Everything you wanted to know about pot bellied pigs!
I first introduced my new pet pot bellied pigs Tubsimoo and Clementine last week. If you missed it, check out my story of the great Pig Hunt of 2011, oy that was a stressful 4 days. A lot of readers were curious about pot bellied pigs so I thought I would write a post with some more info for you!
Pot bellied pigs first came to the USA in 1986 from Vietnam. My husbands family were the first ones in our county to have a pot belly back in 1989. (They were also the first ones to have Pygmy goats and llamas!) My sister in law saved up her money and bought her pig for a whopping $1000. Her little pig lived in the house with them while it was small and actually slept in her bed! Pigs have a bad reputation here in the US, being thought of as dirty farm animals. In many cultures the pig is a well respected animal. Today I am going debunk some myths and give a little insight about what having a pet pot bellied pig is like.
Fun Fact #1 Pigs are Clean Animals
Contrary to popular belief pigs are clean animals. They don’t like to do their business where they sleep or eat. They will usually go to the bathroom one corner of their pen. They can be trained to use a litter box, but you will need one that is considerably larger than one for a kitty. My pigs are living part time in my bathroom and part time in an outside pen until we get them socialized properly. Tubsimoo will actually hop into the bath tub and go in the tub. We also caught her going to the bathroom in the toilet!!! So funny. This brings me to the next fun fact,
Fun Fact # 2 Pigs are smart
There is a list I found of the smartest mammals and it goes like this:
Now, I’m not sure if this list is true but if so pigs are very intelligent animals. Smarter than dogs even!
You can train a pig to do tricks like a dog and take it for walks with a leash and harness. Pig ownership is a lot like owning a dog. You need to establish yourself as leader of the pack or your pigs will have you wrapped around their little finger, er, hoof.
Fun Fact # 3 Pigs are living compost machines
What do pigs eat? Everything. Literally. Have you seen the movie Snatch? Lol. We feed our pigs special pig grain but they will happily eat left over table scraps. They don’t care too much for citrus but in general if you offer it, they will eat it. You can feed pigs chicken bones and other things that you normally wouldn’t be able to feed your dogs. Be careful not to overfeed your pigs. Fat pigs are cute but may not be healthy. Also, you can compost their poo. It makes great fertilizer.
So how big do they get?
Right now my pigs are about the size of my pug. They will grow to the size of a medium dog. Size varies quite a bit. Un neutered males can grow quite a big larger than females. In the pic below you can see the size of mama relative to the babies.
If you are thinking of getting a pot bellied pig make sure you do lots of research first. When they first arrived in the US back in the 80’s they were really popular. But when the pigs grew up their owners realized what a big responsibility they were, many were abandoned. Make sure if you decide to get yourself a cute baby pot bellied pig you will be able to provide it a forever home and as always have your pets spayed or neutered! Consider adopting a pig before buying one from a breeder. My little piggies were saved from a fate as meat pigs.
Do you have any other questions about pot bellies? Leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. I’d love to hear about your experiences with pet pigs, feel free to share any tips or stories as well!