Often mini pigs are shown in pictures days after they are born, sitting pretty in a teacup or in the palm of a hand wearing a pearl necklace or a tiny hat. They are adorable and hard to resist. But this is just smart marketing! Mini pigs grow very fast and at a few months old they are about the size of a Cocker Spaniel. They do not reach full maturity until they are three years old. This is when their real size is accurate. Do not be fooled by the darling photos that are posted by breeders who are selling mini pigs for hundreds of dollars stating that they will only be 20 pounds at maturity. Those tiny little things do grow up and they are not pets for the faint of heart. Pigs are very smart animals, perhaps even smarter than dogs, and they can be quite stubborn. They are highly motivated by food and will do almost anything for a treat. Therefore, they are highly trainable. They are funny, super strong, intelligent, and just fun to watch. But they do like to get into mischief too. They get bored very easily. They need constant attention and do NOT like to be alone. They can live very happily indoors and are easily litter trained. But they like to root around, as it is their instinct and this can cause damage to a home. They will chew on wood trim, furniture, etc...if left alone. Outdoors, if unattended, they can decimate a garden in under 3 minutes! And they can fall prey to dogs at large or coyotes. They are also prone to sunburn if they have light color skin and need sunblock applied regularly. They can suffer from heat stroke and need cool, shady spots and a kiddie pool or mud puddle to cool off in. Unlike dogs, pigs do NOT like to be picked up. In the wild, if they are being picked up, it means they are going to be eaten. So when they are picked up by humans, they will squeal as a defence mechanism. And this can be quite deafening. It has even been proven that the squeal of a pig is louder in decibels than a jet engine at take off! Most pigs do however, love to have their belly's rubbed. Ours would flop over if you reached for the belly and they would lay for long periods just enjoying a good belly scratch.
Mini pigs have grown in popularity and many people buy them on a whim, but quickly realize how big they can get and how much work they are. They can be wonderful, fun loving pets for the right person. But please do the research first. Many cities and townships do not allow pigs as pets because they are considered livestock. Check the ordinances before getting one. And please do not jump into breeding them to make a quick buck. They are quickly becoming a "throw away" pet in our country. A great quote from a book on Mini Livestock is, "If you don't rescue, don't breed! By contributing time, talent and financial support to rescue groups and sanctuaries, you can help offset the damage perpetrated by breeders less conscientious than yourself."~Storey's Guide to Raising Miniature Livestock