choosing a breeder
It is incredibly important for new potential piggy parents to research what it takes to have a mini pig as a pet before they bring one into their home. It is also very important to know there is a lot of incorrect information out there, as well as "greeders" that try to sell you a unicorn - something that doesn't exist. There has never been an adult mini pig (pigs can grow until they are 5 years old) that is less than 50 lbs. Piglets are sexually mature at 8 weeks, so the parents that they show you could be babies themselves. It is important to find an ethical breed who you are able to trust.
"how big will they get?"
The most common question we get is, "how big will they get/how much will they weigh, etc." We do not weigh our pigs, but we do measure their height and length. Mini Pigs carry their weight a lot differently than dogs and cats. They are very dense and when you see them you would not expect them to weigh what they do - it is very deceiving.
No one can accurately predict what a piglet will grow to - it depends on a variety of factors including genetics, diet, exercise & environment. Even if you are able to estimate their size, it will never guarantee them staying that size. Just like human siblings may be different sizes, mini piglets are the same way.
bringing piggy home
There are a few things we recommend having set up prior to bringing your new piglet home. First, we advise you to create an area in your home where your piglet stays. It should be big enough to hold their litter box, bed area, and food/water dish.
We recommend that if you will be keeping your pig indoors, to have a separate area that is “theirs.” It shouldn’t be too large, just enough room for their bed, litter box & food/water dishes.
They should always be in this area unless they are supervised. This is especially imperative when they are younger, and don’t know their way around your home. You should always make sure to bring your piggy to their litter box / outside every so often to avoid any accidents.
A mini pig's diet is incredibly important for a happy, healthy pig. There are feeds like Mazuri Mini Pig Feed, Purina Pig & Sow (green bag,) which are available at Tractor Supply Company. If you are near a Family Farm & Home in Michigan, we suggest getting Armada Mini Pig Food. It is specifically formulated for mini pigs, and has the nutrients that they need to thrive. If you do not have a Family Farm & Home near you, the other feeds are fine, too. Some piggy parents choose to give a "raw" diet - if you are interested in information, we can send some links & point you in the right direction.
No matter what diet you choose, you should know that a pig will always “act” hungry. You may think that food is the way to your pig’s heart, but in fact, it could actually end up killing them. Obesity in mini pigs is common and it usually will end in a mini pig’s early demise. We always suggest making them “work” for every morsel/pellet you give them. This could be as simple as making them “sit” for each pellet they get. This not only extends feeding time, it helps an owner bond with their pig, & also helps establish top hog.
mini pig skin care
One of the biggest complaints I have seen is that their piglet's skin is very dry. As long as your pig is free of parasites, it is normal for your pig to be scratching at themselves - it's just a "pig thing." But it can be painful and itchy for them to have dry skin - think about how it feels when you are itchy! Along with a balanced diet, our Pampered Pet Piggy line is formulated to allow your pig to have the healthiest skin and coat they can. We offer Piggy Scrub (soap) that will exfoliate your pigs skin & the oil will penetrate to leave a shiny, healthy coat. Get yours here!
Mini Pigs will need to be dewormed & given a shot to protect against internal & external parasites. This article explains in depth what products you should use and when.
Maintaining your pig's hooves is also very important. If you are unable to clip their hooves, please research to find a vet or farrier near you who can. It is incredibly painful for them to walk with overgrown hooves, and it can also affect their health if not taken care of correctly. Learn more about hoof care here.
It is important that your mini has adequate outside time to "be a pig." They love to root & they get essential nutrients they need from the soil. You should have a designated area where they are free to root up the grass & get their nose dirty!
There are many great informational articles available on www.minipiginfo.com. We are always available if you have questions as well.
Please be prepared when you decide to bring a Mini Pig into your home. They are very emotional, smart animals who bond with their family. It is extremely difficult on them to be passed on from home to home. You must be willing to work through any issues and to know that a Mini Pig is a 15-20 year commitment.
If you are willing to be a pig parent, know it is very rewarding & the snout kisses make it all worth it. And they also make great cuddle buddies! :)