pot-bellied pigs as pets

There is No Such Thing as a Micro Mini Teacup Pig

Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary currently has three Pot-bellied pigs as forever sanctuary residents. We are often called to take in pot-bellied pigs in need; in fact, we received another call just this week. We do our best to provide assistance and direction to sanctuaries that can take on more. I thought I’d take this opportunity to reinforce a very true statement that often gets forgotten in the face of overwhelming little pig cuteness:  little  pigs don’t stay little. Here’s the scoop …


There is No Such Thing as a Micro Mini Teacup Pig

Pigs grow until they are 4 or 5 years old. When you are looking at a “little” pig, what you are in fact looking at is a young pig. On average, a pot-bellied pig will weigh about 100 to 150 pounds full grown. Rarely do we encounter sixty pound pot-bellies, but I’ve been told they’re out there.

hershel pot-bellied pig and cat

Should you decide you’d like to adopt a pot-bellied pig as a pet the first thing to check is your bylaws. Not all municipalities allow pigs as pets, depending on the type of home in which you live (apartment vs condominium vs detached house). Don’t buy a pig from a breeder if your bylaws state NO FARM ANIMALS within city limits. This is a big reason pigs are given up to sanctuaries and shelters.

pot bellied pigs grown up

The “bigger” reason pigs are surrendered is because of their size. That cute little pig will finish at the same size as an extra large dog. A small healthy adult pot-bellied pig over 100 pounds.  Our full grown pig Charlotte is over 200 pounds, and her yard mate Ginger weighs something close to that too.

The most common type of mini pig is the Pot-bellied Pig (also called Vietnamese Potbellied Pig, Miniature Pot Belly Pig, or Chinese Potbellied Pig). The KuneKune is also a mini pig, but weighs in at around 400 pounds on average and looks more like their cousin the farm pig.

Another breed is the Guinea Hog which is about the size of a large pot, but looks a bit thinner and taller. They look similar to a pot minus the belly and a lot hairier. Rare now, they are 100-300 pounds, and black or bluish-black in color with upright ears, a hairy coat, and a curly tail.

pot-bellied pig bulldog size

As for the so-called Teacup or Micro Mini pig, these are just normal potbellied pigs that have been chronically underfed and malnourished in an attempt to keep them small. Their life span is maybe FIVE YEARS. This is because the pig stays tiny, BUT THE ORGANS continue to GROW NORMAL SIZE for a normal size pig. Teacups, Micro-Mini’s,  European Bluebutts – these are all fancy names made up by breeders. All pot-bellied pigs within the United States come from the same line. The normal life-span for a healthy pot-bellied pig is 18 to 20 years.

The only reason there are very small, tiny Pot-bellied pigs is because unscrupulous breeders inbreed their pigs, or tell people not to feed them much in order to keep them small.  That is animal abuse. Please do not fall for this.

pot-bellied pig

As pig age they get more territorial. Without the advantage of consistent guidance from their pet parents, as well as adequate space, physical, and mental exercise, they will express all facets of their true nature. That includes taking nothing for granted – hey, there may be some food under the furniture, better flip it over and check! They are third in intelligence quota next to ape/chimps and dolphin/whales, and they don’t mind applying that brain power to their constant quest for food.

There are other important things to know about caring for pet pigs, and we encourage you to thoroughly do your homework before considering an adoption. That may include a visit out to Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary – come on over and meet Hershel and the girls to complete your knowledge!

Charlotte adult pig



15 thoughts on “There is No Such Thing as a Micro Mini Teacup Pig”

    1. I’d suggest you do some research and discover what kind of pig you have. How long and how big. Generally, people tend to underfeed pigs when they are young to keep them small. Then we overfeed them when their big and cause obesity.

    2. A cup a day is alright if your guy is starting to get on the heavy side. Make sure, however, that you still are feeding a mix of greens and veggies in addition to the cup. If you guy is on the lighter side and active, you want to aim for 1.5 to 2 cups plus veggies.

    3. That’s probably okay while he is under 10lbs. But as he grows you’ll need to increase accordingly. As a rule I give my 80lb pig 2 and a half cups twice a day…. It will be double when she weighs 160.

  1. There are plenty of full grown pigs out there that are healthy and under 50 LBS. I do think everyone should do their research before getting a mini pig though

    1. Sorry but you are wrong. There are not “plenty” of full grown pigs that are under 50 lbs. There are plenty of sick pigs, malnourished pigs, and piglets that are under 50 lbs. but you can’t show me a 5 year old potbelly who is in top physical health who is less than 50 lbs….you can’t even show me one that’s under 80 lbs! Guess why…because they don’t exist. It’s like showing me an 18 year old human who is perfectly healthy and weighs under 50 lbs.

  2. Thank you for this post. I volunteer for Ironwood Pig Sanctuary in Tucson, AZ. http://www.ironwoodpigsanctuary.org.
    I’m looking into starting a “No Such Thing as a Mini Pig” campaign. An educated public would greatly help out Ben and Mary at Ironwood Pig Sanctuary as they are constantly bombarded with calls to take in 150 pound mini pigs.

    1. We get asked to take several pigs a month. People only want them till they are 3 when they start to get destructive. Education on neutering and spaying too! For smell and behaviour reasons as well as population control.

      1. Amy I read your post about pigs .You said “People only want them till they are 3 when they start to get destructive”. Pigs go through their so called ” teenage years” between 2 to 3 years old, exactly the same as human children . With kindness and patience they outgrow it just as children do.I am concerned if people read your comment they may form a derogatory opinion about pigs, which is already far too prevalent in our society. I am hoping you will post the information I have sent as there may be some pig owners contemplating giving up their pigs unaware that they will outgrow their”teenage years”with a little patience. Thanks, Lynne Smith

  3. Pigs are not pets. Pigs are livestock. Most municipalities do not allow livestock inside the home and most do not allow them even outdoors within city limits in a well-constructed pen.

    1. Pot- bellied pigs are not eaten in the USA! They are pets! The only reason sometimes they are called “livestock ” is simply because that local government has not been brought up to date as to the difference between a pet and a rural edible pig. Cities are changing their restrictions all over due to becoming educated. Again they are NOT LIVESTOCK!

  4. Would you please provide
    a list of reliable resources about pet pigs. Just adopted an 11 month old. He was raised as a house pet and recently given up. I have a few acres and so far he is adjusting to life in the barn and enjoys running and playing with our small dog. He also loves, loves his children’s pool. Thanks!

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