Some mini pigs flip their water bowl over as soon as they see there is water in there. In my experience, most pigs eventually grow out of this stage, but how can you help them stay hydrated until they do? Well, you have to be creative with your water bowl solutions.
Do you have bowls similar to these?
And you're having problems with your mini pig flipping these over, right??
These bowls/water containers can be used for some pigs, but f your pig is a jerk like mine, as soon as you fill it up, your pig turns it over and now there's not only a mess, but your pig doesn't have any water. So why is this a problem? Water deprivation is a HUGE concern for pig families. They can suffer from deadly electrolyte imbalances or water intoxication once fresh water is available simply because they didn't have access to fresh water for an extended period of time. (click here to read more about this)
The bowls I use are similar to this one below. There is no lip on the bottom for them to lift, but they can certainly push it around until it hits a wall or falls off a ledge and obviously it will empty. These heavyweight bowls can be found at most Tractor Supply Stores.
Using something with an empty center, such as a heavy tire can help keep your pig's water dish intact.
Similar idea, different execution. An old used tire, but...this family decided to use an auto water feature within the tire instead of a bowl.
These "orb concrete" bowls are available on Etsy. Great solution as concrete is pretty heavy and difficult for smaller pigs to tip over.
Concrete "Tip-proof" bowls are available at some specialty stores, but also on Etsy.
Another pig mom took a stainless steel dish and used concrete to fill the bottom making it very difficult for her pig to flip it over.
This is a customized product. One area on the top was made to hold Hay while the bottom is a large water dish. Some pigs will use that area as a "pool" while others will stand in it and eat hay while bending down to take a few sips of water.
Water Nipples. These are genius. It may take a few days for your pig to learn how to properly use this item, but they can be purchased at Tractor Supply Stores or Amazon for just a couple of dollars.
Another use for the stainless steel nipple is to connect it to a 5 gallon bucket and get a water hose valve connected to another part of the bucket which will determine when to "refill" it based on the amount of water in there. There is a phone number on this bucket that you can call to order one of these.
This is a DuraFlex fence feeder. As you can see, the rings on the back connect to fencing and a ring on a chain at the bottom helps to secure it in order to avoid animals tipping it over and spilling the contents.
Another "fence feeder" that uses the stable fencing to connect it and extra fasteners to keep it in place. This particular container is made by Hulk Feeders but cab easily be used for water instead.
A galvanized tank. Your pig cannot tip a full tank over. However, depending on your pigs size, your pig may not be able to reach the top in order to actually use it, so you may have to build a landing for them to step onto in order for them to be able to use it.
This is a stock tank with a built in feeder....however, you can use this space to attach nipples or something different to be sure your pig can't tip the container.
A push paddle waterer. Again, it may take your pig a couple of days to learn how to use this, but as they put their nose to it, the bowl fills up with water.
Same type of paddle idea, but a different angle. You can set the angle by using the set screws that are attached to the metal devices. These types of bowls are typically seen in larger operations with lots of pigs to ensure they always have access to fresh water.
The large rubber tub is much more difficult for your pi to flip over because the sides have a little "give" to them. Once your pig starts pushing on the side, it doesn't cause the dish to move, instead, the side moves inwards which typically doesn't make it fun for your pig to try tipping. These bowls can be purchased at Tractor Supply Stores for under 10.00. This is also a bowl that I use in my yard for my pig. (I have like 5 of them scattered around my yard in random spots for my pig to drink from)
This is another genius idea! A swivel bowl set up. These bowls are connected to a metal frame and they easily swivel in and out of pens for easy fill up, but still tip proof.
Using a barrel cut in 1/2 and building a base can help you find the solution for your pig's water bowl tipping habit. As you can see, this barrel is cut in 1/2 with the bottom serving as a water container and the middle framed to hold hay and the top of the barrel can be used to provide shade for both bottom pieces.
This is a auto-waterer that connects to the water hose so you can be sure your pig always has water. These type of bowls are ok, what I don't like is the fact they're connected to a water hose because the water in the hose can be scalding hot (if it sits outside) and the water can actually burn your pig as he/she tries to drink it. So while I love the idea, I think executing a safe drinking station would be key to this particular bowls success.
Another paddle/nipple based solution, but with an attached water hose that is kept in as a large barrel to minimize the risk of scalding hot water being released into your pig's water bowl.
A barrel and water nipple installation. The nipple must be secured in place using the proper hardware to avoid leaking. These types of systems that use large barrels to hold the water still need to be cleaned (often) to avoid stagnant/gross water being delivered to your pig.
You can pretty much use any container as a "tank" for water and attach a nipple device so your pig has access to water. Notice this trash can is held in place with bungee cords and sitting on a crate to keep it off the ground.
A simple idea....use items to block the front & sides so your pig has to move several things in order to tip the bowl over. This doesn't give your pig access to anything but the area to drink. The concrete pavers used as barriers can easily be the platform for your pig to step on to get to the water dish and that can serve another function....the concrete pavers can help with hooves too! Using this method can help "naturally" file your pigs front hooves down as they move on and off the pavers to drink water.
Kiddie pools are an easy solution to water bowl tippers. Having a pool full of water accessible by your pig can provide water for the day without the fear of it being tipped over.
Using a secure based to hold the bowl is another way to prevent tipping. This particular box also has a lid that stays upright to help keep the area shaded to assist with keeping the water at a nice cool temperature.
PVC auto waterer. A piece of PVC and a nipple can easily be transformed into a water drinking station. For this particular station, the water hose is connected internally to constantly have fresh water available.
An auto waterer connected to a water hose and secured to a wall is most definitely useable for pigs. Again, ensuring the attached hose is properly housed to avoid hot water is key to making this a useable solution.
Custom feeder/water station. Im not a fan of water bottles, but I do like the water container and food bowl combination. This particular set-up also has a hay feeder attached.
As you can see, there are plenty of solutions for mini pigs who like to tip water bowls. One warning: Keep your pig's water bowl in a shaded area to avoid the water getting too hot to drink. If you are using an auto waterer of any kind, be sure to keep the water hose housed in a container so the water in the hose isn't too hot when it's released into the bowl. If the water in the bowls get to hot regardless of your attempts to keep it cool, use frozen treats or ice every so often to cool the water down or fill up 2L bottles (from Pepsi or Coke 2 liters that you've consumed) with water, freeze them and put them in pools or large water containers to cool the water when there is a chance that the water will get hot. Several DIY methods that can easily be constructed are solutions to this potentially life threatening habit. Be creative. You will be glad you took the time to do this every time you see your pig drinking from your new water station.
If you have a mini pig that isn't a big fan of drinking water, entice them to drink more by using water based items for enrichment. Freeze a small piece of fruit into cubes or use silicone molds to make bigger ice creations that your pig can eat to increase consumption of water. Freeze grapes and put them in your pigs water dish to cool it down or give your pig an activity that he/she will enjoy doing. (eating) use Kong toys to house frozen treats that your pig can enjoy on hot days.
The most important thing is to be sure fresh water is available. Have 5 water dishes scattered around your yard to reduce the chances of your pig not having access to water. If you have a creative water bowl solution that we can add to our list, don't hesitate to email us pictures and we would love to add pictures to our list! email@example.com
Our names are Brittany Sawyer and Nicole Cox and we are pig parents, pig advocates and also the authors of the "Dear Pig Whisperer" blog. Follow our blog that will feature topics to help you become the best pig parent you can be...along with some other fun things. We will also feature guest bloggers from time to time who want to share their life experience or knowledge with anyone who is interested in learning.