Mini Pig Terrain
[Updated Jan 1, 2022]
Pigs in the wild are constantly moving across various terrain. Because of this, they tend to wear their hooves down naturally from crossing rocky environments and asphalt roads. Many mini pig owners tend to have their pets indoors, which can be a detriment to their hoof health with more frequent hoof trimming needs.
Terrain for Mini Pig Hoof Care
If your mini pig has an outdoor pen, make sure they have a variance of BOTH soft and rough terrain. Mimicking their feral relatives, this will provide a more natural environmental balance so their hooves aren’t getting too much wear, don’t stay too wet, and also helps them self-maintain their hooves and need less frequent hoof trims. Ideal mini pig terrain is crucial to promote overall health.
Rough Terrain for Mini Pigs
For rough surface terrain, concrete pavers or stepping stones are the easiest solution. If you are building your pig’s pen and are pouring concrete, even better. We advise the addition of rough surfaces in the following areas:
- Inside and/or outside of their shelter
- In feeding areas
- In water bowl/troth areas
- Surrounding mud wallows
- Any area where pigs routinely go through, such as a run or corridor to a larger pen area
The rough terrain does a few things:
– Helps naturally file the underside hoof wall
– Helps the hoof wall not get overly saturated during wet seasons when mud is prevalent
– Causes the hoof wall to strengthen and become denser and less pliable
Other solutions for natural filing are using grit additive to deck paint and granulated roofing underlayment or skateboard tape on ramps or platforms. These options offer not only a non-slip surface, but also an aid in natural filing.
Pigs who stay primarily indoors can still wear naturally if a platform is built with the above materials. Some owners utilize their garage area if they have rough concrete to create a climate controlled “day pen”.
Soft Terrain for Mini Pigs
Soft terrain for mini pigs is also healthy for their hooves. An area of grass or dirt allows the hooves to not wear too thin on the underside. If your pig goes for frequent walks outdoors, it is helpful to make sure your mini pig takes some time on less abrasive surfaces or has some carpet or grass to walk on at home when not out taking walks. The more soft terrain your miniature pig has, the quicker they may need hoof trimming, which is why we recommend a balance.
Softer terrain can help moisturize the hooves from dew or mud during wet weather patterns. With the balance of rough terrain, the hooves will not become over-saturated with moisture, especially when a routine hoof conditioner such as Hoof Alive is applied to help balance the hoof and coronary band moisture levels.
Miniature Pig Hoof Trimming
The Mini Pig Farrier believes in working as many mini pigs as possible toward an annual trim schedule whenever possible. If a miniature pig has sound hoof health and ideal hoof genetics to file naturally, it is better to allow them to file more naturally as they would in the wild. Your pig will naturally balance their hooves to a comfortable angle. An annual trim with a professional trimming service makes sure there are no underlying hoof issues that may need to be addressed superficially, environmentally or nutritionally. If you would like to learn more about hoof trimming and the tools we recommend, check out our blog here.
Ideal Mini Pig Pen
An ideal mini pig pen setup will offer the best of both worlds in terms of soft and hard surfaces. The graphic to the left shows one of many layout designs which can be done for a mini pig pen for outdoor and indoor/outdoor pigs. A soft balance of grass and mud/dirt and concrete allows for self maintenance. In addition, we show split pastures. This allows pigs to have grazing nearly year round depending on your climate.
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