Size is an issue that breeders continually grapple with. The pet market demands a small pig. What is so interesting to me as a past commercial hog breeder is that people think a 90 pound potbelly is BIG. Just let that person come to the farm and check out the 500-pound sow. This commercial sow will be as docile and sweet as a 90-pound potbellied sow, and there’s just a whole lot more to hug!
What is a micro mini-pig? What is a tea-cup pig? What is a miniature potbellied pig? Unfortunately the use of the word “miniature” has been misinterpreted since the beginning of the potbellied pig revolution. What I mean by miniature is
If compared to a commercial hog a potbellied pig is much, much smaller. A commercial breeding hog will weigh 300 to 700 pounds. Compare this to a three-year-old potbellied sow weighing 80 to 150 pounds. Potbellied pigs are naturally small. By selectively breeding smaller pigs the resulting offspring well eventually become smaller. When purebred potbellied registered pigs were used for breeding in the 1980’s and 90’s selective breeding of unrelated registered stock could indeed eventually create a smaller pig. But alas, this proper breeding practice seems to have gone by the wayside.
Personally I have yet to see a micro mini or teacup pig. The claim that a full grown pet pig is only 6 inches tall is incomprehensible to me. You must remember that I am from Missouri, the Show Me State and to date I have not seen a pig this size. The unusually small pigs I have seen appeared unhealthy
And stunted, lacking good bone structure, proper confirmation and good general body condition. Since you rarely find a pureblooded registered pig these days, those who want a pet pig can be easily be mislead by claims of “tiny” pigs when full grown. A purebred pet pig at maturity can be expected to weigh between 70 and 175 pounds. This is smaller in dimension than many. People get hung up on the weight of a pet pig.
The issue should NOT be the pounds of the pig but her health, movement, and social versatility in terms of how she will fit into one’s lifestyle.
It’s unfortunate that proper breeding practices of this very special animal have not been followed. The result is many pigs outgrowing an owners’ ability to handle, space to house, and zoning ordinances. More importantly are the genetic defects that affect the quality of a pig’s life; and, how many pet pigs end up at sanctuaries all over the county as throwaway pets. Many are euthanized as an easy solution. Owning any sentient being is a responsibility to be taken most seriously, with compassion and knowledge. Amen.