Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average size of mini pigs?

Mini pigs come in many shapes and sizes and have different genetic origins and backgrounds.  All American Mini Pigs are essentially mixed.  Miniature pigs have been sized down and cross bred over many generations and mixed with different miniature pig breeds including Potbelly, Juliana, Kune Kune, Gottingen, Hanford Miniature Swine, Ossabaw Island Pig, just to name a few. By definition any breed of pig averaging 350 pounds and under is considered a “Miniature” breed of swine. Any breed averaging 150 pounds or less is considered a mini pig.

Most often your smaller mini pigs will range from 14-16 inches full grown, but on the taller end of that scale they will be 16-20 inches tall.  Weights can vary greatly depending on genetics, diet, environment, and lifestyle (activity). You can expect your mini pig to be anywhere from 50-150 pounds full grown at 5 years of age. Some have reported even smaller mini pigs full grown, but it cannot be expected and not the norm.  A  50-75 full grown pig is very small pig. Mini pigs are short and three times more dense than a dog, so it is difficult to compare their body weight to a dog. Most mini pigs will have the body composition of a bulldog, short but dense.

Please expect your mini pig to be on the larger end of the scales. Expect your mini pig to be larger than estimated, and do not trust when a breeder that tells you that your pig will be tiny or quotes unrealistically low weights. Overfeeding your mini pig will promote growth and obesity. Never underfeed your mini pig to stunt their growth and lead to serious health problems and early death. Please check out the nutrition section on our website for accurate food amounts per your mini pigs size. It should not be the weight of the pig that matters, but the overall health and well being.

 

What is a teacup pig, micro, royal dandie, pixie pig, nano, super nano?

These are not breeds or types of miniature pigs.  Teacup, micro, nano, etc. are all terms used as labels for ads and marketing to describe sizes.  Miniature or mini pigs come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Breeders, owners, shoppers will use theses marketing terms or labels to distinguish different sizes within their farms breeding stock.  Problem?  None of these labels have a standard size linked to them that are consistent from person to person or pig to pig.  This causes confusion and misinformation.  If you see these terms then be sure you ask specific measurements for the pigs and their ages to ensure that you have an accurate understanding of the full adult size of the parent pig.

For more on the history of mini pigs click here.

 

What is Rooting? Why does my pig nudge me?

Rooting is a natural and common behavior in mini pigs. When a piglet is born they immediately find their way to mom’s teat and begin to root on her belly to get milk to drop and release. Many times it can be a sign of affection as piglets. Most can get really addicted to rooting on your limbs, blankets, floors, etc. Other times pigs will root to get what they want like food. You can also see rooting at times as a sign of aggression. Although you do not want to stop pigs rooting, you do not want them growing up rooting on you. Instead give them a stuffed animal or blanket and have them root that and tell them “good root.” Rooting boxes have also become popular in the pig community, which is a short box or container filled with smooth river rock. To train them to use the rooting box you can scatter pellets that will fall down to the bottom encouraging them to get to it and in turn moving the river rock around, and tell your pig “good root.”

Pigs can also be known to root in your yard. Many times when they are turning up the dirt in your backyard they are looking for food. If it persists, they most likely are finding food. It is best to have an area of your yard that they can do this in. Pigs can also root of out boredom.

Susan Magidson, President Ross Mills Farm Video on curbing rooting.

View Ross Mills Farm’s Video Here

 

How often and how do I bathe my pig?

How often you bathe your pig really comes down to your lifestyle and discretion. If your pig is mainly indoors and does not get very dirty or muddy, then you do not have to bathe very often. As well, if your pig is on your furniture and in bed with you, you may want to bathe them more. Keep in mind pigs can get very dry skin. Using baby shampoo as piglets and a shampoo like Mane and Tail when they are older, coupled with Skin so Soft made by Avon can help with the dry skin. As well, giving your pig Vitamin E Tablets and or Coconut oil can also help keep their skin healthy.

Most pigs do not like baths at first. The more often you give your pig a bath and the more familiar it is the easier it gets. Make sure the bath water is very warm, similar to the temperature you would like to bathe in. Make sure the bath water is already drawn before putting your pig in so they are not scared of the sound of the rushing water. You can place a towel or dish cloth on the tub floor so your pig will not slip. You want the water to be chest level so they can easily keep their head out of the water. Make the bath calm and give them lots of praise. Allow them to stay in the bath long enough to get used to it and calm themselves. You can use cheerios and allow them to float as incentive. Many times pigs will learn to enjoy bath time if done consistently and starting as a piglet.

 

How do I harness train my pig?

The video below is a great training video if you would like to clicker train your pig and have them learn how to stand still while putting on their harness. With piglets you may have to hold them rather than have them stand but it is never too early to start training. You will want a figure 8 harness. You can buy a dog harness or order one specially made for pigs for a better fit.

How do I potty train my mini pig?

Click here for tips on potty training as well as helpful troubleshooting advice.

 

How much and what do I feed my mini pig?

For nutritional information and supplement information click here.

 

How do I socialize my pig?

Socialization is an important topic as pigs are not naturally tame and trusting.  For help socializing your mini pig click here for a helpful article.

 

Should my pig be spayed/neutered?

For the benefits of spay and neuter click here.

 

Do I have to trim my pigs hooves or tusks?

Hoof trimming information click here.  Dental care and tusk trimming click here.

 

Should my pig be vaccinated/de-wormed?

For vaccination information provided by a veterinarian please click here.  Worming for internal and external parasites click here.

 

What do I need when I bring my pig home?

Items to have for your mini pig click here.

 

Why do pigs grind their teeth?

Pigs can grind their teeth for a few reasons. Most often they grind their teeth for contentment or self comforting (like a child sucks their thumb.) They can grind their teeth when they are teething and or if they are in pain.  Sometimes they have been known to grind their teeth as a sign of aggression or annoyance.

 

When is a pig considered full grown?

You will see a discrepancy here when reading in research or in articles. Some say 3 years, other say 5 years. Although most of their skeletal growth is done by 3 years old, you can see mini pigs fill out and still add a few pounds in that 4-5 years. Mini pigs are considered full grown or mature at 5yrs. old

 

How long do mini pigs live?

Mini pigs live an average of 12-15 years. Some have been known to live up to 18-20 years.

 

How do mini pigs play?

Pigs are not very athletic or playful animals like cats or dogs. They will not run after and chase your cat or jump in the air and catch a Frisbee. When owning a mini pig there is a lot of down time as they love to cuddle, if well socialized young. Owners have found that fuzzy blankets, stuffed animals, and anything soft to the nose they will play with by rooting. Organic things that make noise when monitored like a half filled water bottle that they can roll around and crinkle, or bubble wrap. Pigs love to rip paper or play with dog toys like a Kong that you can put treats in. You can get creative with toys instead of spending a lot of money, for example a used spaghetti jar half filled with oats that they can roll with their snout. Occasionally a pig will run fast or in circles in short sprints, which is hilarious to watch.

You can find more toys and activities on Pinterest by clicking here.

Do pigs shed?

Pigs do not shed in the same way that a dog or cat would. They have hair not fur, however it is a very thick stiff bristle type of hair. If you brush your pig you may have a few bristles come out, but you will not see piles of hair in the corners of your house. Typically pigs will “blow their coats” once sometimes twice a year, typically in spring going into summer as it gets warmer. They can lose it slowly or all at one time. You can actually pull the hair out during coat blowing very easily, even a good brushing will encourage this. Pigs can be very itchy while blowing their coat and you will see them itching themselves on trees, furniture, your legs, and just about anything.

 

Are pigs hypoallergenic?

Yes. Pigs are hypoallergenic. Most owners that have a family member with severe allergies and cannot own cats or dogs can successfully own a pig.  There are some reported cases of allergic reaction to pigs resulting in a rash.

 

Do pigs like car rides?

Pigs do enjoy car rides. If they are taken often, especially at a young age, and it is a good experience then they can enjoy car rides just like a dog. Pigs can be very social and if they are taken out of the house consistently they love to go places. One pig residing in Southern California has even been trained to ride in a Harley side car with goggles and leathers and all. Banks went across country this past summer and was slowly introduced to the loud Harley as an 8 week old piglet. She loves to ride!

 

Do pigs do well with other animals?

Yes. Pigs are very social herd animals. They love to be a part of a community and love to sleep with other animals.  It is very natural for pigs to sleep in a pig pile when they are a herd. Most dogs do well with pigs, however it is recommended never leaving your dog and pig unsupervised.  Many have had great success with dogs and pigs being best friends.  Animals can be unpredictable in behavior so use your best judgment.  You do not want to take your pig around strange dogs or to a dog park. When introducing your house dog you want to make sure the dog is on a leash or behind a gate for their first meeting.  Most often you may experience jealousy between animals. Cats are typically leery of pigs at first, likewise a pig takes cues and although they are curious they will be leery and let the cat decide when introduction occurs, especially if there is hissing or hair raising.

 

Is it legal to own a pig? Zoning?

Every city has its own code for zoning. It is up to each owner to do their due diligence and call your city to make sure your city allows mini pigs. Unfortunately, zoning for cities were written a long time ago when mini pig were not pets, but considered livestock or hoofed animals which some cities may not permit.  Home Owners Associations, landowners, and landlords have the right to deny a pig as a pet.  It is extremely important to check city zoning, home owner association rules, or get landlord written permission before adding a pig to the family.

 

How do I get a pig from another state?

Mini pigs can fly! Many companies like Delta or United have safe pet cargo. Make sure you talk to your breeder about costs and what may be required by your state to have a pig enter in.  A health certificate from a vet and micro chipping or permanent ID is required to cross state lines. For further information from the USDA please click here.

 

How old should breeding parents be?

The youngest a female pig should get pregnant is 1 year old, however it is best to wait until a pig is older and matured with a suggested 18 months to 2 years. Pigs can get pregnant as early as 4-5 months, which is dangerous to the pig as she is not done growing.

 

Can pigs get sick? Can we pass illnesses between human/pig?

Yes. Pigs can get sick just like we do as humans. They can get a cold or flu like symptoms that last a day or two. You will most often know they are sick if they have no appetite, are lethargic, not drinking, etc. If you notice any changes in your pig’s behavior you should check temperature and call your vet.

Cross Reference to Medical Information

 

What can pigs do?

  • Walk on a leash
  • Go up and down stairs
  • Can jump up to 3 feet
  • Can use a doggy door
  • Swim
  • Paint
  • Solve simple puzzles
  • Learn to ring a bell to go outside
  • Smell better than dogs. They used to be used as truffle farmers as they can smell truffles under the ground deeper and younger mushrooms than dogs.
  • Can be used as emotional therapy animals. In fact pigs know when you are sick and do not feel well, some can be trained even to be able to help such illnesses as diabetes, as they can alert their owner when their blood sugar is too high or low.
  • Be trained to all kinds of tricks like sit, stand on hind legs, twirl, wave, kiss, play things that make noise like a baby piano. You can train your pig to do just about anything that is physically possible for them.

10 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My pig (piggly) grinds her teeth. It’s like they are hurting. She eats really slow and takes small bites. What can I do or give her

  2. Hi David,
    It’s possible that she is teething. Pigs will grind their teeth for a few reasons. When they are teething, stressed, in pain, or sleepy/comfortable. Some pigs grind more than others. Some out grow it.

  3. My mini pig is about a week and a half old. We are bottle feeding her supplements and she is doing well with that, but when is the proper time to introduce water and actual feed to her?

  4. Hi my mini pig is about 12weeks old. I’ve had him about three weeks now.

    I have a few questions..

    He will only pee while drinking his water? So I put the water in the litter box but don’t know how to break him of that. He only poops outside.

    He was sick when I first got him and had to stay at the vets , only fed him dog food. Now my piglet won’t touch pig food or any other foods, fruits, vegetables nothing else

    Third I can’t get him to put on his harness

    Any advice would be appreciated

  5. I am having the same trouble with grinding teeth on a pot belly pig. She isn’t whimpering any like it hurts but does it often. Does it hurt her by her doing it. It is really annoying to me, but if it is contentment that’s fine, I just don’t want her in any pain or have any problems. Anyone have any answers or suggestions.

  6. Hi my name is Brenda I just got a tiny pig that is 5 months old. He was the runt of the litter and very skinny.
    My problem I have is he is so scared of a humans approach. When I get him in my arms he loves to cuddle and will fall asleep. He loves my dogs and is not afraid of my huge dog approaching him. What can I do to get him to like my approach? I have already tried different foods.

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