If you’re interested in a miniature teacup pig, you’re likely interested in them for one main reason: Their size. After all, they combine the cuteness of a traditional, large pig with a manageable weight that allows them to be household pets. But, will they remain small and “manageable” forever?
This topic can be confusing to most who are considering purchasing a micro pig as a pet, but one that is important to consider nonetheless. To put it bluntly: Would you still want a teacup pig if they grow to be 20, 30, or even 45 kg or more in size? This is a question worth considering, since most pigs, when fed properly and taken care of, will grow to be this size.
Pigs Will Stay Small, but Only if You Malnourish Them
There are many misconceptions about miniature pigs, one of the most common is that they’ll stay miniature forever. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many breeders and owners keep teacup pigs small by underfeeding them. This prevents them from gaining weight and reaching the size they are meant to be based on their bone structure. This is often referred to as “stunting” which occurs when food is restricted to limit growth. Typically, it occurs not only if you underfeed your pigs, but also if you fail to provide them with the nutrients they need for growth. Just some of these vitamins and minerals include calcium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorous, though others can be problematic as well.
When you malnourish a pig, they’ll remain small but will also suffer from several health conditions. Just some of the most common problems include weak bones, epilepsy, dermatitis, mental retardation, liver disease, and others.
Nutritional and Environmental Factors Can Both Impact Size
While it’s unhealthy to feed your miniature pig less to keep them small, it’s also unhealthy to put them through environmental factors that can also limit growth. In fact, it’s well-known that stress from noise, illness, physical discomfort or even a pig’s social environment can affect growth and keep a pig small. This leads many owners on a mission to determine how they can keep their pig small with the least negative repercussions possible.
However, you should always seek to avoid these common issues. After all, you don’t want to do anything that will harm your new miniature pig and both nutritional and environmental factors will do just that.
Is There Any Way to Make Sure a Miniature Potbelly Pig Will Remain Miniature?
This is a tricky question as well! However, the best way to determine whether a miniature potbelly pig will remain small is to look a the parents. This is no guarantee of size either. Remember that pigs can also breed while very young. So, even if the parents are currently small, they may both grow to be sizeable as well.
To put it simply: You will have no guarantee that your pig will remain small over time. And, if you’re going to be an owner, you should be accepting of your new pet, no matter how big they get.
You Should Never Try to Control Your Pig’s Size
Your pig will grow to be the size they are meant to be. If you interfere by underfeeding your pig or even creating an environment meant to do the same, you shouldn’t have a micro pig as a pet.
You should want only the best for your miniature pig and by feeding them a healthy diet and doing your best to keep them happy, you can!