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DIY Homemade Pot Belly Pig Crate

12/07/2012

Have you ever looked at the price of animal crates? They are CRAZY expensive! When we first bought our pot belly pig she spent the nights in a cat carrier in my kid’s bedroom since we have a lot of foxes and had no way to close up her outdoor pen at night. But as you can imagine she has gotten quite a bit larger! We realized that she needed a new crate and started looking on Craigslist. The only thing we could find were 1+ hours away or overpriced. So my husband decided we would just build her a crate! You can easily change this idea for any size dog you have as well. This crate we use ONLY for her to sleep in at night – she does NOT even go in this crate during the day.

We bought six 2×4’s that were 8 feet long and 1 box of screws. (you’ll need about 50+ screws) You’ll also need 2 small scraps of wood and a piece of plywood which we already had here at the house. The wood cost us $20 and the box of screws were under $3. Cut ALL six 2×4’s in half.

Four will be used for the corners, then screw 3 boards onto 3 different sides – leaving the middle board off of the fourth side as you see in the front here. We used two small scraps of wood so that we could slide this plywood “door” in place after our pig walks in. If you have a larger animal you can also cut slots for a sliding plank of wood instead of this plywood door.

The small circle hole in the plywood allows us to open it easier. The big black spot you see in the crate is our pig! As you can see our crate is PLENTY big for her to have all sorts of room to grow! If we really needed a bigger crate we could tack the same structure onto the front opening of this one to make it twice as long. You can easily make a simimilar crate like this for dogs with smaller side openings and more wood on the top as well so that the dog(s) cannot jump out. We paid just $25 for this entire project from start to finish. The crates that we were looking at for her cost $80+. It took about 30 minutes to build this and was a HUGE savings for us! We are thinking of building a smaller crate about half the size with a bottom on it so that if we need to put her in the car to take her to the vet we could move her a lot easier.

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Meet Miss Ellie Mae

10/17/2012

So after a wild turn of events this weekend (which I’ll have to blog about when I’m not quite so tired!) we all of a sudden have a pig now! Meet Miss Ellie Mae, a 4 month old pot-belly pig! She is just the sweetest most social little oinker! We are sad to have lost our Peach but I know Miss Ellie Mae will fit right in! We picked her up this afternoon and were not quite prepared to bring her home! She won’t go in the litter box we got for her. And we bought a medium and large harness so we can put her on a leash to take her outside to go potty and neither of them fit! She’s already had 3 accidents SO this should be interesting!! Hopefully tomorrow things will smooth out some more! Traci if you’re reading this – don’t worry – we still want her!! 🙂

I wish I could show you her face when you rub her belly! She fell asleep in the hallway and she’s so fat her feet stock up in the air! It’s hilarious! She’s super cute – we’ve just got to work out some kinks this week! So now we have an oinker, a German shepherd, and 2 cats in our house – we are so blessed! (and a bit crazy!)

A Sad Update about our sweet Peach

09/19/2012

While we were away visiting family over the summer we left our dear Peach in the care of a well-trusted friend who has owned pigs in the past. One day she laid down and just never got back up again. It was just heartbreaking to tell my son – even I cried about it for days as we really loved her!! Just a few weeks ago we moved to a new state. And although I’m very impressed with how well my son did he was still getting pretty stressed out after starting kindergarten. Just today we adopted a sweet and calm German Shepherd named Jenny who is already starting to fit in nicely with our family! We are hoping in the next year to once again adopt a sweet piggy back into our family. If you are considering adopting a pot belly pig please please do your research! They are sweet and amazing animals but are quite different than a cat or dog as I’m sure you can imagine!


Rest in peace sweet Peach – you will ALWAYS be remembered and loved!

My Incredibly Happy Son with his Pig

05/12/2012

I just wanted to share with you two precious pictures of Dakoda & Peach.

Peach the pig comes in the car every day to pick Dakoda up from school. You should see him run out to the car because he’s so happy….we have NEVER regretted getting a pig for our family. She’s been the perfect addition.

A Best Friend to Sleep With…. Accommodating a Pig

05/01/2012

Not only are Peach & Dakoda best friends during the day, they are best friends during the night too. We have had her over a month now and just the past week we have begun to realize the impact that having a pig has already made on our son. The past couple weeks our son has had some pretty extreme behavioral set backs which seem to be attributed to the vaccine we gave him 2 weeks ago. His behavior totally tanked at home and at school. When I would pick him up from his part time school every day you could see that he was physically totally drained and mentally withdrawn. One day he even huddled in a ball in the car and rocked back and forth crying “I need Peach, I need Peach”. That’s when I first realized, truly realized how much Dakoda needed his pig. She will never be a true service animal but she is just the therapy he needs when he’s overwhelmed, scared, or lonely. For the rest of that week I brought her with my in the car to pick him up from school. Absolutely complete transformation. The second he got the pig after school he would completely relax and his mood would brighten considerably. It was amazing.

Usually Dakoda falls asleep at night for bed time with Peach in his arms and when she needs to get down during the night she jumps off then finds somewhere else to sleep. Inevitably last week the pig had a pee accident on Dakoda’s bed one day so we put a toddler bed mattress on the floor for him to sleep on until his bed was cleaned off properly & dried. What happened next just totally floored us. We told the boys to climb into their beds for night time. Dakoda was still sleeping on the mattress on the floor. Once the boys had quieted down for the night Peach went running into their bedroom and climbed into Dakoda’s mattress snuggling in his arms. During the night she wakes up and leaves to go potty and get a drink but she ALWAYS crawls back into his bed and snuggles with him. When he gets up the next morning she is still there sleeping in his bed. EVERY night when the boys are in bed laying quietly she runs right in their room and jumps into his bed. It’s SO incredibly precious. The only problem is that now of course Dakoda doesn’t want to sleep in his regular large bed anymore because Peach won’t be with him all night! So we’ve found a solution. This weekend we are going to buy a special reversible bunk bed from IKEA where the mattress is actually kept on the floor under the bunk bed. This will enable my son to have a “regular” bed set up and it allows the pig to be able to easily get in and out of the bed during the night. Yes, we love our son and our pig that much!

Their relationship has just amazed us and Peach truly does calm Dakoda down. When his feelings are hurt about something at school or he feels like he has no friends just hearing about Peach settles him down and brings a smile to his face.

The other day I…

04/16/2012

The other day I walked into my garage & heard “CHIRP CHIRP”…I had totally forgotten that my husband brought home an incubator full of eggs from school and evidently they hatched! SO we thought we would introduce Peach to some friendly farm animals and she loved them!!

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This is my 2 year old Landon with “Beethoven” (the chick) and Peach! Isn’t this adorable!! The weather here in Florida has been absolutely fantastic lately and Peach is loving spending so much time outdoors. This past week she has been even busier than normal in her little piggy life as we’ve just started letting our oldest son Dakoda sleep with Peach throughout the night. At first I was a little nervous he would accidentally roll on her but he doesn’t move much in his sleep and Peach definitely knows how to get out of the way if she needs to! 

We have started taking Peach out on excursions with us. I want her to get used to being around a crowd of people so that someday we can take her to schools and other groups of children who could use a little animal therapy of their own! She visits at my husband’s school after hours and this past weekend we took her to The Monarch School, a local school for autistic children. They had a community event there this weekend with bikes, classic cars, pony rides, and other autistic-friendly events. It was great! Everything was spread out far apart so nothing was crowded, it wasn’t loud and everyone was comfortable. Although I swear my son senses when he’s around other autistic children because he acts out a LOT more every time we go there! I haven’t figured that one out yet! Anyways, we brought Peach there with us and everyone loved her! It was great to see the autistic children reach out to touch her and try to say the word “pig”, see Asperger’s children become a little more social because they were interested in her, and make the adults and other vendors smile because let’s face it, she’s a cute baby pig! She was SO exhausted by the time we left but I was proud of our little Peach. Many hands touched her that day and she brought a lot of smiles to faces who normally don’t break smiles easily.

 

Singing Peach to Sleep

04/05/2012

Isn’t this a fantastic picture? This is my son Dakoda with his special Peach. Her eyes look a bit dirty because she has a little eye “goopy” that we’re monitoring. I only want to give her a bath once a week so her skin doesn’t get too dry. I have noticed how amazing it is that Peach knows the second it is Dakoda (AKA – “her boy”) holding her. He has a special way of holding her under her chin and under her belly where he just cradles her. When he picks her up she just relaxes and quietly sits there with him.

I’ve actually been receiving quite a few requests to see our little wonder pig. We’ve been taking him to a church, schools, and even on picnics! She LOVES traveling in the car and just sits in Dakoda’s lap and sleeps on the way wherever we are going. She is still a little skittish of loud noises and lots of people around but I think as she gets older she will warm up to a bit. In a far off dream I would love to take her around for kids, both special needs and not, to be able to pet and interact with. I already know she will be a special pig! Who ever thought you could love a pig so much?

Tonight was really precious. Both boys and my husband and I sat on my son’s bed to read a few bed time stories, including with Peach of course. After our books were red we decided to sing a few night time songs to the pig. Within 3 seconds of all of us starting to sing she immediately closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep! When we were done Dakoda curled up with Peach in his arms and fell asleep for bedtime. Before we go to sleep, however, we will take little piggy off of the bed. I’m afraid he might roll on top of her or something in his sleep. He sleeps very soundly. Plus although she launches herself off of my high bed (we have carpet) I don’t want her jumping off of his bed in the night onto the hard floors….oh heaven forbid use his bed as a potty!

I’ve had several people ask me about using a pig with autistic children. I don’t really have an answer for you except that it works for us. I don’t see a pig being a good idea with a severe autistic child. My son is very high-functioning Asperger’s and needs that special love and attention from someone or something who will love him unconditionally. It has been good for me to see him think of something other than himself. I even catch him picking up her poop (with a scoop) on occasion when she has an accident. He feeds and gives her water every day and takes her to her litter box. He very loudly proclaims praise for her when she uses a litter box and is very very protective of her. Peach is not a service animal, but for our family-especially my son- she is a therapy for him and a best friend.