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PIGGY TIPS

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A few tips that will help you and your piggies lead a happier and easier life.

Please remember to use the biggest cage you can for your piggies the more space they have the happier they will be, this is especially true of boars who sometimes feel grumpy with one another and just want their own space. Sows like their own space too. You don't always want your best friend at your side. An absolute minimum for two pigs would be  100 cm x 50 cm. Smaller than this and you are overcrowding which leads to stress and stress leads to mites etc. 

Ten things to make you and your piggy happy.
 
1.Feeding. Do ensure an adequate supply of good quality hay, fresh veg and dry mix daily along with fresh water.
 
2.Bedding. Do use Hay or chopped straw. This is far better for you and your piggy.Sawdust/woodshavings cause breathing, skin and eye problems.
 
3. Do give your piggy  another piggy as a friend. Despite what you may read boars can be paired up if done carefully. Rabbits are NOT suitable companions for piggies. Buck rabbits mount piggies and bite them Does can do the same when in season. They do not speak the same language and piggies are very sociable little mammals. Last but not least, no matter how friendly the rabbit, they all kick out in play, if your piggy happens to be in striking distance he is either dead or maimed.
 
4.Take a moment to watch your piggies every day. Watch them eating and look for any changes from the norm. This is a good way to spot the first signs of trouble once you know your piggies well.
 
5.Do let your piggies out for a run everyday, if the weather is nasty then let them run somewhere safe in the house for a good hour every day.
 
6. In boars do clean out the anal sac monthly, and do clean their grease gland which is situated just above where their tail would be. Swarfega is great for this. If you ever see any bits of hay/straw protruding from the anal sac or sheath remove it gently immediately.
 
7.Cleaning. Do clean out your piggies at least twice a week. Any white marks on the floor of the cage can be removed using vinegar, just spray it on ,leave for a minute and wipe off. Do also thoroughly clean the water bottle at least twice a week using a bottle brush, a cotton bud will clean the nozzle well but remember to do both ends.but in any case rinse it daily and change the water. Bacteria can build up in a very short time...particularly on a hot day.
 

8. Do bath at least every 6 -8 weeks using a mild shampoo. In boars be sure to extrude the penis and very gently clean  off any deposits. Also rinse out the anal sac and make sure it is free from hay etc. It is normal for there to be a sort of whitish grease inside. Do be very gentle in these areas as they are very tender.
 
9.Do cut claws regularly, at least every time you bathe the piggies, did you know by letting the claws grow too long that you break the bones in their paws? Also clean the ears out when you bathe, this discourages earmites. Never push a cotton bud into the ear canal, just gently wipe around the ear flap with a cotton wool ball or similar. You will also notice that in dark coloured piggies the ear wax is dark and light in light coloured piggies. This is normal.
 
10. Do try to make the cage interesting. Use cardboard boxes, wooden houses and igloos with tunnels.Beware of the smaller igloos without tunnels as they have been known to cause internal damage after the piggy has chewed bits of  them. Change the hides around as much as you can.
 
 
Remember to enjoy your piggies with plenty of cuddles and chatter. They are good listeners! Indoor piggies are so much fun and you really get to know your piggies character and just how charming these little critters are. Sadly so many piggies spend their lives at the bottom of the garden and their owners never realise just what they are missing. They are very amusing pets once they trust you and give so much love back to you. 

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cagethree..jpg

How not to keep your cage.
 
The state of this cage is quite disgusting and is easily remedied. Vinegar, (spirit or malt work equally well), will remove the white marks often left on the cage floor and should be done every time the cage is cleaned. It should not be left to build up to this state. Newspapers used under the hay or straw will make life a lot easier for you when it comes to cleaning day. 

cagetwo..jpg

This shows the above cage half way through the cleaning process. When they get to this stage it takes drastic measures to get them clean and it is hard work.

cageone..jpg

Two hours later and the cage is almost as good as new. I should add that this was not acheived by using vinegar, it was way beyond that but the product used is easily available in supermarkets.

More to follow soon
 

The article below was taken from our Summer Newsletter.

 

Trick or Treat!

No it is not Halloween but the title will become clear.
 
 
Here at the Rescue we are always amazed at the variety of toys and treats that piggies have with them. Most toys are okay, like fruit spikes, hidey houses and tunnels. Two items I am never pleased to see are Harnesses and Wheels. These are dangerous to piggies, the former as they can become tangled in them and panic and do a lot of damage to themselves. The Wheel is downright dangerous and can cause spinal injuries. NEVER put one in your piggies cage, they will not use them, they have more sense. Trust your piggy to know better than you in this case and do not force them to go on them.
 
Treats, are they really? Well, mostly not, they are full of sugar that can make your piggy hyper or worse give rise to Diabetes. Many also have milk derivatives in them like yoghurt. Piggies are lactose intolerant and this can lead to an upset tummy. Even the  so called natural  treats can be full of bad things like egg to bind the ingredients or gelatine to do the same. Piggies are strictly vegetarian and should never be fed milk or meat derivatives. Become a label reader on behalf of your piggies and refuse to buy the so called treats that are  widely available. Here at the Thistle fundraising shop  we have already done the reading and buy only pure vegetable treats so you know they are safe to feed.
 
Treats are made simply to make the manufacturers profit, not with the health of your piggy in mind, salt wheels also come into this category, they are neither needed or good for your piggy, same with the mineral blocks/wheels. Leave them on the shop shelves along with all the Rodent Vitamins , they can be dangerous as some of them build up in your piggies liver for instance leading to serious problems later in life. The ones that you add to water deteriorate within a very short time of being added to the bottle and taint the water putting your piggy off of drinking.
 
The best treats for your piggies are fresh grass and herbs with the occasional titbit of fruit.Also different hays, dried leaves etc can all be tried until you find a favourite
 
All in all the treat market is a bit of a trick....... to get you to part  with your cash

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