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Celebrities tend to start pet trends whenever they post pictures with their new novelty pets. Teacup and miniature pigs exploded in popularity once Paris Hilton purchased a mini pig that she named Princess Pigelette. Many people ran out and purchased teacup piglets of their own after seeing Paris posting with her prize pig, but these people were in for quite a surprise when their mini pigs turned out to be quite a bit larger than they could have predicted.
These little creatures are quite cute when they’re first born, but misinformation has led many to mistakenly believe that these pigs remain tiny and adorable. Let’s take a closer look at mini pigs and determine what size you can reasonably expect yours to reach.
Facts and Myths About the Teacup Pig
You’ve likely heard about several different types of small pigs, including mini, micro, and even teacup pigs. What’s the difference between these different classifications and how do they compare to normal pigs?
Unfortunately, there’s no regulation regarding the naming of pigs. Breeders use terms like mini, micro, and teacup to insinuate that their pigs are small and will remain that way. In fact, many breeders make audacious claims, such as stating that their pigs will remain under 40 pounds as fully-grown adults. However, there are no regulations regarding what to call your pigs, so breeders can refer to them as mini or teacup without having to define what that actually means.
Mini pigs are generally considered to be pigs that stand under 20 inches in height. But there are dozens of different breeds that can all be considered mini pigs, and they all grow much larger than 40 pounds. In reality, any adult pig that weighs 40 pounds is severely malnourished. Because of this, terms like “teacup” and “mini” actually refer to the pig as it is; a juvenile. The pig is small now, so it’s mini, but it won’t remain that way for long.
Some common breeds of mini pigs are Juliana, Sinclair, and Vietnamese Potbellied pigs. While these are all considered mini pigs, some can reach massive weights of up to 200 pounds, which few people would consider to be “miniature”.
Teacup Pig Size and Growth Chart
|Age||Weight Range||Height Range||Length Range|
|Newborn||9 oz–7 lbs||6–9 inches||10–14 inches|
|1 year||25–65 lbs||9–12 inches||14–20 inches|
|2 years||35–100 lbs||10–15 inches||18–25 inches|
|3 years||45–150 lbs||12–20 inches||22–30 inches|
|4 years||50–200 lbs||13–20 inches||25–36 inches|
When Does a Teacup Pig Stop Growing?
The size of your mini pig depends partially on its breed, and partially on how it’s fed. Many breeders of mini and teacup pigs will include feeding instructions with their pigs. However, these instructions generally call for malnourishing the pig. On one hand, this will keep their overall size down. But it’s unhealthy for the pig and can cause other negative behaviors to manifest, like incessant squealing due to excessive hunger.
These pigs take about five years to reach maturation. During that time, it’s not uncommon for them to gain 30 pounds or more each year. Some mini pigs do reach adulthood weighing around 65 pounds, but this is the exception, not the rule. Most will weigh well over 100 pounds, with some reaching 200 pounds or more. Any mini pig that weighs under 50 pounds is underfed and unhealthy.
Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Your mini pig’s diet will change throughout their life. Luckily, manufacturers of pet foods have made it pretty simple to provide your mini pig with all the nutrition they need.
Newborn pigs can be fed on a bottle with a mil replacement meant for piglets. Then, they can be given starter food until they reach seven weeks. At this point, they should be weaned entirely onto solid food.
It’s recommended that your mini pig’s diet consists of mainly pellet food, specifically crafted for mini pigs. These blends are made for different ages and weights, allowing you to tailor your pig’s nutrition to its needs. They’re meant to provide exactly the nutrients your mini pig needs to maintain optimal health and weight.
You can also feed your mini pig small quantities of other foods, like vegetables and fruit. These are just a supplement to your pig’s diet and can be considered a treat. They can be fed frozen or fresh. Great choices include pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, and pears.
How Can I Tell if My Teacup Pig Is Overweight or Underweight
There are some visual cues you can use to determine if your mini pig is over or underweight. Furthermore, pigs at the extremes can generally be considered over or underweight. For instance, pigs under 50 pounds are almost guaranteed to be underfed, while pigs over 200 pounds are probably overweight.
You can also tell by examining your pig. Its spine and hip bones should be just barely visible if it’s at a proper weight. You should be able to feel the ribs but not see them. The skin folds on its face should be slightly rounded.
If you start to see the back and hips becoming overly round, your pig might be getting overweight. The shoulders also hold fat humps that can be an indication your pig is gaining too much weight if they start to get too large.
- Next on your reading list: 5 Pet Teacup Pig Facts You Should Know Before Considering One
Many people purchased mini pigs believing misinformation spread by breeders that it would remain tiny and cute; under 50 pounds. When that pig ends up growing to a massive size of over 100 pounds, it becomes too much for many to handle. Unfortunately, there’s no regulation of terms like mini, micro, and teacup pig. These terms are all used loosely with no real classifying specifications. If you’re going to get a teacup pig, be aware that it could end up far larger than you imagine.
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Featured Image Credit: sinagrafie, Shutterstock