When Pigs Fly

hamlet
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Who are they flying with? I know that I have mentioned that we don’t breed anymore mini pigs anymore. But when we did breed, and we needed to ship them all over the states, we ran in to a few problems.

Our Delta Experience

We started doing some research and more people than not said that they use Delta.   We saw on their site that they have a program called Delta Dash and according to them,  our piglet wouldn’t be uncomfortable at all and would get to it’s destination very fast. Well that sounded good to us, so we agreed and when the first litter was ready to be shipped, we picked up the phone and made the necessary arrangements. The phone call didn’t go so well because we called a call center in Georgia ( I believe it was ) and they bounced us around a bit before we finally talked to someone that could help us. We got our reservations and contacted our customers to find let them know what time to be at the airport for their new baby.

The next couple days we had to drive to Tampa, which is about an hour drive for us, and go to the cargo area. First of all, I was pretty upset thinking that these babies would be going in the cargo. The man behind the counter reassured me that they would be safe and that they transport lots of pets this way. Still not happy with the idea, I reluctantly handed the babies to them and watched as they put them on a cart to take them to the airplane.  We had all the flight numbers and times at which they were do to arrive and our customers agreed to call us once they got their babies, so we headed home.

Once we arrived home, I quickly go on the computer to track the flights. The first one arrived on time and I didn’t hear from our customer right away so I called them. Yes, the baby got there safe and was as adorable as they expected. The second one arrived a bit late but the customer called and couldn’t get off the phone fast enough because she just wanted to play with her new friend. But before she got off the phone, she informed me that the Delta cargo man just kinda dropped the crate on the floor in front of her and she was pissed. She said that she screamed at him ” Hey!! That is my baby in there”. I guess the guy just looked at her like she was crazy.

Now the problems start

The third  baby delivered out of that litter didn’t work out as well as the other two. He was being shipped to North Carolina with a layover in Georgia. As we tracked this one, we noticed that the flight had arrived on time. We are thinking “Yes, this is great”, but not so fast. We called our customer and told them that we saw their flight had arrived and was just wondering how the baby was. They informed us that they haven’t gotten him yet. they said they would effeminately call us as soon as they got him. We waited almost an hour ( sitting on the edge of our seats ) and finally called them back. They still haven’t seen their piglet. No Way!  What could have happened? We proceeded to call Delta to find out what was going on . They said that all of the cargo was unloaded and they didn’t know where the pig was.  Another hour went by, calling everyone and our customers calling us. Still no pig. I looked on the net and found that the flight had gone back to Georgia and was going back to North Carolina. Delta checked that flight and believe it or not, the piglet was still in the cargo. He flew more in one day that I did in my life. Our customers finally got their baby 3 1/2 hours after they were supposed to. We were so upset and still had one more to go.

The forth and last piglet to be delivered went to New Jersey. We decided to make that a late flight because Delta told us that their cargo was not climate controlled and this was the hottest day in New Jersey so if we shipped him at night then it would be cooler for him. They was great and we were happy for that information. His plane was due to arrive at 12:00 pm. so our customers were at the airport and ready. When the plane got there, the night worker wouldn’t let them have the baby. They told them that they couldn’t have him unless they paid $150.00 or come back in the morning to get him. Since all of the normal worker were gone for the night, they had no way of telling why they needed to pay the $150.00. The flight was paid by us in full so we didn’t understand it either. The worst part was that the couple didn’t bring any cash with them, they didn’t think they would need it, so they had to figure out how to come up with the money to get him out of prison ( Patti’s words ). We ended up calling Delta the next morning to find out why this couple need to pay $150.00 when the fare was already paid for and their answer was, computer glitch.  They agreed to refund that money to us,  and we refunded our customers. One comment that the customer service lady said that we noted was ” You should fly them Continental instead”. I was shocked, but very happy that she told us that because from that day on we never used Delta again.

Now that was much harder than I ever expected it to be. It was bad enough that I was worried in the beginning, but now after all of that, I was frantic about shipping them at all.  Fortunately, we had other litters that need to be shipped and we took that Delta ladies advice and called Continental. Wow! what a pleasure that was.  Here is a quote from their site:

The best way to ship a mini pig is Continental for sure

Continental has a 24-hour Live Animal Desk (1-800-575-3335). Their PetSafe program tracks pets in cargo from origin to destination and offers miles to pet travelers. The cargo area is climate controlled, allows for bigger carriers and has its own designated cargo staff. Continental allows dogs, cats, pet rabbits and birds to be carried inside the cabin on most domestic flights. Only four pets per flight are allowed in the economy cabin.

All of that was true. We never had a problem with them at all.

So I guess what I am saying is, if you need to have your new piglet shipped to you, NEVER use Delta and always use Continental.

Hamlet

IMG_0012
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Hamlet continues to grow and has truly become part of our family. Outsiders still do not understand the concept of raising a mini pig in a domestic setting but has become a real hit at the New Jersey Shore Boardwalk. He possess the kindness and simplicity that mankind has lost and looks forward to all the simple things in life such as having a good meal and sleeping like a log.

After a visit to the New Jersey coast and arriving at home he decided that there is nothing more in life like a good night sleep! Unfortunately, my husband and I were frantic trying to find our lost companion in our NJ apartment. Needless to say, after 8 hours of searching and notifying the local garbage collector of the possibility of our missing pig – he woke up from a long summer night sleep at 6 am – Apparently burying himself underneath several blankets on our living room couch!
Hammy’s lesson taught: Undisturbed sleep is good for the soul

Feeding and Water

mazuri-youth
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mazuriPot Belly Pigs need a specialized diet to ensure they get all the nutrients needed to live healthy life. You cannot run down to your local feed store and ask for pig food. Be sure to get Pot Bellied pig food or mini pig food. When you get your pig from Mini Pig Farm, we send you a starter bag so you can wean your pig off of our feed onto the feed of your choice. As long as the feed is made for Pot Bellied or Mini Pigs you can use it.

When you get your piggy home, start feeding it the food we provided. Use it for the first 2-3 days to help the pig feel comfortable. It was a long trip and the less stress the better. On day 3 , begin adding the new food in with the feed we supplied. About half and half. Your pig may reject your choice of  feed at first. What brand you feed your pig is up to you.We have done a lot of research and have tried many different brands of Pot belly pig food. We finally decided that Mazuri mini-pig food is what they liked the best and is the most nutritionally complete. Mazuri products were not available at out local feed store but they were able to get it for us. You can search Mazri’s website for a dealer near you.

There are many places to purchase Pot Bellied Pig food, so find one that is going to be convenient for your needs as well as your pigs. Please be sure to choose quality first. Your pig has special dietary needs that it won’t get from eating dog food( oh yeah put up the dog food they’ll eat that too). It is very important to set a feeding schedule for your pig. These are very small pigs, and will only need ¾ to 1 cup of feed per day. We recommend that feed you pig twice a day. Try to set a routine, something like getting up in the morning, take the pig out to potty, come in have you’re coffee, then feed the pig. It’s not critical to feed them as soon as you wake up. However, pigs like routine. They learn fast and will appreciate you for keeping the schedule. Do not feed the piggy every time it beckons. At some point your little buddy will test you. Don’t give in!! Keep them on a schedule and your pig will be understand and know exactly what to do.

Feeding amounts:
Morning = ½ cup
Evening = ¼ – ½ cup

Preparing your home

Hamlet
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Congratulations! It is almost time for your newest family member to arrive.
Now is the time to pig proof your house. Taking the time to pig proof the home now will make it easier for you and your pet pig.
To start with, designate a small area for your pig. A bathroom or laundry room will work well. For the first 3 – 4 weeks, this will be where you and your piggy spend your time bonding. It will take most pigs 4 weeks to get accustomed to you, their new house, and the facilities.

The Mini Pig Farm has already began litter training and crate training for your pet pig. This should help in the transition, just be patient with your little porker.

Pigs are curious, fun loving animals that like to explore. They use their noses(snout) to lift, push, and dig. With this in mind, move any objects at ground level that your pig might get into. The clothes hamper for example, could make a great toy and end up in a new location daily. Or even overturned with your good clothes being used for a bed. With this in mind, also think of any chemicals that may be overturned when a low cabinet door
is snouted open.

For those of you who purchased a pig from Mini Pig Farm, your piggy will arrive with a crate so there is no need to buy one yet. The crate is your pigs safe haven and when he/she is scared or tired they will retreat to their crate. This will also be useful when you need to correct behavioral problems. Many of us have other animals in the house such as dogs and cats. Most pigs will get used to their presence but it is wise to get your pig acquainted with the 2 legged family members first. Be sure the pigs room is safe and comfortable. Keep the dogs out, as they have a chase instinct, while your pet pig has a flight instinct. This will only make the transition into your home take longer.