Even though there are quite a few reasons why raising pigs would be a great idea, you should also take into consideration some other aspects, especially if you’re living in the city. Keeping pigs in the city is not simple at all, as you’d need to look into some legalities, as well as think about the ways to keep them away from your neighbors’ back porch, just to mention a few. So, read the following before you decide to do this.
1. Is it legal to keep pigs where you live?
First of all, you’re supposed to check whether you’re allowed to raise pigs to begin with. In some municipalities, restrictions on keeping pigs have been loosened recently, for instance, in Spokane, Washington. But, you still need to make sure that you meet a certain set of conditions, such as the minimum space and confinement regulations, as well as pig size.
“We’re doing this as an evaluation year. We’re going to do a year of working the bugs out and review it next year,” says Pat Munts, small-farm and acreage coordinator for Washington State University County Extension and the
Spokane Conservation District.
2. What to do with waste?
Here’s another important question to answer. As Munts says, “The perception that pigs stink is out there.” Even though pigs do pick one location to do their business and stick to it, that still leaves you with one big issue – what to do with it then? So, before you get a pig, think about preliminary waste-management plan.
3. Can you afford to feed pigs?
Furthermore, you should be aware of the fact that it’s not the same to raise pigs in a populated area as in the country, form a price standpoint. Munts warns that “The urban pig person is going to buy feed by the pound instead of by the ton. It’s extremely expensive.” If you get a pig, you’ll be responsible for its diet, so first make sure you can afford it.
4. How will you keep it at home?
Always keep in mind that a hungry pig will do whatever it takes to find food. Thus, you need to know that it will be quite a challenge to keep your pig at home. “They are smart and their whole goal is to find something to eat,”
Sargent says. “They will actually dig under fencing. You could use buried fencing. You can also use electric fencing to keep them off of the perimeter.”
5. Are you okay with holes in your yard?
Another thing Sargent warns about is that “If there’s not enough on top of the ground to eat, they will go rooting,” which can be a problem in a small place. Plus, remember that pigs are not able to sweat, so you also need to leave some room for them to wallow.
6. Can you face the reality of adult pigs?
Last but not least, don’t forget that your adorable piglets are going to grow up eventually, so think about that first. “Many times people spoil them when they are little and then are offended by the same ‘cute’ behaviors when they get bigger,” explains Kit Jagoda, of River’s Wish Animal Sanctuary in Spokane, Wash. “Then the pig is moved outside and frequently taken to shelters, abandoned or given away. It is difficult to find committed homes for pigs.” Jagoda also added that “Having a pig is no different than a dog [with the] commitment to keeping them their entire lives and taking good care of them.”
As you can see, there are quite a few things to think about before you decide to raise a pig in the city. Consider what we’ve mentioned here and make sure you’re ready to be devoted to your new pet before you make a commitment.