In the past, pigs served humans only as livestock. At that time, it would not have even crossed anyone’s mind to keep them at home as pets, making people’s time more pleasant with their company. The place of pigs was in the pigsty, and people did not form bonds with them similar to those they build with, for example, dogs or cats. Moreover, these grunting creatures were considered to be among the messiest animals in the world. After all, there is a reason why sayings like ”dirty as a pigsty” have been coined. So who would want to keep such a pet under their own roof?
Times are changing, however, and so are attitudes toward animals. We have already heard about people who shared their own apartments with huge, fat pigs. Increasingly, however, there is talk of miniature pigs. Are they just a smaller version of standard pigs, or does their behavior differ significantly from those of larger representatives of the species? Where do miniature pigs come from? You will learn this and much more valuable information by reading today’s article.
Also check: guinea pig – breeds, skinny, teddy, rex, texel, cuy, sheltie.
Miniature pigs, where did they even come from?
The history of miniature pigs dates back to the 1980s. This is because at that time in the UK and Canada attempts were made to crossbreed several breeds of pigs. These included such breeds as the Gloucester Old Spot, Ossabaw Island, New Zealand cune-kune, and Vietnamese pig. The crossbreeding that resulted from these breeds was called the miniature sag pig. There are several sizes distinguished within this breed. These are: Juliana Pig, Pocket Pig, Tea-cup Pig, Micro Mini Pig.
The fashion for keeping mini pigs at home abroad has been around for many years. It came to Poland relatively recently, but even here there are already a number of special kennels where you can adopt a miniature pig. The standard fee for this animal in Poland is 300 zlotys. However, some types of pigs can cost up to a thousand zlotys. The price is usually the higher the smaller the breed of the pig. However, the purchase of a miniature pig should be given solid thought. This is because they live just as long as small dogs. They can live up to 20 years, so the decision to own a pig, like any living creature, should be taken very seriously. Especially since a piggy becomes as attached to a human being as a dog does, and giving it away would involve a great deal of suffering and trauma for a lifetime.
Article in cooperation with mimookolicznosci.pl
Is a mini pig definitely ”mini”?
The weight of a mini pig varies between 25 and 50 kilograms, with a size between 30 and 45 centimeters. Comparatively, the weight of a domestic pig, is usually around 400 kilograms. A micro pig is similar in size to a medium-sized dog, but is much heavier. It’s worth keeping this in mind, because while 50 kilograms and a height up to people’s knees may seem like nothing compared to a standard pig, it’s a lot more than the several-month-old piglet we bring home and carry in our arms. 50 kilograms are weighed by large dogs, or even people, so it’s worth seriously considering whether we actually have such a miniature in mind. We can never really be sure what size our pet will grow to, and they reach their final size even after several years.
How does a micro pig behave, is it closer to a wild boar or to a dog?
The mini-pig with its behavior and ability to attach to humans resembles the less controversial pet of humans, which is the dog. A mini piggy can give us just as much love and give just as much joy. Many aspects depend on upbringing, of course, but pigs show very high intelligence and learn quite quickly. Just like dogs, they can respond to their name and come running when called. They even wag their tail! These pets love the company of humans and do not like to be alone. They require a lot of attention and affection, especially in the form of cuddling. They also love scratching behind the ears and kisses on the muzzle. They are also very smart, and can be taught many tricks or respond to various commands, just like dogs.
However, it is important to remember that from the very beginning of owning a piggy, we must set clear rules and requirements. First of all, the animal must know who its guardian is and it must be taught to respect the owner. It is necessary to determine what the piglet can do and what it absolutely cannot do, and consistently pay attention to it. Thanks to its shrewdness, the piggy should not take too long to assimilate this information, but it is necessary to be consistent and if we do not agree to something, we can not make exceptions to it, because the animal will not have a clear message.
Of course, it is clear that no violence should be used against any animal, and the upbringing of the piggy must be completely devoid of it.
Themini pig needs a lot of attention from its owner. It is a very intelligent animal, so it gets bored quite quickly. It is necessary to provide it with the right amount of entertainment, otherwise it can become a bit stubborn. It will noisily squawk or destroy furniture, and can also become a bit unpleasant.
The piggy in keeping clean is not too far from cats. Learning to settle in the litter box is not much of a problem for the pig. In general, pigs are associated with an unpleasant odor, miniature pigs, however, do not leave it behind. They smell neutrally. Entering an apartment, no one will realize from the smell that a pig lives here. Unpleasant smell is therefore a myth, a well-groomed and kept in good conditions piggy does not generate such. In some respects, it also towers over even such hardened household members as cats. This is because it does not leave behind an ounce of hair. In addition to the cleanliness aspects, it has another big plus. Thanks to the fact that the miniature piggy does not shed, it is ideal for people who are allergic to dander.
Mini pigs are adored by children, who, like them, often have much more energy to play. A well-behaved piggy doesn’t bite, so we don’t have to worry about danger to our kids. Of course, it should be explained to the child to treat the pig with due respect and be gentle towards it. The friendly temperament of mini pigs develops sensitivity and empathy in children.
Under one roof with a miniature pig or in other words, the pros and cons of having a mini pig in the apartment and home.
The answer is: just like with a dog. Miniature pigs love to go for walks. Yes, you can, and even should, teach them to walk on a leash. Instead of a collar, of course, harnesses will work better. They are both more comfortable and safer for our pet. A pig on a walk loves to riffle in the dirt in search of food. It is this activity that is one of the favorite and most important for pigs. Therefore, only people who will be able to provide them with a permanent enclosure should decide to own these animals. This is because walking is not enough. The pig should have permanent access to a garden. It is not suitable for an apartment where it is not free to go outside whenever it wants. It also loves, which should come as no surprise, to wallow in mud.
The requirements of the miniature pig, however, do not end with just having a garden. We must also ensure that it does not contain any plants that are poisonous to our pet. Of the most dangerous ones, we can mention: oleander, foxglove, astragalus, cornflowers, fruits and leaves of chestnut trees, poisonous madder, lily of the valley, yew, azalea, some varieties of ferns, goldenrod, milfoil, green acorns and oak leaves, datura, fresh walnuts.
The menu of micro pigs
Pigs, both large and small, are omnivorous. Their menu is therefore not particularly demanding. However, they should not be fed dog or cat food. This is because there should not be too much animal protein in their bowl. However, this does not apply to dairy products. It is, however, unacceptable to give the pigs sweets, hot spices and salted food. What pigs are most fond of are:
- all kinds of fruits,
- various groats,
- sunflower seeds,
- vegetables (can be either cooked or raw) such as squash, beets, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkin, cauliflower, turnips.
In addition to the above-mentioned delicacies, mini-pigs can also be given to eat: gout, nettle, dandelion, young grass, lembi, starflower, lime leaves, mallow leaves. The diet of mini pigs should be rich in cereal grains, such as wheat germ, barley, cereal bran. You can also give them whole grain bread. Legumes are also important in the diet of mini pigs. A treat that we can confidently use as a reward for the pig is bananas. These little creatures outright love them.
As we know, pigs are famous for their gluttony. Miniature versions are not at all different from their bigger sisters in this respect. They love to eat, they are real gluttons. It often happens that because of this they consume more calories than they should. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to this, and if we notice that the piglet begins to weigh more than it should, then we should slightly minimize the caloric content of its meals. Of course, everything should be done under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Normally, miniature pigs eat twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. The caloric content of meals also depends on the season. In summer, when the animal can graze in the garden and does not have to waste so much energy on maintaining adequate body heat, meals can be less satiating. In winter, on the other hand, the caloric content should be increased. Due to the high starch content, one should be careful with serving potatoes. Pigs should have access to fresh water throughout the day.
The vessel from which the pet eats should also not be casual. Pigs love to get dirty while eating, knocking over bowls and spilling food all around them, just like children. Therefore, it is worthwhile that their bowls are flat and have a heavy enough bottom, so that the piggy will not have the opportunity to knock it over. Miniature pigs are best fed outside, it will definitely help to avoid unnecessary mess.
In conclusion – a miniature pig is an animal that can certainly be a man’s best friend. However, it has its own moods and requirements, so the decision to take a mini piggy under your roof should be very well thought out.
Miniature piggy price
On the territory of our country for several years there are kennels of mini-pigs, many addresses can be found on the Internet and on advertising portals such as OLX or Allegro. The price discrepancy of miniature pigs is very large, as prices start from 30 zlotys per pig and even up to 800 zlotys. When buying a mini pig, it is worth remembering a few things, it is worth checking what size the parents of the pig were so that in a few years there will be no disappointment, and as with any pet, ask the breeder how to handle the piglet, especially if it is still a baby.
Videos from owners of miniature pigs
Impressions and thoughts after a year with a Vietnamese pig in the apartment
Let’s start with the fact that I got the pig as a birthday present, my friends came to the conclusion that since I keep getting excited about videos and photos of mini pigs on Instagram, they will just buy me one 🙂 The beginnings were really cool, the piggy was already settling in the litter box on the first day. It seems that the piggy always takes care of itself in a corner of the apartment, just put her litter box in that corner and the matter is settled. Here I suggest investing in a silicone litter, as it absorbs moisture and odors really well. I don’t recommend chip litters and those turbo loose litters, as they dust terribly and when they get moisture they make a mush. The pig shows great interest in food from the very beginning 😉 At the beginning we give her powdered baby milk. Preferably at room temperature, not too hot not too cold. After a few weeks we enrich the diet with pasta, cereals, vegetables. In general, the pig will eat anything, but some things can harm her, as in our case, for example, melon. The pig loves all kinds of vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
Besides the fact that the pig is a very cute creature, it is not always colorful. Please keep in mind that the piglet likes to have its moods, it is a very intelligent animal, but also as much character. He makes himself known about it from the first months 😉 This manifests itself in many ways. If the piglet wants something it will do a lot to get it. An example of this is that when the piggy wakes up she starts to squawk because the princess needs to be given breakfast so that she can nap again. If she doesn’t like something, the piggy will throw the food behind the bowl with her snout and sometimes even turn the bowl upside down <3 Of course, you need to have your own methods of parenting and not let yourself get in over your head. Because when the pig is hungry it will eat anything, and the fact that it would like to eat its favorite treats every day is another matter.
Another issue is the sleeping of the pig in bed. When the piglet sees that you have a comfortable, beautifully covered, clean and fragrant bed with a warm comforter, the piglet will think that it deserves this bedding! This manifests itself in the fact that when you go to sleep the piglet instead of sleeping in its bed will try to jump on the bed, or if it is too small, it will come under the bed and start to squawk.
Transporting a miniature pig in the car
Another issue that should be mentioned is the transportation of the pig. As you know, the piggy should go for vaccination, deworming and periodic visits to the vet. Of course, this involves transporting our piglet by car. If we are going alone we should transport the piglet in a specially adapted container, the same as for cats. If there is an accompanying person with us, he can simply take the piglet in his arms and control how it feels and what its impressions are, and they sometimes vary…. I usually drove the pig in a container and, despite the calm ride, the animal, unfortunately, most of the time liked to settle into the container…. And I’m talking here about number 1 and number 2…. Which in the long run proved to be quite annoying. Especially when once the piggy got out of its cage and “number 2” flew into the back seat of the car 😉
Mini pig thinks that your house is its trough
…and she’s kind of right about that, because it’s still a hog, just a mini one 😉 moreover, she didn’t ask to live there, and would probably prefer to run around in the mud and rut for bugs. So yes, if you’re not home and the pig is bored (and if she’s eaten and gone to sleep, she’s definitely bored), then expect to have in the house, bitten furniture, pulled food out of the cabinets, scattered garbage all over the apartment. If the pig wants something, or feels that something might interest it, it will do anything to get it. So if you leave food, leftover food or anything like that in a place that the piggy can jump on, open, slip into, crawl into, etc. then count on the fact that your brave micro-pig will get it and eat it. Even if she were to get diarrhea from it.
Your friends will be delighted!
And not just friends! On a walk, the piglet will be the biggest attraction, everyone will want to play with the piglet, stroke it, hug it and so on. Of course, this will be accompanied by a lot of questions, regarding how old it is, how big it will grow, what it eats, etc. People will take pictures and you will probably end up on more than one local Fanpage as a local attraction.
If you love animals and have watched a million videos on Instagram and Youtube about mini pigs and can’t stop thinking about them, then maybe a Vietnamese pig is for you. Remember that the piggy needs to run around so if you live in a block of flats or an apartment building you will get tired – both you and the piggy. Do you live in a house? Don’t you feel sorry for your garden? Great! Your piggy will surely love it and will want to decorate it in its own way. Pigs are really intelligent and adorable animals so you have a house with a garden where a mini piglet could run around then it might be worth a try. Remember, it’s not a toy but a living creature that can live for 12 years and weigh 40 kilograms.