Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can we come and visit Esther the Wonder Pig?
A: Please visit Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary for tour schedule and volunteer work days. You may catch a glimpse of Esther enjoying life!
Q: Why do you have a farm pig as a pet?
A: We were told Esther was a "mini pig" and that she wouldn't get any bigger than 70lbs. We didn't know Esther would grow to be so large. We were duped.
Q: When is Esther's birthday?
A: We celebrate her birthday on July 1st (2012) ----which is also CANADA DAY!
Q: How old is Esther?
A: We've had Esther since Aug. 2012. We were told she was six months old when we got her but now believe she was likely closer to 6 weeks old.
Q: Is Esther house broken?
A: Esther is entirely housebroken. She asks to go outside, and to come back in when she's done, just like dogs do. And if nobody is around, she's able to open the sliding door by herself!
Q: Can I get a receipt for a donation made to Esther The Wonder Pig?
A: Esther The Wonder Pig is not a charitable organization, and as such, donations made to Esther are not eligible for tax receipts.
Q: How much does Esther weigh?
A: Esther’s weight changes often. it can vary from 500-600 pounds (+ or - her tiara!).
Q: Will Esther get any bigger?
A: According to our vet she should be pretty much done growing at her age but she may get a little bit fatter as she matures. That’s where the “wonder” comes in.
Q: What does Esther eat?
A: She has her own kibble made for pigs. It looks like rabbit food. We also add rolled oats, barley, and corn to make a "dry food mixture". We also feed her plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables like over ripe bananas, veggie peels etc. She does not care for uncooked potatoes or onions.
Q: How much does IT COST TO FEED Esther?
A: Check out this great video below! She eats around $150-$200 per month.
Q: Is Esther vegan?
Q: How long will Esther live?
A: Typical life expectancy for a pig like Esther is 15 years, we hope many more. Esther’s story will live on forever.
Q: How much does Esther sleep?
A: In the winter she sleeps a lot more, 16-18 hours a day. In the summer that number goes way down, closer to 10-12 hours a day.
Q: How does Esther get her exercise?
A: During the winter we play tag and tug of war. We also wrestle sometimes if she's really playful. Once summer comes she spends most of her day outside digging and rooting in her yard and she loves to run and chase us. We play tag all the time.
Q: Is Esther friendly?
A: Almost always! We haven't had any aggression issues with Esther. She is sometimes more curious of some people over others but she never gets aggressive.
Q: Is Esther spayed?
A: We were told she was spayed but we aren't 100% sure. Our vet acknowledged a scar that made sense but also said it could be a trick by shady sellers. However, she came into heat during our first Christmas with her, so we knew then that she wasn’t spayed. After her cancer scare in 2018, we had her spayed to help minimize the risk of future female-reproductive cancers.
Q: Does Esther take baths? How do you keep her so clean?
A: Esther gets bathed every couple weeks in the winter to help keep her skin moisturized and clean. Pigs don't sweat so she never has a bad body odour. In the summer she is bathed much more frequently as she roots and digs all day getting very muddy.
Q: Does she ride in the car?
A: Not anymore. We feel it's too unsafe to have her in the backseat of our car. We now have a special trailer to transport her.
Q: What is her favoUrite toy?
A: She loves her "Kong" treat ball and this plastic cube with a small hole in it. We fill them with small treats and she rolls them all over the place to make the treats fall out. She also loves reusable shopping bags, we assume it's the noise of biting and shaking them that she likes.
Q: Where does Esther sleep at night?
A: Esther chooses where she wants to sleep. She has a mattress in her bedroom (formerly our bedroom!) and sleeps on her day bed in our living room. She spends a lot of time napping on the beds or the couch. She's a pig of leisure. She does not sleep on our bed at night (can you imagine?).
Q: Does she really smile?
A: The smile you see in her pictures is totally untouched. She appears to smile all the time, we really don't know if all pigs do it or if she's special.....we think it's because she's special.
Q: Why is her tail so small?
A: Her tail was cropped on the farm before we got her. It's a barbaric practice on commercial farms along with trimming their teeth and notching their ears with shapes to make them easily identifiable. All of which are done with no regard for the pain they feel. No anaesthetics or numbing agents are used. Imagine having your finger chopped off with scissors. Tails are as important to animals as hands and arms are to people. They convey messages, protect the body, and keep annoying pests (flies) at bay. Yet every year, millions of animals have their tails forcefully and painfully lopped off by farmers.
About Esther's Dads:
Q: Are Derek and Steve both vegan?
A: Yes, Esther made us look at ourselves and what we were supporting everytime we spent money on day-to-day goods which supported animal exploitation and cruelty. We decided we couldn't do it anymore. Morally and ethically it made sense. We did it one step at a time and although it was a learning curve, we have been able to make the switch quite easily.
Veganism is about living cruelty free. Cruelty free to animals. Cruelty free to the environment, and cruelty free to yourself.
Living cruelty free is easy! There are loads of valuable resources available to help you make healthy decisions.
Q: How long have Steve and Derek been together?
Since March 2001. They met at Montana's Cookhouse Restaurant. Steve was a waiter, and Derek was a table side magician. Pretty typical.