Our breeding stock come from proven lines of small pet pigs. We now have seven breeding pigs, including two boars and five sows.
At the time that we took over our herd, the pigs were referred to as “micro mini”. Quite honestly, it’s a term we were never really comfortable with, but it’s what everyone who was breeding seemed to be calling them. The term “micro mini” sounds like something that should fit in your smart phone! Then there is the often-used and confusing term “teacup” pig, although the real history behind this name comes from the fact that the pigs in that breeding line liked to drink tea from the breeder’s teacup. It was not originally intended to suggest that the pigs should fit into one!
Well, we were so happy to recently find that there are other responsible breeders out there who are dropping those terms, and settling instead on just “mini pigs”. We are much more comfortable with that term, or even just to call them small pet pigs. It doesn’t make them any larger than they were before – it’s just a better description.
Keep in mind that a mini pet pig grows up to be about the size of an English Bulldog. The life expectancy of a healthy, fit mini pig is 12 years or more. In 2014, we saw an article in the news about the world’s oldest known domestic pig, who was still living with her family in Calgary at the age of 23!
Our Little Piggy mini pigs are hypo-allergenic, litter trainable, can be trained to walk on a harness. They are very clean, intelligent animals.
The boars have their own private bachelor pad and yard away from the main piggy barn. We found that this was the best way to keep them all from going crazy every time the sows go into heat, which is every three weeks.
The sows and the neutered thera-pig boys all share the main piggy barn and yard. On nice days they can wander in and out of the barn as they please and they do a lot of socializing.
When we have a piggy boarder, the guest also gets to stay in the main pig barn, but separated from our regular herd. That way there’s no fighting for territory going on, but the guest piggy gets to safely hear, smell and see the herd, which tends to keep them amused. (Not to mention when people come to visit them and sometimes a horse or two goes by.)
Then there’s Sophie (also known as “Piggers”), who was the first pig at the farm. She’s not a mini, although we think she was sold to her original owner as one. (She also wasn’t spayed by the breeder – big red flag.) Sophie lives under the deck at the farm and wanders about as she pleases, and often follows the horses on trail rides. She’s kept separate from our little herd because she’s large and a bit territorial! She does enjoy going over to visit the boars.
Also at the farm are ten horses, two dogs and a couple of cats. The youngest dog, Bo, is a mixed breed herding dog who became best friends with big pig Sophie. When all of our other pigs arrived, he decided he needs to be best friends with all the pigs. Marvel was his first friend, but now he plays with them all, including the boars. I guess we have a volunteer herd guard!
This is young Bo, with little boar Bug, when Bug was about a year and a half old.
And here’s Bug talking through the fence to Sophie.