We moved! Here’s how our pigs handled it

Hello! Sorry I’ve been MIA, we moved, I had a big birthday and, well, life happened!

Our little family moved into a new house not far from our old house about a month ago and we are finally settled in.

Lucky for Paxton and Cooper, they have their own yard! I’m pretty sure that’s a big part of why we chose this house. It also has a pool which I’m so excited for.

 

The boys have an entire side yard fenced off with a privacy gate that has gate access to the pool and a door to the screened patio. They love it! Probably because there is a ton of fresh grass for them — they about ate us out of house and home at the old house. We learned the hard way we really need to manage what, where and how often they eat the grass or we will be left with a yard of just dirt again.

More: A birthday cake fit for a pig

It took the boys about 10 days to get settled at the new house. At first they would both stand at the back sliding door and cry and scream to go outside. Cooper is our little screamer, Pax just stands there and pushes Cooper around.

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They were both timid of the new house, they seemed afraid to go anywhere but the back door where their crates are located.

Slowly and with plenty of treats they began to explore the house. Cooper even made it all the way upstairs. Paxton not so much, his big butt made it up two stairs before he turned around and headed back down.

I laugh now because as much as I wanted the boys to explore, now Cooper runs our house. That little 22-pound pig jumps in our bed every morning and snuggles under my pillow. I now have to make the bed as soon as we get up or he’ll make his way under the sheets and we are left we dirt in the bed. (life with pigs!)

My advice for moving with pigs:

  1. Be patient! There are new smells, sounds and more they need to get used to.
  2. Check and double check the pig yard. I walked around several times looking for anything in the grass that could harm them such as nails. We also checked the fence for holes or weak spots and check all plants! I used a plant identifying app to check every plant in our yard to make sure it wasn’t toxic for pigs or dogs.
  3. When they establish an area they feel safe, sit in their area with them. I did this with the boys at the back door; I’d sit on the floor and scratch them.
  4. Slowly encourage them to explore. Sit in different areas with treats and more than likely, they’ll follow.
  5. If they’re OK with it, assist them in finding cozy places. Pax loved the couch at our old house so I picked him up and put him on the new couch until he finally figured out where the couch was and how to get up on it himself. He still has a hard time getting down so he likes to stand with his hooves on the arm rest and watch everyone.
  6. Get back to your old routine ASAP. This can be hard with moving and unpacking but a routine helped the boys settle. Our routine: the boys stay outside until about 8 p.m. then they both come in and the whole family sits on the couch together. Call us crazy, but it’s our favorite part of the day! Everyone, boys included, have their own spots.

More: Pax ate my plant — again

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Cooper (in above video) enjoying our very overgrown grass.

If you give a pig a bath …

Bath time with two pigs is kind of like bath time with a hurricane. The only difference is there’s squirming, screaming and squealing.img_4123.jpg

Paxton and Cooper LOVE to play in the dirt so they need a weekly bath.

But we’re lucky if we get the boys in a bath every other week — er, month.

But I’ve found a way to make bath time a Category 1 rather than a Cat. 5.

Peanut butter.

I guess it’s more like peanut butter smeared on the side of the tub.

I smear a bit on each end of the tub, plop both boys in front of their smear, roll up my pants and sit on the side.

It works like a charm unless one finishes his peanut butter before bath time is over, one realizes the other has more peanut butter (geeze, mom), I dump too much water on their face and interrupt the peanut butter eating, or if bath time ends before they finish eating the peanut butter and they insist on standing in an empty tub until every last bit is gone (pictured above).

And by the time bath time is over, their faces are completely covered in peanut butter and I have to wipe their faces before I pull them out of the tub. It’s usually about this time one or both is throwing a piggy tantrum. Yes that’s a thing.

[More: Pax turned 1 and ate a whole cake — in two bites]

After Micheal and I do our best to dry them (he’s better at it) Cooper finds the nearest blanket to burrow in. Meanwhile, Pax runs around the house rubbing up against furniture to dry himself — which I should mention, looks like he’s twerking.

[Video: What life is really like with two pigs]

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  • Be careful not to get water in their ears
  • They don’t mind water in their face if it’s poured slowly
  • Their hooves slip, use a mat or I use my feet as support behind their back feet when I scrub them
  • Wash their hooves
  • The soap I use was recommended by my vet (pictured)

I have a pig, his name is Paxton James

Never in my life did I think I would be a pig mom.

I had been trying to convince my boyfriend to get a puppy.

One day he sent me a photo of piglets that needed homes. My obvious first reaction was YES!

Then reality hit and I realized I knew nothing about owning potbellied pigs. I did some reading, learned how smart they were, what diet, exercise and veterinary requirements they had and my boyfriend and I talked it over several more times before we jumped into it.

Before I knew it, my boyfriend brought our little guy home. He was scared to death, wouldn’t leave his crate and “screamed” anytime I picked him up.

The next morning I cried. I felt so bad, he was ripped away from everything he had known and was so scared. He wouldn’t come near us and I didn’t know how to help.

I continued to read and it turned out this was normal. Paxton was cautious for about a week with me, but eventually, if I sat on the floor, he would crawl in my lap and I’d rub him to sleep. This slowly turned into him joining me on the couch every night. It took him a little longer to adjust to Mike — he’s a 6-foot-4-inch guy with a very deep voice— Paxton still hated being picked up (also normal) so I gave up trying.

Pax around 10 weeks, he would snuggle against my neck and somtimes (when he feels like it) he will give piggy kisses.

He was quick to learn to spin, and after several tries, finally learned to sit. He developed a personality both sweet and very sassy. He liked to wonder out of our yard (until we FINALLY got a fence). This is very much his personality, he loves to explore. He will listen to me until I annoy him so much he tunes my voice out. Like any typical man I guess, sigh.

Paxton also dragged a lot of dirt in the house which was very frustrating for Mike.

Pigs are not easy. They require a lot of patience and a lot of love. I don’t recommend them if you have kids. I don’t have any so to each their own. Just please do not adopt a pig if you are on the fence or ill equipped to keep up with the demands of these darling animals.

We also put a big rug by the back door to help with all that dirt Paxton likes to drag in.

I did research on enrichment games and toys to keep him busy.

And we tapped Mike’s mom to learn to pig sit. She loves our Jack Russell named Casey so I was hoping she’d love Paxton, too.

I’m so thankful Mike and I were able to join forces and make changes for  Paxton and our sanity.

[Follow Paxton on Instagram, yes, we are those people]

Pax now can play outside all he wants (I constantly watch his weight and adjust his food depending on how much he grazes each day) and he’s hasn’t tried to escape (even when the damn lawn guys left a small opening in the fence).

[More: I quit eating meat for six weeks, here’s what happened]

Paxton is six months old now and weighs 43  pounds (and thinks he can still lie on my lap!)

He even lets Mike pick him up sometimes

He’s my baby, I don’t have children and don’t ever plan on having them. I adore Pax, and am so happy we were able to keep him in his home.

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Paxton only lets dad pick him up, this was taken after a bath (terrible photo!).

No, I don’t know how big he will get.

Yes he sleeps inside in his crate (his crate is his safe space, he goes in there on his own, so please keep your opinions to yourself about this).

Yes, he knows his name, likes to snuggle and is very, very smart.

And yes, he has eaten our entire yard. Lucky for us, we live in Florida and things grow back very quickly.

These are the most common questions I get from people — especially when we take Pax to the sandbar.

If you think you want a pig, please PLEASE do your homework. Pigs are a lot of work and require patient parents. Pigs can be absolutely amazing pets, er children, and can bring so much to your life.

[Read more about Paxton and Dacia]

Resources:

Pig Advocate League
Potbellypigs.com
pigs4ever.com

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I quit meat for 6 weeks, this is what happened

No, I didn’t just wake up one day and think this was a good idea. I’m a lifelong meat eater and long story short, I adopted a potbellied pig which pushed me to dig my head out of the sand and educate myself on the truth about the meat and dairy industries and the crap I was consuming every day.. Read more about me.

Day 1: I’m excited for the change, in a way it feels like freedom, from what? I’m not sure yet.

I spent my morning flipping through the Thug Kitchen cookbook which is effing amazing.

I went to Pei Wei for lunch only because I had a 2 for $10 coupon (and I don’t know what to feed myself). I was pleasantly surprised by its vegetarian menu. I chose one veggie only and one tofu dish. I don’t have much experience with tofu but I actually liked this dish.

Pei Wei vegetarian lunch

(Later that day) Well crap, my boyfriend surprised me with dinner … chicken …  so I guess I’m actually starting tomorrow, Aug. 11, 2017.

Michael and I had not had a chance to sit down and talk about my new venture so he didn’t know I had quit meat. He’s been out of town, the decision for me just clicked one day …

I told my plans and reasons why over a glass of wine (update, I’ve learned a lot of wine and beer is made with animal products). To my surprise, my meat-and-potatoes boyfriend was very supportive and when I asked (half joking) if he wanted to join me, he said yes!

Day 4: I thought I was getting sick or was having a 3-day hangover. No, I’m detoxing from meat. Because apparently that’s a thing.

Day 5: I’m over the hump. I feel a lot better. I drank a ton of water last night and had about 10 hours of sleep which helped. (BTW who sleeps for 10 hours over the age of 17?)

My body feels good today and I’m still 100 percent happy with my decision to quit meat. I’ve also cut back drastically on dairy.

Current listen: Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack  and this episode is great: Get your hands off my v-card.

Day 12: I feel pretty good still — though my intake of tortilla chips has increased significantly. I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on meat like a thought I would.

I am struggling to keep my protein intake high, a girl can only eat so many hemp seeds.

My boyfriend, who so graciously decided to do this with, me had a slight meltdown in bed the other night when he realized he couldn’t eat lasagna or his famous wedding soup on Christmas Eve. I talked him off the edge, don’t worry.

Current read: I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to eat it anymore.

Day 15: I lied, I’m not over the hump. apparently you can detox for a long time.

Day 22: I MISS CHICKEN WINGS.

Day 23: We are still eating eggs typically two days a week. Mostly because I want Michael to make breakfast every weekend.

[More: I have a pig, his name is Paxton James]

Day 28: There’s a major hurricane baring down on the entire state of Florida. I have entirely too much produce for two people so I’m letting Paxton (my pig) help me eat everything so it won’t go bad. I still miss chicken wings.

Also, pretty sure I accidentally ate bacon hidden in pasta salad in a drunk stupor. UGH,

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Day 30: I feel great! I haven’t had any withdrawal symptoms in a while. and I don’t really miss meat. Every now and then I do want some damn fried chicken.

I’m starting to pay more attention to what I am eating instead of what I’m not. We’ve explored a few recipes and discovered I can make a pretty good vegan tostada. Michael had cheese but hey, at least he’s still not eating meat!

I ordered a snack box from Vegan Cuts so I can find new things to eat (with little effort, let’s be honest). I totally recommend this! Michael whipped out his vegan chips at the sandbar and shared them with Paxton HA!

[More: These foods contain animal products and it’s blowing my mind]

I also found a local organic co-op that deliverers fresh produce every week. This has made life easier but also forced me to figure out what the eff to do with rutabaga.

Day 36: We went out to a bar with friends to watching some boxing match I don’t give a crap about. Michael’s friend ordered wings. That was hard.

He had flatbread pizza and I had fried mushrooms. Definitely not vegan but my goal for this six weeks was to avoid meat.

Day 37: Michael wanted to go to the bar to watch football. I didn’t want to be surrounded by dancing chicken wings so I offered to make snacks we could eat. Guacamole and vegan chili!

We tried some new stuff this week like vegan hot dogs which Michael picked out, cooked and actually enjoyed. I’ve created a monster. A big vegetarian one.

We’ve also tried vegan sausage and have used it in several recipes.

Day 41: My organic produce co-op delivery service went under. A big corporation who doesn’t give a crap about small businesses is to blame. Welcome to 2017.

In other news, for the past week my meals have been almost completely vegan. I swapped out butter and cheese for vegan versions for both.

I could eat vegan butter with a spoon.

Tomorrow will be six weeks. How did that happen and who have I become?

Day 42: With a lot of planning, label reading and wine drinking I did it. I haven’t had meat for six weeks (except for that drunken slip up).

I’ve learned so many food have animal products in them. Like tater tots (are we for real?) And I bought those stupid candy corn pumpkins the other day, yeah those too.

I’m still learning to live without chicken wings and watching my body change with the increase of veggies in my life. I’m also learning how to balance my diet and not over do it on the tortilla chips. Restaurants are still hard but I will say my friends and family have been unbelievably supportive. My friend even made vegan jello shots for me!

I have no more 3 p.m slump. My energy is up and my cravings are less severe. My skin seems to have cleared and I’m beginning to change the way I think about food (this might be the hardest).

This journey has just begun. I’ve got a lot of learning and exploring left to do.

And I have Paxton to thank. That little (now 45 pounds) guy has changed my life.