You should be informed that any breeder who tells you that a baby pig has been weaned off the mother any earlier is simply trying to make a sale at the cost of jeopardizing the helpless little one's health. Beware of such breeders. These animals are around to be loved, not to be taken advantage of.
Dedicated Caring for the Piglet
Just in case you find yourself victim of a scrupulous sale, and end up with an adorable but very young piggy, then tread carefully, and consider the following few suggestions to help you with the parenting. First, at all times, be aware and keep reminding yourself that the baby pig was taken away from its mother way too early in its life.
It is natural for the babe to take a while to create a strong bond with the master and other family members. The mortality rate of raising a one-week-old piglet is no more than 50%, and not at all good in the case of babies. It will adjust in time, but you need to be dedicated to its needs, and be very patient with the baby.
Piglets should be raised in a playpen, to prevent them from picking up things that are unsafe for them. The play pen should be such that it can offer the baby the required heat. This requirement is of utmost importance because unlike other animals, they do not generate their own body heat for at least the first two weeks of life!
The mother is equipped by nature to take care of this special want. The ideal temperature to be maintained in the play pen should be 90 degrees. You can generate this heat by placing a heating pad, wrapped in a towel in the playpen. The wrapped heating pad is quite close to the heat extended by the mother's body.
Surround the babe with soft blankets and a soft stuffed toy or two, to sleep with. Nothing better than a stuffed or rubber piggy! You could also try stuffing a pillow cover with dry beans and knot the top. This makeshift 'mama' can be warmed in the microwave when required!
Remember, the mother does not nurse her babies all the time, and the sight of the piglets hanging on to Mom is more the pacifier effect. The mother ideally nurses the little ones only about four times a day. It is not very easy to raise a healthy baby pig from a very young age. The main concern is diarrhea. Goat milk is good, and so is rice cereal.
Today, there are a number of pellets available in the market, but initially, you should powder the pellets in a blender, and add them to milk. It will need a regular intake of liquid vitamins, with iron. The supplements are readily available with any vet.
Try not to experiment with the meal formulas too often. It is natural for the piggy little to stick his or her nose in the meal first, or you could hold up the feeding pan. The little one likes to taste a little of the meal before actually eating it. Remember, you have to teach the baby how to eat off a pan.