience.
Until next time ~ Taylor