Did you know that there is no such breed as a "Micro" or "Tea Cup" pig? This is a very unfortunate myth that has been perpetuated by breeders to make a quick buck. Pot Belly Pigs are considered "Micro" in the pig world, but remember, farm pigs average 1000 pounds! Pot belly pigs are not full grown until they are 4 to 5 years old and their average weight is about 200 pounds - that's a lot of pig when you thought you were only getting a 30 to 50 pound pet. Due to many owners not doing their due diligence and researching the breed, 9 out of 10 pot belly pigs are surrendered within the first year of their life, which has resulted in a pot belly pig crisis.
Often people don't realise that pigs like to root and can cause destruction in their homes if they do not receive substantial enrichment activities. They can have aggression and health issues if they are not fixed but it's difficult to find a veterinarian who will spay or neuter them and it's even harder to find one that will do it for a reasonable price (many charge between $400 to $2000). They also need to have their hooves trimmed approximately 2 times a year and males need their tusks cut - this is an additional cost (requiring a veterinarian who specialises in exotic animals) if you are unable to perform these tasks on your own.
They must be properly socialised or else you will have aggression issues! Pigs are a herd animal and do much better when they have at least one pig friend. If you introduce another pig please be aware that there will be fights between the two until dominance is established. These fights can cause serious injury if tusks are involved so be sure to do your research on how to do pig integrations safely.
Do NOT get a pig if you plan on having children. Once the child is introduced into the pig's environment you are almost guaranteed to have aggression problems as they see your child as competition who has taken attention away from them. Our organisation has lost count of the number of times we've received surrender requests due to aggression issues with children.
Pigs are the fourth smartest animal in the world after Whales, Chimpanzees, and Dolphins (yes they are smarter than dogs!). They are considered to have the mental intellect of a three year old child, so if you have children, just think of how mischievous your kids are at that age!
The reason many breeders are able to fool buyers into thinking they stay small is because a pot belly pig reaches sexual maturity at just 3 months of age! Babies are having babies, so you assume that since the parents are small you'll have a small pig when they are full grown, but this is not the case because they grow until 4 to 5 years of age. Also, many people don't realise that a "Micro Pig" is considered "livestock" so you cannot have them in the city or many municipalities. In most locations, unless you are zoned for a large farm pig, you are not allowed to have a pot belly pig.
Before you even consider getting a pot belly pig, make sure you do your research, ensure you have time for them, and make sure you are zoned for pigs. Remember they live an average of 12 to 15 years so be absolutely sure you are committed to that time frame. Pigs get very attached to their family and when they are taken away from them many go through significant cases of depression where they stop eating and lose their zest for life. The best thing you can do is not buy from a breeder and find one who is available for adoption.
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A Home for Hooves Farm Sanctuary Foundation | Charitable Organisation Registration # 791696313 RR 0001
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