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This is a “micro pig”…..

This is also a “Micro pig”

The Truth About Micro Pigs

Micro-pigs were all the rage a year or so ago, now the novelty has worn off, people have realised that these intelligent, clean, highly sociable animals need love and attention and if not given that attention, can soon become destructive, not to mention grow much larger than the cute adverts imply. Consequently interest in their long-term welfare is being tossed aside as quickly as the fad came.

Micro-pigs are not a recognised breed, in fact many people have been miss sold these animals, thinking that they will remain small. These so called “Tea Cup Pigs” often grow into a pig larger than the average Labrador, but many times more powerful.


The statement below is from the British Kunekune Pig Association regarding ‘Mini’ or ‘Micro’ pigs

With the current climate of media attention and ever growing popularity for pet pigs advertised as mini, micro, miniature and teacup pigs, the BKKPS committee has prepared this statement to clear up confusion and help educate prospective pig owners in their search for pet pigs.

As a society we are regularly contacted by people who have bought a ‘tiny’ pig, that has grown to an unexpected size.

There is no breed of pig called the mini, micro, miniature or teacup pig.

These words can conjure an incorrect image in the minds of those who are not familiar with the sizes of pig breeds.

The smallest breed of domesticated pig in the world is the Kunekune. However, it is not the size of the kunekune breed that makes it most suitable as a pet – it is the personality, temperament and ease of management honed over hundreds of years and countless generations.”

There are varying sizes of Kunekune across the breed and indeed at times one sees very large Kunes as well as some slightly smaller ones. The breed standard states that Kunekunes should measure between 24 and 30” at the shoulder at full grown. Full grown height is not usually reached until the pig is at least two to three years of age.

Kunekune piglets are very tiny at birth and are still very tiny when weaned and this may be misleading to a novice pig keeper. The ‘runt’ or the tiny pig of the litter who does not do as well as the others will eventually reach the same size as his siblings, albeit, he may take longer to reach that size. Similarly mating 2 runts together may result in smaller piglets at birth, but these piglets are just as likely to grow to their full genetic potential as others.

Pigs that are the result of cross-breeding programmes have not been classed as a breed as they do not have a documented lineage controlling the pedigree bloodline. As a result of this genetic make up, pigs bred in this way will not breed ‘true’ to a type and therefore cannot be guaranteed to grow to, or stay at a particular size or type. Any individual pig may contain stronger physical and behavioural characteristics from their mixed heritage resulting in unexpected characteristics or growth patterns that may not be exhibited at birth.

We as a society, do not agree with keeping pigs as house pets, as it clearly states in the guide to keeping Kunekunes on this website that a minimum of half an acre of grazing is required for two pigs and that pigs should be kept in groups of two or more as they are a herd animal.

Do not assume that a pig photographed at just a few days old will remain small after two or three years.

The Story Of Bertie The “Micro Pig”

Bertie is a famous young man, born in February 2010, his rescue was featured on BBC Inside Out as well as a few newspapers.

Bought as a birthday present from a leading seller of micro-pigs. The purchaser received very little information or advice, they were told that he  would stay the size of a cocker  spaniel and shouldn’t castrate him as it was cruel. Bertie was born in February and  already dwarfs a cocker spaniel yet he has another two years to grow.

This is complete nonsense, pigs are highly intelligent and sociable and shouldn’t be kept on their own and need to be castrated at a young age. Bertie is currently quite aggressive as he is now sexually mature. He will be castrated this week, then we will try and find him a home. However,unlike breeders we will carry out home checks and tell people the absolute truth about pig keeping.  Owners of pigs are also governed by laws regulated by DEFRA and all owners of pigs should have a County Parish Holding number.

Bertie is now castrated and has been rehomed with another pig called Poppy.

You can see Bertie on IPlayer,

BBC 1, East Midlands Inside Out

Bertie’s story is sadly  a tale of many. We have hundreds of messages of people buying pigs from breeders who have: either not done their research on behaviour and husbandry. Or have been given the wrong information by the breeders themselves.

Please do not buy pigs from breeders, there are thousands of unwanted pigs waiting for a home in a shelter. Rescues like us can give you correct advice on housing, behaviour and even the character of the pig. Plus, when you rescue a pig, your not only saving the life of your adoptee but you are also providing space for another pig to be rescued!


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