Where are my pig lovers? I’ve loved pigs since I was a girl, when I was in college and the whole teacup pigs ( not a real thing, hence the reason for this post) was taking off, I was hooked. I knew that one of my dreams in life was to have a potbelly pig.
It all happened when my husband surprised me for Black Friday (it used to be one of my favorite days to shop) and we went to pick out a mini pig he found on Craigslist for $100 seven years ago.
When we chatted with the owners of the pigs and she shared how she kept her pig in the house and trained it, I knew I wanted to do that too.
My husband actually went for it and I got my first potbellied pig, Bently lived in our house for almost two years. Now I have three mini pigs; two are seven years old, so I can assure you how big these amazing potbellied pig pets will get.
Steer clear of any breeders and ads telling you it’s a micro pig, teacup pig, etc. There are miniature pigs out there, and most of the potbellied pet pigs are smaller than your average farm hog, BUT do not think they will stay small like a lapdog.
A potbelly pigs are popular pets in the United States now because it is slow-growing. Your potbellied pigs will be pretty small for the first year of their life, but then you’ll see that this pig will become a lot bigger as the months go on.
There are so many factors to consider when deciding on the final size of your pig. What different breeds were the parents? Was it crossed with a mini pig and then a larger farm breed like Hampshire? Is it a mix of KuneKune and Potbelly?
If you don’t care about size, get whatever pig your heart desires; they are all smart and easy to train. If you are concerned about size, then be sure to find a reputable breeder before becoming a parent pig!
I’m excited to show you how big a potbelly pig mix is after seven years, a Juliana mix, and then a purebred registered Julianna mini pig after five years. If you are in the New York area, this is a reputable mini pig breeder.
Before we get to those pictures let’s go over the most asked questions and thoughts lingering for those wanting to become pig parents.
Mini pigs are my passion and I have several other videos and articles to get you started on your piggy parenthood journey.
How Big Do Potbelly Pigs Get?
Farm pigs can weigh up to 500 pounds, which, compared to mini-pigs, is a lot! Mini-pigs, however, are a different story.
Although they’re commonly known as “mini,” their average weight is at least 100 -150 pounds. That said, many factors can affect their size, including genetics, diet, and exercise. So, make sure you’re giving your mini-pig a healthy lifestyle to keep them at a healthy weight.
All it takes is a quick look at our local animal shelter to see how many overweight pigs are there. Many reasons owners have given them up could be because of health problems being overweight and not wanting to spend time with them.
It breaks my heart, which is why I’d rather you be here, realizing that mini pigs aren’t the best pets or that you are confirming this is the exact farm animal you need. There are plenty of rescue groups if you want to adopt a pig.
I got Olive the black and white pig you’ll see in the pictures from Lollipop Farms when she was a year and a half old. She hasn’t changed much since we got her. I do think she’s mixed with Juliana. She’s also the lowest in the herd order.
Piper, we got from a friend as a baby; she is the registered purebred Juliana. She’s going to be five in a few months and she’s the smallest, but she’s also fat compared to Olive. This gives you a real-life idea of the different breeds and sizes of pigs.
Bently was just a random potbelly mix and he is a male so that shows you he is the biggest of the three.
I found a body condition chart helpful when starting out as a pig parent. When you are training your pig and giving treats pay close attention to their body condition. This chart is super helpful along with other tips on the Mini Pig Association website.
How long do mini-pigs live?
One of the perks of having mini-pigs is their long life span. On average, mini-pigs can live between 12-15 years, but with proper care and healthcare, they can even live up to 20 years! Take your mini-pig to a trusted vet regularly and give them a balanced diet, exercise, and love.
We haven’t had to have the vet check any of our pigs yet, but as they get older I do realize this may not be the case much longer. Last year was the first year our pigs were sick, not sure what it was it only lasted a week, but they were not eating and drinking as much.
I’m guessing it was a type of flu, but all three survived. When mini pigs are sick, I encourage them to drink, add a little sugar to the water, and give them pureed pumpkins. Bread is something I will give them dipped into water if they refuse to eat and drink, too.
It’s important to find a vet near you that will treat mini pigs.
From the pictures, you can see my mini pigs are normal size for their age. You can also see who is top hog and who is the bottom hog, which is our black and white pig, Olive. We always try to give her a few extra treats before Bently comes over.
This is the same for our goats and our sheep; it’s part of farm life.
Should I choose a Male Pig or a Female Pig?
When it comes to mini pigs the only real difference for me to point out to you is that male pigs will grow tusks. Potential owners should have their pigs spayed or neutered. Intact male tusks will grow longer than a neutered male.
Tusks can pose a threat to other pigs and humans. Our male pig, Bently’s seven and we haven’t had to trim his tusks, which I thought we would base on things I read online.
He has had one chip but they only stick out slightly past his lip. A couple of times this year if he walks too close to me trying to squeeze out of the barn door to get his food it’s sharp and I could see the danger if they were longer. Bently is the one pictured above. That’s the most his tusk hangs out.
A vet who is familiar with pigs could trim the tusks. Female pigs have tusks, too, but they don’t come out past the lips.
How do mini-pigs communicate?
Believe it or not, mini-pigs are excellent communicators. They express themselves through their body language, vocalizations, and even smells.
For example, when excited, mini-pigs often wag their tails like dogs, while when they’re happy, they’ll often grunt, and snort. Learning your mini-pig’s communication style is essential to better understand their needs and behaviors.
Can mini-pigs live with other pets?
Mini-pigs are social animals and thrive in company, be it, other mini-pig friends or humans. They can also get along with other pets as long as there’s proper socialization, training, and supervision. For example, introducing a mini-pig to a dog or cat requires patience and gradual exposure while ensuring all parties feel safe and comfortable.
Bently grew up with our german shepard, who I was initially nervous about after Googling how a pig squeal can make a dog want to kill a pig. Our German shepherd was a dog that killed woodchucks, but he was completely fine with our pig. I never left them unsupervised in the house though.
Our mini pig was always put in his room when we left the house. Our mini pigs live outside full-time now and they love it; once in a while they go into the pasture with the goats and sheep and they get along just fine. Everyone keeps to themselves.
Pigs hooves will need to be trimmed a few times a year. I’ve noticed as our pigs get older their nails seem not to grow as fast. We use tin snips to trim our pig’s hooves.
Can mini-pigs be trained?
Yes, mini-pigs are intelligent animals and can be easily trained. When Bently was a young pig he was trained to use his rooting box to entertain him. They are clean animals and hate to poop where they sleep. They also poop in one area even in their outdoor space making it easier to clean up.
They’re often compared to dogs in terms of their trainability and can learn to do tricks, use a litter box, and walk on a leash. Positive reinforcement is the best way to reward good behavior with mini-pigs. I use plain Cheerios when training a potbelly pig for the first time.
I trained my pigs to walk on a harness and to come when called. These are useful tips especially if you let your mini pigs roam around your yard.
What is housing needed for mini-pigs?
Mini-pigs need a clean, warm, and safe living space that meets their physical and psychological needs. They’re social animals, so having a companion, another mini-pig or human who can give them lots of time is a good idea.
They also require adequate space to roam around and exercise, so ensure they have enough room indoors and outdoors. Additionally, mini-pigs need a place to sleep, eat, and play, so they must have appropriate bedding, food, and toys.
Check out ten tips to mini-pig-proof your house.
Spending time with my pigs is one of my favorite parts of the day no matter how big they get. They truly are so fun to watch and train and just have as part of your farm or as an indoor pet. I can see why they have become such a popular pet.
If you have any questions about raising pigs leave a comment below. If you want more tips and real-life examples lots of people share on their social media pages like the American Mini Pig Association for more tips.
I share tips on my Facebook page as well.