“Pigs are smart little creatures. They just need love.” -Shelley Duvall
If you give a pig a pumpkin, he will give you a pumpkin in return! I’m so excited to introduce y’all to our sweet pig, Willy. He has been such a wonderful addition to our family and to Hidden Acres Farm.
Three years ago our son wanted one thing for his birthday, a pet pig. At this point, we had acquired chickens and a mini horse, so why not add a pig to the menagerie?! After lots of research, we decided to get a “micro mini pig.” Sounds small, right? Well, although a “mini pig” is significantly smaller than a hog, they still get up to 150-180 pounds when they are full grown at three years of age. (Something many people don’t realize until after they get one.) Research is important before acquiring an animal, y’all. That’s a lot of pig!
On a Saturday morning in April, we piled the family into the car and headed to the country to pick up Willy. It was love at first sight! When we got him, he was smaller than a loaf of bread. The look on our son’s face was priceless the first time he held him. Adorable didn’t even begin to describe sweet Willy. He made the cutest lip smacking sounds when he ate and his little piggy nose was always working over time. I think the biggest surprise was incredibly smart he was.
We brought Willy home and initially he lived in a pen in the garage. We would take him out back to go potty and then spend time playing and snuggling with him in the house. After about six months, Willy started getting too big (and strong) for his pen and after several successful breakout attempts, it was time to put him in a pen outside. Willy was a pig in mud in every sense of the word.
Although pigs eat just about anything, we learned that Willy’s favorite foods included Cheerios, watermelon, and pumpkins. As a home decor stylist, I often use pumpkins in my decor in the fall. In October of that first year, as the pumpkins began to rot, we started giving them to Willy for treats. Boy did he love them! When family and friends learned of his love for pumpkins, they started bringing over their rotting pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns for Willy too. Fast forward to the following spring when Mr. A was taking a load of manure to our back woods for composting when low and behold he discovered pumpkin vines growing everywhere!
Within weeks we had pumpkins and Willy could now add master gardener to his list of amazing talents along with Poison Ivy connoisseur and belly rub enthusiast. Every year, Willy’s pumpkin harvest grows. We may have also increased his number of pumpkin treats to encourage production. Now we get pumpkins growing in the back woods and in his pen almost year round. The trick is to pick the pumpkins in his pen before he can eat them!