Origin and history of Micro pigsMicro pigs are also known as Miniature pigs or Teacup pigs. Chris Murray is known to be their original breeder. He needed 9 years and 24 generations of breeding before he finally managed to get pigs of the miniature size we know today.
One of the most common misconceptions about Micro pigs is their size. At birth, Teacup pigs weigh just a little bit more than half a pound, so they really look miniature. However, adult Teacup pigs weigh about 65 pounds and their height is 12 to 16 inches. As you can see, fully grown 'micro' pigs aren't that tiny; they are about the size of a Spaniel.
It's hard to believe Micro pigs were originally developed from the Kune Kune Pig, a New Zealand breed, which can weigh up to 200 pounds. The new 'Mini pig' is a mixture of those potbellied pigs with the Tamworth, Kune Kune and Gloucester Old Spot breeds. Mini pigs were originally named Pennywell miniatures, after the farm in Devon, England, where they were first born.
Micro pigs became very popular in late 2009 after several mainstream press articles claimed they were a popular pet to celebrities such as Rupert Grint (of Harry Potter fame). On average, a teacup pig costs about $1,000.
Here are some pictures of the Micro piglets.
Photo by Robin Rowell
Photo by Sarah Anserson
Photo by Neil Yoxall
Photo by octopus minor
Photo by Debi Pawloski
Photo by Apple Thief
Health, care and behaviour of Micro pigsTeacup pigs are affectionate, non-destructive, and very intelligent. They are relatively low maintenance pets and require approximately the same amount of daily care as a similar size dog. Just like with any dog, you'll need to be consistent with your little friend. The entire family must follow the rules you set up for your Teacup pig, and these rules must never be broken.
Regular exercise and mental work are necessary because otherwise Micro pigs can become very lazy (obese as a result) and even aggressive. Daily walks on the leash are a must to keep them fit. They also need company and should not be left alone for too long at a time. A garden for play is preferable. Be sure to provide them with a designated area to root and dig. Micro pigs can be house trained. Additionally, they can be trained to perform tricks.
While dogs are motivated by the desire to please, Micro pigs are motivated by food. They will need protection from dogs that they are not familiar with as mini pigs are not able to ward off dog attacks.
Teacup pigs are clean and odourless. Unlike dogs, they have no fleas. They are also good for people that suffer from an allergy to cats or dogs. Obviously, micro pigs don't bark, which is another advantage of having them as pets.
Chris Murray usually sells Teacup pigs in pairs, "so that they always have company and a companion to snuggle down with on cold winter nights."
In many countries you need special permission to own a pet pig. You must also make sure that your local vet has the necessary knowledge to treat Micro pigs.
The Micro pigs' lifespan is approximately 15 to 20 years.
Video about Pennywell piglets born in Devon: