Adopting A “Micro” Pig: 300 Pounds Of Truth That’s Not So Cute
We all know the beloved Micro Pig. That tiny, pink ball of cuteness. But maybe we don’t know it as well as we thought we did. They’re cute when they’re little, but then they grow up!
These small micro pigs—also known as teacups, pixie, pygmy or pocket—will likely not stop growing at the promised 50 pounds or less, but instead could grow to be an out-of-hand 250 to 300 pounds! When these so-called “micro” pigs grow that big, many end up abandoned, euthanized or in overloaded sanctuaries.
Mini pigs as pets can be a huge problem, Kara Burrow, owner of Ralphy’s Retreat, a Norfolk County sanctuary for unwanted pot-bellied pigs and farm animals, told the Winnipeg Sun. Their name gives a false impression of how small they are, as many people don’t comprehend how big a regular pig is. Some regular pigs can grow to be 1000 pounds!
As for the micros, a 200 to 300-pound pig is not an ideal house pet.
“Pigs need an environment that allows them to root, explore and manipulate objects,” says Brandy Street, pig welfare expert and SPCA Certified program supervisor. “Pigs can quickly become bored – and a bored pig can be very destructive.”
If pigs aren’t given the opportunity to be a normal pig, and doing things such as rolling around outside in dirt, they will find new things to do in your home, such as rooting through cabinets, and tearing couches and furniture apart. Pigs also have a similar lifespan as dogs, which means you’d have to make an estimated 15-year commitment.
Only one in five pet pigs stay in their homes for life, Burrow says. “Most get tossed from home to home or end up in an auction, where they often end up in the food chain.”
So, if you think you’d like to have a pig as a pet, make sure you do the research and are prepared to raise it properly, because you could be taking on a bigger job than you expected. Literally!