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.

What should I feed my pig?

mazuri
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I know that this is a big subject. There are people out there saying that the only way to keep your pig small is to under feed it. Well I want to prove them wrong. We have been believers in treating our animals as well if not better than we treat ourselves. After tons of research, we found Mazuri Feed. Not everyone can get this in their local feed store and the shipping is high because of the weight. We actually convinced our local feed store in to keeping it in stock and they are glad they did.  Since they started stocking Mazuri, their mini pig feed sales have gone up. We chose this feed because of the in depth data that they provide. Here is the data sheet for the Youth blend.

Read More About Mazuri® Mini Pig Youth Diet

 

Feeding Directions:

Feed on a free-choice basis as creep feed from 7 days post-weaning (8 weeks of age or older). Continue feeding Mazuri Mini-Pig Youth Diet free-choice if rapid growth is desired or feed at a rate of 1.5-3% of current body weight to regulate growth rate. Do not underfeed.
Change to Mazuri Active Adult Diet as desired to regulate growth rate at 16 weeks of age or older. For gestating or lactating females, feed a mixture of 50% Active Adult Diet and 50% Youth Diet for increased energy. For higher energy, increase Youth Diet to 60% of daily intake.
When using a self-feeder, make sure it is adjusted to minimize feed wastage. Feeders should be well managed so as to provide adequate feeder space, prevent moisture condensation, mold and insect development. Always provide a source of fresh, clean water and adequate drinking space.  Provide a draft-free pen with a clean, dry sleeping area.The level of feed intake depends on many factors including environmental temperature, other feed available and activity. The feeding levels suggested below are appropriate for average living conditions.

Product Sheet:5Z90

 

Breeds of mini pigs

Archie Our Micro Pig
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Yes there are different breeds of mini pigs. That doesn’t mean that mini pigs, micro mini pigs, teacup pigs, etc… are the different breeds. All that means is that some people are pretty creative in the way they categorize them.

The below two breeds are the most popular in the states and crossing them has allowed breeders to come up with some pretty unique colors and sizes.

 

  1. Miniature Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs –  These pigs are the most common and the kind that we have bred. Their pot belly is a true sign and that doesn’t mean that they have been over fed, that just means that they are healthy. With that being said, I have seen some that ARE over fed and reach to weights of over 100 pounds. But the normal healthy  weight of a Miniature Vietnamese Potbellied Pig is around 50-60 pounds. They are on average 14-16 inches tall. These piggies also have cute little smooshed up noses.
  2. Juliana – other names for this breed is Juliani and mini painted pigs. One thing that makes this breed so popular is the fact that they stay smaller than the miniature pot bellied breed. Don’t be fooled though, some breeders will claim that their piglets  are Julianas but if the entire  is not spotted, then they are not pure bred.  A healthy weight for this breed is  15-30 pounds and about 10-12 inches tall.

 

We bought a male Juliana/Potbellied cross to breed to our mini potbelly sow in the hopes of raising a smaller more apartment friendly piggy. Unfortunately our little guy couldn’t do the job so he just kinda hangs around now. He is still pretty small weighing in at aprox. 38 lbs and is 13 inches tall.

 

  Click HERE to learn more Mini Pig Facts



Are Micro pigs real?

Archie Our Micro Pig
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An email I received today forced me to write this post.

People in general take advise from people only if it fits their needs at the time. What I mean by this is, say you want something really bad ( micro mini pig ) and all the websites out there are telling you that there is no guarantee that your pig will stay small. Then you find one site that claims they will stay the size of a teacup. You will believe that one site instead of taking the advice of all of the other sites. I am not saying that there aren’t any micro mini pigs out there still weighing in at under 20lbs after 3 years. All I am saying is that I have never seen one in person. Even if I did, how could I guarantee that it is full grown.

Well first off let me say:

  • If you want a really small pig, you are going to pay a lot of money for it.
  • If you think that your pig is going to stay the size of a teacup, think again.
  • Just because a breeder charges a ton of money for their pig, does not make them a good breeder.

Most people ask me where they can get a Royal Dandy micro mini pig without paying the ridiculous amount of money that they are asking for them. Unfortunately, the only way to get a Royal Dandy pig is from Royal Dandy themselves.

I can’t for the life of me figure out where these people get the prices that they charge for there pigs. When I was breeding, I calculated feed cost, supplies ( litter,harness and leash, etc…) vet charges, starter care package and just added a few bucks for taking care of them for the first 6-8 weeks. I’m sorry but 4-5 thousand dollars seems a bit high to me too.

 

Mini Pig Harness @ PigGear.com

DannyZ in his PigGear Harnes
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These harness and leash combos are made of soft flannel fabric instead of that nylon ones that you see everywhere else. I wanted my piggies to have style not wear a boring, one shaded harness. I started making mini pig harnesses when I couldn’t find anyone that had them for sale. Dog harnesses won’t fit on mini pigs or teacup pigs ( whatever you want to call them ) but as long as I have your pigs measurements, I can make one for you.

Visit Pig Gear to More information