Pig treats! Homemade oatmeal pumpkin bars

Are you tired of giving your piggies the same-old boring treats? Sure, they’ll eat anything, but why not make a special treat that’s healthy for them and sure to please? This recipe for homemade oatmeal pumpkin bars is easy to prepare, and pig-tested and approved!

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

For this recipe, you’ll need:

*1 1/2 cup steel cut oats

*1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or another type of plant-based milk)

*2 cups ground flaxseed meal

*29oz canned or fresh pureed 100% pumpkin (do NOT use pie pumpkin)

*1 tsp cinnamon

*1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

*1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (or a mixture of both!)

*1 tbsp coconut oil

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375° F

Step 2: Gather your ingredients (see picture above for brand ideas)

Step 3: Combine oats, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, and almond milk in a large mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Step 4: Add the pumpkin to the mixture, stirring in a little at a time. When complete, your mixture should be fairly thick and have a gooey consistency

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Step 5: Prepare a 9×13″ baking pan for the bars. You want to melt the coconut oil to coat the pan with; this can be done in the microwave or on the stove. Coconut oil has a relatively low melting point, so if you choose to microwave, cover the bowl with a paper towel to avoid a mess, and microwave in 20 second increments until melted. Coat the pan with the melted oil using a brush

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Step 6: Evenly spread the mixture onto the pan, pressing into the corners of the pan.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Step 7: Add the dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds to the top, making sure you lightly press into the batter so they stick.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Step 8: Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick pressed into the center of the tray comes out clean. Allow 10-15 minutes to cool prior to cutting and serving to your piggy pals.

The three little piggies can't wait to try these delicious snacks!
The three little piggies can’t wait to try these delicious snacks!

Is potbellied pig ownership right for you?

There’s no question about–potbellied pigs, especially as young piglets, are one of the cutest creatures on the planet. There’s a lot of craze going around with people wanting these amazing animals as pets, yet the rate of abandonment and rehoming is growing across the country.


If you are thinking of getting a pig as a pet, please do your homework and keep the following in mind:

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Pumba’s Progress

In August 2014, we rescued Pumba, a four-month old potbellied pig looking for some TLC and a good home. It was our intention to foster Pumba and find him a good match–but, he instantly bonded with us, and we decided to keep him! Pumba had been fed a poor diet, and in such case, was overweight with terribly dry skin and mange mites. We switched him to a healthier diet, including pig chow and a supplement of vegetables, and gave him skin treatments with coconut oil. In addition, we provided him with an Ivomec treatment (a dewormer) that helped eliminate the mange. Check out Pumba’s pictures over the past few months–he’s looking way better, and he’s finally grown into his body! We absolutely love this guy, and must say that our first real rescue attempt was a success!

Pumba 4 Mo

Pumba 6mo

Pumba 8mo

Piggies love snacks! What should you offer your potbelly?

Any pig owner will tell you that potbellies love snack time! Like any pet, snacks are great for rewarding positive behavior, training, and for the pigs, to supplement a diet of pig pellets. There are many snacks available–after all, pigs love to eat and will take just about anything offered–but not all choices are good for your piggy. We’ve compiled a list of recommended healthy snacks, and snacks that are good in limited quantities, for your pig. You will find that your pig might not like certain foods; like humans, pigs will develop a taste preference for certain fruits and vegetables. For example, two of our pigs will not eat bell peppers, but the other will!


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Potbellied Pig Diet

There is a lot of debate on the internet about safe foods, feeding schedules, and snacks for your mini pig. At Hog Haven Farm, one of our primary goals is to educate current and future pig owners about everything pig. While we are not experts, these resources should give you a clear idea on how to handle your pig’s diet and feeding routine. Please feel free to comment or email us for further discussion.

1. Main Diet

There are several brands of pig chow on the market for potbellied pigs. Finding a formula designed specifically for potbellied pigs (often labeled for miniature pigs) is important; if you purchase pig food formulated for standard farm pigs, the ratio of protein, crude fat, and fiber is off; this food is designed for a much larger breed of pig, and will cause your potbelly to gain too much weight. It is highly inadvisable to feed your pig any foods labeled for other pets (especially dog or cat food). These foods vary in essential protein, fiber, fat and minerals, and feeding the wrong diet to your pig can have detrimental effects, including obesity and digestive problems. In all cases, make sure your pig has access to plenty of fresh water as well.

Some of the current brands labeled for potbellied pigs:


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Here is a great chart from Mazuri to measure feed by body weight. Mazuri offers three types of food: Youth (for piglets under 6 months), Active Adult (for pigs aged 6m to 3 years) and Elder (for pigs beyond 3 years). Choose your feed based on age and activity of your pig. This chart can be used for any type of pig feed!

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Manna Pro

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Nutrena Mini Pig Feed

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We are sad to say that our favorite feed store, Valley Feed, is closing in January 2015. If you live in the Denver-Metro area, there are a few other local shops to find your pig chow, including Murdoch’s, Willow Run Feed and Supply, Parker Feed, and Big R. You can also order your pig food online from a variety of retailers. Average price of the above brands for a 25lb bag is $11-$19.

Hog Haven Farm follows a strict feeding schedule with our potbellied pigs; we feed them once in the morning at 8:00am, and again at night at 7:00pm. They get plenty of snacks in between as well. We will make a separate post for snack guidelines and tips for the best treats to give your potbellied pig!


Pumpkins…the fall treat for potbellied pigs!

Halloween is almost here! This is the best time of year for potbellied pig owners, as your friends, family, and neighbors throw out their jack-o-lanterns and start prepping for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Pippy’s very own pumpkin; it took her 3 days to eat!

Pumpkin has huge health benefits for pigs; not only is it a good source of Vitamin C to boost immune systems, it’s rich in fiber as well; this is important to help our infinitely-hungry friends feel full longer! Pumpkin, when cooked and mashed, is also a good source of Vitamin A, a key ingredient for aiding vision in both humans and our porcine pals. Pumpkin is also a good option to aid digestion in pigs–when your pig has an upset tummy or is showing signs of constipation, feeding them cooked pumpkin works wonders!

So ask around this weekend for unwanted jack-o-lanterns; your piggy pals will thank you!

Fun Facts About Potbelly Pigs

Potbelly pigs make amazing house pets and companion animals. They are very intelligent, so training pigs to do tricks, adjust behavior, or use a litter box indoors is a relatively easy task. Since they are food motivated, using positive reinforcement with veggies as treats is a great way to train a pig. 984191_827869843919896_5933588227101658110_n

Here are some other fun facts you may not be aware of with potbelly pigs:

  • Pigs are incredibly compassionate and affectionate animals. They do well in pairs or multiples because they are herd animals by nature. Since pigs are intelligent, they can easily become bored and destructive when left alone. However, in a multi-pig household, you’ll find your piggies snuggling and always together.
  • According to Vegan Peace, a pig can run a 7 minute mile. With domesticated potbelly pigs, Scientific American estimates running speed to be about 16mph! This is due to instinct, as pigs are prey animals and relatively low to the ground. They must be able to outrun potential predators.
  • In 2013, an employee at a French pig farm went deaf due to listening to constant squeals from 4,000 pigs, causing regulations to be passed for farmers or workers to wear protective gear when exposed to noises louder than 85 decibels. It’s documented that a pig’s squeal can reach up to 133 decibels–compare that to a jet engine taking off at 120 decibels! (Source: thelocal.fr)
  • Potbelly pigs aren’t considered full grown until they are 2-3 years of age. While most of their growing is done by the time they are 1 year old, they still add weight up to 3 years of age. A domesticated potbelly averages 65lbs to 200lbs in adult weight. (Source: The North American Potbellied Pig Association).
  •  Teacup pigs are a complete myth. Breeders use terms “teacup,” “micro-mini,” “nano,” and “miniature” to sell more piglets. All potbelly pigs are born around 9oz, and can fit into a teacup; by the time they are full grown, reaching a maximum of 200lbs healthy weight, they ARE miniature compared to a full-size farm hog at 800-1200lbs!
  • Pigs are very good at recognizing danger or trouble. There are many documented cases of owners being saved from fires or dangerous situations by their pet pigs. In June 2014, a potbelly pig saved its family from a fire in Illinois; read the full story here.


Misconceptions about minipigs

In the 1980’s, potbelly pigs became the popular exotic pet in North America. This was due to the crazy desire for miniature pets–horses, goats, and pigs–and also in part by the importation of Vietnamese potbellies in 1985 by Canadian zoo director Keith Connell. In 1989, Keith Leavitt imported a second line of potbelly pigs from Europe to Texas; these two lines of potbelly pigs are known today as the Con and Lea lines. According to the California Potbelly Pig Association (CPPA), the vast majority of all registered potbellied pigs in the United States are traceable to these two lines.

Boris + Pippy
Boris + Pippy

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