84

Tiny pigs with a big price tag

The pot-bellied pig is back, and for $2,500 you can buy a mini version perfect for city dwelling


 
Tiny pigs with a big price tag

Photograph by Andrew Tolson

Jill Chen and her family do not live on a farm. They do not even live in a house with a lot of outside space. Despite a city bylaw banning them, she has chickens. And now she has a pig.

Not a Yorkshire or a Berkshire or any of those breeds we eat. Not one of those massive pigs that were so popular a few years back when George Clooney owned one and before people realized that 300 lb. of hog did not make a good housemate.

Man’s new best friend is a smaller version of those same Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, called the micro-mini or teacup pig, bred to grow to just 30 to 50 lb. “We are thrilled and delighted to welcome dear little Henry into our family,” Chen wrote on her blog, freestylefarm.ca, last August. “At eight weeks he weighs six pounds,” she reported. “We were all a little nervous about getting a house pig . . . what have we done? What if he’s awful to live with?”

Click here to see more of the teacup pigs, photographed by Andrew Tolson.

But after just six days with Henry, now 20 lb., her family was “smitten with this chubby little coarse-haired boy.”

Chen lives a five-minute subway ride from downtown, with numerous Starbucks in the neighbourhood. The backyard of her Toronto home is 50 feet by 60 feet. So why would she get a pig?

“They are so cute,” she says. “That was what drew me to getting one. I just looked around on the Internet to find a breeder nearby. And I knew it would be something different and new.”

Twice a day Henry gets a half a cup of grain mixed with water to make a slop. For lunch, he gets a fresh salad. But he’s not fussy, and happily gobbles up the fruit and vegetable scraps.

Henry was litter trained by the breeder, but Chen taught him to use the walk-in shower in the master bathroom. “With my dog, we go for a walk. With Henry, he relieves himself in the shower.”

When Henry is outside in the backyard, he does her landscaping, feeding off the hedges and grass. His yard waste is used as fertilizer for the garden.

“They are so smart,” says Chen. “They bond with the people who feed them and are loyal.” In the warm weather, he stays outside. In winter, he is definitely an indoor pig. During a trip to the cottage at Christmas, Henry did not like his first brush with snow. “He will stand by the door and scream and cry and whine until you let him in,” he says, “but he refuses to wear anything constricting.” And the squealing can be so loud, it’s deafening. “When a pig has a meltdown, it’s worse than a three-year-old. The noise is louder than a jet taking off.”

The first couple of days with the piglet were hard. “He let out ear-piercing screams that would go on for minutes. It was so loud that the kids were sent running for cover.” The piglet was weaned from its mother at five or six weeks and neutered before Chen brought him home.

The piglet was popular with their urban friends and their kids. “Everyone had to come see him. It’s like having a baby. We had all the children in their classes come and even the teacher.” Henry was not exactly an impulse purchase. He cost $2,500, and Chen had to wait a year to get him. She knows keeping a pig in the city is illegal, but says, “What’s the big deal? There are people who have 20 cats in their houses. And Henry is quieter and smaller than many dogs.”

Chen ordered her micro-mini pig from Our Little Flock, “breeder of rare miniature pets” located near Stratford, Ont. The founder, Jaime Neeb, is well aware that most cities do not allow pigs of any size or shape to live in dwellings. “Some of these bylaws are so out of date,” she says. “They were created decades ago, when pigs were 100 lb. or more. But now they can be bred to be between 30 to 50 lb. With genetics and breeding, they are great house pets. A lot of people don’t know that they are such affectionate animals, smarter than dogs, hypoallergenic, easy to train and they don’t need hour-long walks.”

The people who inquire about her micro-minis are “of all ages and all walks of life.” However, she does caution people that pigs easily gain weight. And, yes, she is selling to city people. “The people who call and put down deposits are not farmers, that’s for sure. But I make sure I ask them if they’ve checked out their city bylaws.” Neeb recently had a customer in Thunder Bay, Ont., who got a letter of exemption from the city to keep her micro-mini. “The city didn’t even know about the laws when it came to pigs as pets, but they gave them the temporary letter of exemption and they may periodically stop by to check on the pig.” Like Chen, her argument is, “if you can have a Great Dane, then why not a little pig?” She thinks people want micro-mini pigs because they are “unusual” and she sets her prices high to reduce impulse buys. Also, in an effort to not contribute to the population of unwanted pets, she has all her pigs spayed or neutered. Potential buyers must fill out a form, explaining what their home, job, working hours and family are like, as well as if they are financially able to provide for the animal, and if they have access to a fenced-in yard. She only sells to city folk if they have a backup plan, a safe place they can send the pig if they are caught breaking a bylaw.

Susan Morris founded Snooters Farm Animal Sanctuary, a hobby farm in Durham Region outside Toronto. She rescued her first pig, named Valentine, 14 years ago. “Not knowing much about pigs I began to do research on their care,” she writes on her business’s website. “I found out these very intelligent, sensitive creatures are bought and abandoned at an alarming rate. People buy the little bundles of joy shaped like a pig and when they grow to their normal size of 150 lb. plus, they are discarded like yesterday’s garbage. Sometimes these ‘beloved pets’ even end up at slaughter auctions and are sold for mere dollars.”

When asked about the growing number of city dwellers getting pigs as pets she is unequivocal. “They are breaking the law.” She has a few pigs she’s taken in, and a friend is fostering one rescued from an apartment on the 11th floor of a high rise in downtown Hamilton. A man called about a pig, then six years old and morbidly obese, that belonged to his son. His son had moved in with his girlfriend and left the pet behind. “It’s ridiculous,” she says. “As much as I love pigs, they are pigs.”

She also detests the terms micro-mini and teacup, which were coined by breeders. “People think they’re buying a pig that will not grow heavier than 40 lb. but then they do grow to 100 lb. and the owners no longer want them. You can’t guarantee how big or heavy a pig is going to be.” The problem is the breeders are not experts in genetics, and so they select pigs that are small and hope that there are no linebackers among the offspring. Prospective buyers are sometimes shown the parents of the piglets, but Morris says they can be youngsters. “Pigs are not full grown until they are four years old. Many pigs they show as adult breeders are under one year old.”

Linda Bowen, owner of Wee Little Pigs in Victoria, says her mini-pigs are most in demand in Ontario and she ships them east via WestJet to mostly female customers. “They all wanted ponies and now they all want little piggies,” she says. “A pig is so endearing and they are so intelligent. With a dog, you can throw a stick to them over and over, but with a pig you do it twice and they’re like, ‘Really?’ ” But she says they are not for everyone. “They are like four-year-olds. Don’t show them anything you don’t want them to know about. They can be mischievous and manipulate you.” She says people need to do their homework and not overfeed them. She sold only one to a schoolteacher in a major city because he had a backup plan—a family member’s farm. “They really do bond so strongly with their owners, and if they get caught and taken away, a pig can literally die of a broken heart.”

She would like to see city bylaws changed, as they did in Quebec City, to allow pet pigs. “The worst thing a pig can do is chew on a neighbours’ lawn. They don’t chase kids on bicycles or the mailman. My hope is that pigs can be vindicated.”

As for Chen, while she’s not exactly hiding Henry, she doesn’t take him out. “He doesn’t like his harness, so we’re working on that.” She does plan on taking him for walks. Next on Chen’s wish list? A miniature cow.


 
Filed under:

Tiny pigs with a big price tag

  1. There is an even larger price tag on the horizon – the life of Henry when he grows to be over 100lbs and his family can no longer keep him or no longer want him.  Then other people, who don’t get offered even $1, will be expected to take on the responsibility for the rest of his life – which will be the bulk of it.
    If I even had $10 from each story I have encountered just like that, I would be able to pay Snooters a healthy donation for all of the hard luck cases they eventually take in.  I wish that a stipulation for adoption would be that they would have to take an ad out, in whatever magazine has promoted the sale of these pigs, outlining a retraction and substituting with what the facts end up being.

  2. A breeder has NO business selling an animal to someone who lives where it is iillegal . Apparently the money is more important than the piggies well being. I hope the writer does a story on Henry 4 yrs from now when he is full grown .

  3. Henry will grow to be a 100 pound porker Miss Chen…your breeder is lying to you to make a fast buck. I hope you won’t discard him when he is his natural size finally. Because places like Snooters will have to find a space for him if you do and they are stretched to the limit as it is. 

  4. Chen, I hope you got a written contract from the breeder, that if you ever have to rehome Henry, they will take him back. Any dog breeder worth thier salt will do so.   The sanctuaries are full to overflowing of unwanted pigs, and so many have to be turned away.  What happens to them?  I don’t like to think about it.  Like any animal, they are cute when they are babies, but, they grow up, full of attitude and personality.  If you don’t learn to think like they do, and set proper limits for them, they will develope personality traits that the average person will not be able to handle. There are no people waiting to adopt these unwanted souls.  Pigs greive when they are forced to leave thier families, and it is heartwrenching to watch.  Even though we would all love little tiny pigs, that stay small, there is no quarantee, and I just hope all the people that are buying these sensitive, intelligent creatures, are willing to keep thier pig’s no matter what size they end up being.  

  5. I can gaurantee two things with Henry. 1. He will definitely grow to be more than 30 to 50 pounds. 2. He will not live with the Chen’s for very long. The Chen’s WILL be reported for having an illegal animal in the city. City dwellers do not want to live next door to a pig. Henry may be cleaner and quieter than a dog, but people don’t want to believe that. All they think about is the smell, and their property value when they sell. Ms. Chen may keep Henry indoors to “hide” him, but that is cruel, a pig needs to get outside. When he gets bored, as he surely will, with an intelligence equal to a 3 year old human, he will be tearing wallpaper off the walls, ripping upholstery, and rooting up carpets. It is so irresponsible of the breeders to sell pigs to people in the city. They have NO idea how many calls and emails pig rescuers get on a weekly basis, to take these pigs in. It’s a travesty, and in the end, the person having to give up the pig suffers, not to mention the poor pig, who has lived indoors for his whole life, and now has to adapt to living outside, and learn how to be a real pig. Please, if you want a pet pig, make sure you are legally allowed to have them, make sure you have a fenced outdoor area for them, make sure you are ready to live with him for the next 15- 20 years, and please, when researching, call up a sanctuary for the real truth- the breeders will only tell you what they know you want to hear, their livelihood depends on it. A sanctuary does not stand to profit from telling you the truth. Micro-pigs, mini-pigs, teacup pigs, Royal Dandie pigs, they are all the same thing- potbellied pigs. They are not some new breed. They are as mythical as the unicorn. You don’t believe in unicorns, do you?

  6. If people want to be a responsible “pig pet owners”, they need first to take the welfare of these animal into account, should not support the business that exploit the animals, and donate money to the farm sanctuaries where animal wellbeing (and not the money) is the top priority…. It is such as shame that people are so ignorant and believe the myth of the “pet pigs” ….. If you really love pigs, first of all, go vegan and do not eat them!

    • Right on!!!  

  7. Articles like this create problems for the people who end up having to rescue the pig you can’t take care of anymore!  The interview with Snooters should of started this article, it is the only sensible part.  Greed = animals dying. Wake up!

  8. I truly hope that this story has a happy ending and Henry has a forever home but I have this feeling it’s not going to end that way. What will you do if Henry grows to 75-100-150 pounds Chen? Will you move to a farm or will Henry have to move out? Before you got Henry did you ask yourself that question or did you believe everything the breeder told you? Did you speak to anyone else who purchased a pet pig from this breeder?

  9. I feel badly for the family and for the pig.  Henry will grow way bigger than that and will end up in a rescue just like hundreds of other so called micro pigs do when they get big. Its cruel of breeder to do this to both the pig and the family.  Sickens me.

  10. THERE ARE NO SUCH THING AS A MICRO MINI PIG!!!  DO NOT GET DRAWN IN BY THE LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Consider this a warning.  If you do not take heed, I guarantee  that you will look back when you have you 100lb.+ pig in your small apartment and remember MANY people telling you before you purchased!!!!!!!!

  11. As an ethical breeder of micro mini pet pigs, I abide by a Code of Ethics, do not breed my pets before they are one-year of age, thus allowing me to assess their temperment, conformation, ability to socialize and personalities.  If a potential breeding candidate does not meet my strict guidelines, they do not enter my program.  According to the Swine Vets I interveiwed while doing research, pig reach their genetic height potential by the age of 1 year old.  Micro mini pet pigs, by definition, grow to 12 inches or less (measured to the top of the shoulder, as is standard with animals).  At 2 years of age, my breeding pair remain at 11 inches (boar) and 12 inches (female) “tall”.  Genetically then, a pet that is 12 inches tall cannot grow to 100lb plus unless it is as long as a car! 
     
    As with any pet, people have to do their due diligence to research the breeder and talk to other clients.  As with dogs, there are people breeding unethically and breeding pigs they very well know will not remain as small as they indicate.  Purchase your discount pig, and you will not be able to get in touch with these “breeders” any longer.  These “breeders” also do NOT have their piglets spayed/neutered, which is absolutely necessary for a pet pig.  A spay on a 4-month-old pet pig can cost up to $1,500 CAD, due to the fact there are not many Vets in Ontario who will do this surgery.  Add that to responsibly feeding and caring for parents and piglets and this should help you to understand the cost of these pets.  I provide a Genetic Health Guarantee with each of my pigs, and if, for whatever reason, my clients are unable to continue to care for their pig, I will gladly take it back. 
     
    Micro mini pet pigs have only been in Canada for about 4 years now (though in Britan since the late 1990’s), so I can understand why some people claim they do not exist.  I suggest when doing your research about these small pets, that you speak with live professionals and experts of pigs.  To believe all of the “truths”, myths and lies readily available at your fingertips on the internet will leave you questioning the entire world we live in.  I continually spend time out of my day speaking with pig owners who have turned to me for help, after purchasing a pig from less-then reputable people, asking for help and giudance on dealing with their sick or misbehaving pet.  I have located Vets for many people who discover that it is true that pigs MUST be altered in order to be good pets.  And these people go on to pay to have their pig spayed/neutered, keeping them from being rehomed or abandoned.  Pet ownership is about education – and education is a huge focus of my website – whether it is a pig, a dog, or a ferret. 
     
    Ms. Chen and her family are a forever home for Henry, regardless of his size.  This family is a wonderfully loving home, and I read all of the assumptions people have made of her, and must say I am amazed – amazed that there are so many perfect people in this world, providing comments/judgements below, who can wag their index finger at others while sitting high on their thrones!  I am not sure how anyone can make judgements on her or her family’s decisions, as all you are aware of is the small bit you have read about them in the article.

    I hope people will read the story, become curious, and seek education from living professionals, face-to-face.  And if you have made your judgement (true or false) on the existance of micro mini pet pigs, teacup pigs, mini potbelly pigs, Juliana pigs, question where you got your information from, and if it is from the internet, question the source.
     
    (By the way, there are even smaller pigs than the micro mini – these are pigs used for experimental purpose, and while I do not condone this, the truth is they exist, whether or not you are aware of it.)

    • How can you possibly say that Henry is in his “forever home” when it is just a matter of time before the bylaw people of Toronto come knocking on their door! I feel for the family & especially Henry…it is you the breeder who is responsible for the heartache that is unfolding. Did you do a home check? Phone references? Make sure they have a vet who will care for Henry? Potential size of the pig aside, it is illegal to have a pig in the City of Toronto….end of sentence….that should have made you say “NO” to them purchasing Henry . There are SO many pigs needing homes now ….breeding is just adding to the problem. Stop in at an auction sometime  (or check out Kijiji) & see these pigs who used to be beloved pets being herded around the ring & sold for $2 to someone who is obviously going to slaughter & eat them. I have seen it first hand & it sickens me to the core. 
      All pigs as pet should be neutered/spayed…..I have never had to pay $1500 for the procedure. I know 2 vets who take care of pet pigs & charge under $500. Perhaps as a “good” breeder you should have a list of vets who care for these animals you are selling.
      I could go on & on but will end now. I just hope people read this article & look past the adorable pics of Henry & think about the happiness & responsiblity of caring for one of the animals for 15 yrs plus.

      • I have a problem with people who call themselves ETHICAL BREEDERS. I fond nothing ethical about making money on the backs of living feeling beings.  I wish people would stop seeing animals as property from which to earn a buck – or $2500 per unit.  There is nothing ethical about that.

    • You’re not ethical if you are selling an animal, to a family, where the bylaws do not permit them.  That is neither ethical nor responsible and puts the animal at great risk.
      Similar situations have taken place elsewhere and cost the families thousands of dollars or resulted in the pig being destroyed – which in some places, including shelters in Ontario, involves being shot.
      I believe that maybe it is you who should be doing more research and becoming more informed of the realities of breaking bylaws and what happens when the families cannot afford the price tag of fighting against them in court.

      http://www.khou.com/home/Spring-family-sues-HOA-to-keep-pet-pig-128684393.html
      http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save_our_beloved_bella/
      http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/potbelliedpigs/a/dawnbrandt.htm

    • How long have you been breeding “micro” pigs?  I am sure you are abiding by a code of ethics, and I applaud you for that. I was pleased to read that you spay and neuter before placing your pigs, but I think $1500 is alittle expensive. None of mine have been more than $400, except a female that I rescued, that had uterine cancer becasue she wasn’t spayed.  The fact that you will take back any pigs that don’t work out in the homes that you place them, is admirable, but, you have several inaccuracys in your comments. 
      I don’t know if you have consulted with Dr. Arlene Wilburs, or Dr. D. Carr, they are the leading pet pig vets in the U.S.  They will tell you that pet pigs, or if you prefer, “micros” grow until they are 4-5 yrs. old.  Regular swine vets, that treat “farm pigs” are a totally differnt breed. 
      “Micro Mini Pigs, by definition, grow to 12 inches or less” where did you get this statement, from the breeder that sold you your breeding stock?   There are no true micro pigs how can there be a definition of them?  I have talked to the “professionals”, and countless disgruntled buyers of micro pigs, over the last 10yrs..  The micro pig craze has been in the States for alot longer than 4 yrs., and we are now seeing the micro adult pigs and just how big some of them have become.  Yes, some do stay small, but, I have never seen a mature pig that was under 50lbs. that was healthy. There hasn’t been enough time to “breed down” these pigs where they won’t have genetic and physiolgical problems, later in life.  I have a rescued pig that is 12-13 in. at the shoulder and she isn’t fat.  She weighs 88lbs., that is because the are very dense.  A dog that size would weigh half that much.  I would also like to know what you are feeding your pigs?  A recognized mini pig food such as Mazuri, and how much?
      The reason so many of us are commenting about Chen’s purchase of a pig in her situation is because we are rescuers, and are anticipating the fall out from this article.  You, should of never sold her a pig knowing they are illegal in the city, and she should never have bought one.  Three of my rescued pigs were  from cities were they were illegal, and they are the lucky ones.  We can not save them all, and they do “fall through the cracks”.  I will be quite suprised if, sometime down the road, a neighbor doesn’t complain about the pig and then poor Henry will have to find a new place to live, and that is not easy.  I have 6 pigs waiting for their forever homes right now, because I can’t take anymore, which is true of most of the sancturies.  Now I network to find them homes, and spend hours on the computer and the phone searching for sutiable homes for them.  We always do a homecheck, get references from their vet., make sure they have a vet that is knowledgeable about pet pigs close to them, are zoned to have a pig, etc.
      I know it sounds like we are coming down hard on you and Chen, but, we love pigs, and most of us are very very tired of picking up the pieces after the fad fades away. BTW, I have had pet pigs for 16yrs. and currently have 5 that live in the house with me.
      If you would like to e-mail me privately, my e-mail is roykim@nexicom.net. or you could reply here.
        

      • hello I’m not sure if you will get this as it was posted two years ago If you do get this please email me yellowkniferockstar@hotmail.com interested in rescue pigs thanks

        • Hi Cheryl, I am seeing your post about wanting to rescue a pig! Where are you located? You can PM me @ roykim@nexicom.net.

    • there is no such thing as an ethical breeder.that is an oxymoron.all breeders are animal exploiters on top of the OBVIOUS FACT that if you REALLY CARED about these animals you would support the sanctuaries that are FULL and STRUGGLING but you do not because your ONLY true interest is MONEY!!    ADOPT DO NOT SHOP!!

    • and what ethical moral person would breed any animal with the intention of sterilising the babies to be sold as pets? you are not only exploiting the mother and father of these animals but you are exploiting their offspring.STERILISE YOUR BREEDING STOCK!!

    • My goodness “Our Little Flock”!  You don’t even have “full grown” pigs!  Pigs’ growth plates do not close til 6 years old, and anyone can starve a pig or any animal to keep it small!  Even humans, when starved, become stunted!  As you can see in the article, the Chen’s piglet is already 20 pounds in 6 days, he only has 10 more pounds to go!  Also, how dare you sell any pet to someone who is not zoned to have one and all of us rescues know this is a lie!  Most of the “original micro mini and teacup breeders in the UK have gone out of business or bankrupt or close down and re-open under a new name until they once again get caught!  And for the people who did not keep them when they got too big, yes, they end up on our doorsteps!  Do you think the abandoners give us $2500 to help their pig?  I run a website called http://www.teacuppig.info, check it out!  Send me a picture of a 5 year old micro teacup pixie or whatever you want to call it with proof (obviously not from you since you haven’t had one long enough!)  This bs and these false articles perpetuates the lie and more pigs will suffer!  Please humans, if you have any brains, do your research!  We all know “teacup” conjours up images of tiny little piggies!  If that’s what you want, get a stuff animal!  At least it won’t end up suffering or cost our rescues thousands of dollars to fix, vaccinate & find homes for them! 

    • really? Your “swine vets” must not know what they are talking about because my girls were born last may and are still getting taller….They were born here may 12th. My home is home to 11 pot bellies and 2 farm pigs. ALL rescues.

  12. Micro-mini teacup pigs are just pigs with a different label.  Shelters & sanctuaries are overflowing with pigs that outgrew their promised size.  PLEASE if you decide to add a pig to your family do your research, realize the responsibility you are signing up for & adopt from a rescue. 

  13. Woe to that breeder. I really hope the pig owners get fined for keeping a pig illegal in the city, beacause it is BAD for the pig. I breed miniature pigs myself ( In Sweden, Europe, and have done that for about ten years.). My pigs get about knee high as adults but I would NEVER sell to people that live in an empartment/flat in a city. My minimum is that the buyer must have a house with a fairly big garden, and that the y can show the proper permissions from the local authoroties that they are permitted to keep a pig. I also recommend the buyers to plan for TWO pigs soince pigs suffer from being kept without a friend of the same spiecies. I recommend to buy a piglet and then later take in a pig in need for a home as a friend for the first pig. ( Since we also have pigs around in this country that sell pigs to people that have not made proper research and then get bored with the pig within a year or so!)

  14. BTW pigs grow until the age of 3!  Not like “Our Little Flock” says until one year. And besides miniature pigs have been around for almost 30 years by now. ORIGINALLY thay were bred to make small pigs suitable to use with medical experiments and a lot of this work was made in Europe (Sweden being one of the prime countries involved).. Smaller pigbreeds were used like the Göttingen Pig from Germany and the Vietnamese potbelly, And then the crosses were bred down to size. Then some breeding stock were exported to Canada and from thoose most of the small pigs in American Continent originates. ( There is also another breed around thet is rather small the Kune Kune that vcomes from New Zealand.). The term “Micro Pig” comes from a lady in Britain that sold piglets to people claiming them to become even smaller than the normal miniature pigs. But she used large piggbreeds like the “Gloster Old Spot” and “Tamworth” and all kind of crosses in her breeding. She sold her piglets at outrageous prizes to unsuspecting people all around Britain (using smart & clever marketing), and they grew and grew and grew. Eventually becoming MACRO -pigs!). A pig called “Sir Pigwig” was in several articles. Just make a google and you will find lots of articles about the micro-pig scam.

  15. Here is some links about the “micros” in Britain.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327917/Call-micropig-Cute-litttle-piglets-turning-oversize-porkers.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1324804/Grandmothers-micro-pig-Pigwig-grew-stone-hog.html

    But since the micropig lady was so smart with marketing still a lot of newspapers write about theese very small pigs as they were true. And a lot of people still get scammed. Besides lots of breeders have started to use the world micropig in their own marketing since they believe it will get them more costumers. Only showing that they do not know much about this matter.

    I would strongly advise other breeders to avoid using the word “micropig” about their pigs… big or small since when the truth spreads – noone would dare buying one since they get a “tad “bit to big!

  16. ”/ are they not worried that in 8 weeks he weighed 6lbs and 6 days with them in now weighs 20lb?? i think they may be in for a shock!

    • You can say all these same negative comments about teacup dogs or the millions of dogs killed each day because no one will adopt them from owners buying puppies and no longer wanting them..quit hating on a women who bought this pig as a pet and does nothing but love and care for it..there is far worse happening in our world and society today .

      • yes, there are worse things happening in the world than this topic….but this happens to be the topic right now. I didnt see anything hateful in this comment. Just that perhaps they may be surprised at the weight & size Henry will become. It seems very clear by all these comments that the blame falls on the breeders shoulders for not screening better,  not the family.

      • You actually have a very good point, Lou.  Shelters are overflowing with companions, many of which will be euthanized, who are suitable for apartments and living in the city and are not at risk because of city bylaws – why not adopt one of them?
        This is all about novelty and being the ‘cool kid’ on the block with the only pig as a pet. When you can brag about the price tag you paid then all the better.
        The animal in the shelter, that they could have adopted instead, paid the price as much as Henry will.

    • The wording was a little off in the article.  Henry is now 7 months old and weighs 20lb.  He is fed very well, as are all of my piglets.  I worked with an Animal Nutritionist to formulate a natural mixed grain food, based off of the nutrient label of Mazuri and Purina brands mini pig food.  Pigs reach their genetic height potential by one year of age.  After that they continue to “fill out” and out on more body weight.  So yes, they continue to grow for another couple of years, though out, not up.  This is the case for my pigs anyway. 

      I provide a lit of Vets in Ontario to anyone who asks for one.  Because of laws, I am not permitted to post this list on my website, as that goes against the Ontario College of Vets regulations.  Perhaps $1,500 is expensive, though many clinics base pricing on weight and age of the pig.  My pigs are altered by my Vet who has done special training in micro surgery.  The piglets are between 2lb and 4lb when they get spayed/neutered.  Many Vet clinics have gotten away from the spaying/neutering of exotic and small pets such as rabbits, ferrets, gerbils, etc, as it is a difficult and very precise surgery.  I am fortunate to have access to a clinic that does this surgery safely and with proper training.  I am happy to pay the amount they charge. 

      I also outline on my website the definiations of height and size for the different terms for mini pigs; teacup, mini, micro mini, etc.  This is to help consumers understand and differenciate between the size classes.  The true breeders of mini pet pigs in Canada are working together to start a registry and attempt to bring some standards to breeding.  I make it clear on my website that any piglet, when first born, can fit into a teacup, though none will ever stay that small.  It is also believe by many people that the recommendation of needing to purchase 2 pigs is merely a scam to try to sell more pigs, and I am sure we can dispute back and forth on the validity this statement and many others.

      I have invested large amounts of money in breeding stock, and not each of these pigs goes on to enter my breeding program – due to size or temperment.  Pigs can be bred as early as about 3 or 4 months old.  I have heard of people doing this, which certainly doesn’t make it acceptable.

      All persons interested in being considered for an our little flock micro mini pet pig are required to fill out an application and provide the name and phone number of the Vet they will be using to care for their pet pig.  If the Vet is not one on my list of Vets (each of whom I have spoken with personally), I call and ensure the Vet office listed does indeed care for and treat mini pet pigs.  The steps I take in placing a pig are more than many dog or cat breeders.  I am aware of the discarded pig, cat, and dog population and it is very sad.  This is why I am working to find great homes for my spayed/neutered pigs.

      • Still no mention of selling to people where having a pig is illegal. This is a HUGE point in this article. I am surprised a vet would give his blessing to someone having an illegal animal in the city. 

      • Why won’t you take Lily back before she is eutahanized in a few days??

      • Henry is 2 yrs old & now weights 104 lbs….hummm….interesting.

      • I guess both these pigs (from the same litter) are not the norm….Henry is 104lbs & Lilly 120lbs….dont be fooled people by these (or any) breeders lies….they simply want your money.

    • At the time of the interview he was 20 lbs (6 months). What ever size Henry ends up being, we are committed and dedicated to raising him. He is sweet, well-mannered, and is a well-loved member of our family. 

  17. My family adopted our Lily from the same breeder and litter as Henry…..Lily is Henry’s sister. After reading the comments below I am saddened that a great article has been tainted by peoples uneducated opinions. Yes I do believe that people are entitled to their opinions, but please make sure you are fully educated on the topic before. The breeder, in my eyes and and I sure many, is held in the highest regards. She provides high quality, exceptional care to all her animals. Before purchasing Lily, we were educated by the breeder on owning a micro.She has always been there for us. I am shocked of people ignorance. I am also shocked ay how these people, whom I am sure have never met The Chen’s or been in their home, can comment on the home Henry lives in, the care he is provided and how long the Chen’s will keep him…..truly disgusting. We adore Lily and we will always have her. Educate yourself people and open your minds! 

    • It will not be entirely the Chen’s fault when the bylaw people come & take Henry. Do you not agree that placing an animal in a home (although a good, loving, well meaning home) where the animal is illegal is not the best thing to do?? As for educating myself….14 plus years caring for these discarded pets, seeing them grieve at losing their “family”& being there as they take their last breathes is more education than owing one for a few months. Lets talk in 4 years & see if you have the same opinions. If Lily is 40 lbs, I will publicly apologize.

      • I am going to hold you to this public apology. Again….I have no comment for someone who is bashing a person they have never met. You know nothing about myself, the breeder or the Chen family. You know nothings about how Lily has changes our lives or why we even decided to get her. There are plenty of other animals that are abused and deserted because families simply no longer want them.Animal shelters are full of older dogs and cats that people simply no longer want. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure Lily is allowed to be in our hoe and that she has the best life. 

        • who is bashing??? This is a discussion. 

        • Again, who owes who a public apology?

        • now who needs to do a public apology??

    • your comment is  meaningless considering the number of pigs that are being dumped as so many people have stated and some are being slaughtered.this breeder is fully aware of the situation,yet she chooses to continue breeding.if she truly cared about animals,she would help the sanctuaries and not breed more pigs.i hope you were not aware of this huge problem because it would have been much better for you to have adopted.also,how can anyone morally justify exploiting the reproductive system of any animal for their own selfish gains? do you think sterilising animals is just some banal thing that does not matter as long as people can have their so called pets? do you have any respect for the animals rights or do animals just exist for humans purposes in your mind? i understand that we need to sterilise domestic animals but i do not understand breeding more with the intention of sterilising them.this breeder(animal exploiter) should sterilise her so called breeding stock(slaves)to prove that she really cares but like all breeders,she most likely insists that she is not the cause of the problem and blames it on someone else.adopt don’t shop.

      • please educate yoursefl

    • You are so right Susan, Educate YOURSELF and OPEN your mind!  We, by EXPERIENCE, the sanctuaries and rescues across the United States, Canada & the UK, have taken in too too many of these micro mini pocket teacup whatever you want to call them miniatarure pigs!  Potbellies are miniatures and the breeders have made people think this must be a “special breed” if you pay that outrageous amount of money!  Please do your research, and please by all means, send us a picture of Lily when she is 5 and tell us how healthy she is when she has only been fed a tiny little bit of this specialized feed!  http://www.teacuppig.info, this is not our opinions, just articles and stories, way too many who have really bad endings! Good luck, sorry you didn’t open your mind before you purchased a lie!

    • Hey Sue, are you singing a different tune now that Lily is 120 pounds and Our Little Flock wants nothing to do with you? It’s too bad you called all the rescuer’s ingnorant, because now you are asking for their help before you kill Lily on Dec. 5th. Shame on you and shame on Our Little Flock.

    • and beloved Lily is now being euthanized in a couple of weeks if a home cannot be found for her. She is 3 yrs old & weights in at 120lbs. “Our Little Flock”…any more comments??

  18. Re: McLean’s sucks, SPOT ON, you wrote everything I would of liked to say.

    • Thanks Kim.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people continue to treat living beings as toys/commodities.  Disgusting to me that they have such complete disregard for life in general, aside from their own of course, since cleary for them it is all about their own financial gain and little else.

  19. Buying, selling and giving away animals on websites is a practice that is keeping local shelters in business.  While we try so hard to move legislation forward against selling animals in pet stores, closing down back yard puppy mills, educate people to spay and neuter etc etc along come the pig breeders hawking their wares to unsuspecting and unprepared buyers who want something cute. I had a recent conversation with a doberman owner (my best relationship in my own life was with my companion doberman) who was wracked with tears in the lobby of Toronto Animal Services (south)  having been served an eviction notice from his co-op who decided his companion was a “vicious
    breed” – his dogs was cat, dog and child friendly. He had been looking for an affordable place for 2 months and was 2 days from beginning a new job etc.  He left his dog, completely heartbroken.  The following morning he showed up at TAS, unable to spend another day without his dog…he had a lawyer friend going to bat for him, and was staying with friends.  It can go all kinds of ways with unclear legislation.  We see people who want to keep their animals forced to give them up by city by-laws or independent co=op rules. People whose pets exceed weights for condos rules and people who get tired of the responsibilities.  I noted the “ear piercing screams…..louder than a jet” These are things that end up as neighbor disputes, by-law disputes and more homeless animals.  i think this entire trend is atroscious and will end in tears for a lot of people and a lot of pigs.  Stay tuned to your local shelter ads: dogs, cats, bunnies, hamsters and  pigs.

  20. Buying, selling and giving away animals on websites is a practice that is keeping local shelters in business.  While we try so hard to move legislation forward against selling animals in pet stores, closing down back yard puppy mills, educate people to spay and neuter etc etc along come the pig breeders hawking their wares to unsuspecting and unprepared buyers who want something cute. I had a recent conversation with a doberman owner (my best relationship in my own life was with my companion doberman) who was wracked with tears in the lobby of Toronto Animal Services (south)  having been served an eviction notice from his co-op who decided his companion was a “vicious
    breed” – his dogs was cat, dog and child friendly. He had been looking for an affordable place for 2 months and was 2 days from beginning a new job etc.  He left his dog, completely heartbroken.  The following morning he showed up at TAS, unable to spend another day without his dog…he had a lawyer friend going to bat for him, and was staying with friends.  It can go all kinds of ways with unclear legislation.  We see people who want to keep their animals forced to give them up by city by-laws or independent co=op rules. People whose pets exceed weights for condos rules and people who get tired of the responsibilities.  I noted the “ear piercing screams…..louder than a jet” These are things that end up as neighbor disputes, by-law disputes and more homeless animals.  i think this entire trend is atrocious and will end in tears for a lot of people and a lot of pigs.  Stay tuned to your local shelter ads: dogs, cats, bunnies, hamsters and  pigs.

    • Well stated Sharon.. unfortunately.

  21. these are not mini pigs!! they are baby pigs that will grow to be huge and they get dumped faster than yesterday’s garbage.sanctuaries are overloaded with these pigs and it is an epidemic.many are being sold for slaughter when they reach full size!! there is no such thing as a mini pig much less a micro mini not to mention that animals are not objects to exploited and sold.educate yourselves.there are many sanctuaries in north america and elsewhere with plenty of these so called mini pigs that are full grown and in need of being adopted..adopt don’t shop!!

  22. The wording was a little off in the article.  Henry is now 7 months old and weighs 20lb.  He is fed very well, as are all of my piglets.  I worked with an Animal Nutritionist to formulate a natural mixed grain food, based off of the nutrient label of Mazuri and Purina brands mini pig food.  Pigs reach their genetic height potential by one year of age.  After that they continue to “fill out” and out on more body weight.  So yes, they continue to grow for another couple of years, though out, not up.  This is the case for my pigs anyway. 
     
    I provide a lit of Vets in Ontario to anyone who asks for one.  Because of laws, I am not permitted to post this list on my website, as that goes against the Ontario College of Vets regulations.  Perhaps $1,500 is expensive, though many clinics base pricing on weight and age of the pig.  My pigs are altered by my Vet who has done special training in micro surgery.  The piglets are between 2lb and 4lb when they get spayed/neutered.  Many Vet clinics have gotten away from the spaying/neutering of exotic and small pets such as rabbits, ferrets, gerbils, etc, as it is a difficult and very precise surgery.  I am fortunate to have access to a clinic that does this surgery safely and with proper training.  I am happy to pay the amount they charge. 
     
    I also outline on my website the definiations of height and size for the different terms for mini pigs; teacup, mini, micro mini, etc.  This is to help consumers understand and differenciate between the size classes.  The true breeders of mini pet pigs in Canada are working together to start a registry and attempt to bring some standards to breeding.  I make it clear on my website that any piglet, when first born, can fit into a teacup, though none will ever stay that small.  It is also believe by many people that the recommendation of needing to purchase 2 pigs is merely a scam to try to sell more pigs, and I am sure we can dispute back and forth on the validity this statement and many others.
     
    I have invested large amounts of money in breeding stock, and not each of these pigs goes on to enter my breeding program – due to size or temperment.  Pigs can be bred as early as about 3 or 4 months old.  I have heard of people doing this, which certainly doesn’t make it acceptable.
     
    All persons interested in being considered for an our little flock micro mini pet pig are required to fill out an application and provide the name and phone number of the Vet they will be using to care for their pet pig.  If the Vet is not one on my list of Vets (each of whom I have spoken with personally), I call and ensure the Vet office listed does indeed care for and treat mini pet pigs.  The steps I take in placing a pig are more than many dog or cat breeders.  I am aware of the discarded pig, cat, and dog population and it is very sad.  This is why I am working to find great homes for my spayed/neutered pigs.

    • Why won’t you take Lily back now that she’s 120 pounds and set to be euthanized because you lied?

  23. ourlittleflock – Please address your blatant disregard for the bylaws in this city and why you feel that you are exempt.

  24. There is no such thing as a “Mini Potbellied Pig.” Potbellied Pigs are already miniature. While farm and heritage breeds range in weight from 500 lbs to over half a ton, miniature pig breeds (Potbellied, Kunekune, and Gottingen) range from 90 to 250 lbs. when they reach maturity at 5 years of age. Please do not purchase a pig if you are not zoned to have one. Please do not believe anyone who tells you your pig will be 30 to 50 lbs. at maturity.

    Our own Sammy, a potbellied pig, is only under 100 lbs. because she was systematically starved for 5 years at the instruction of the very breeder who sold her. (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.206536792708907.57038.153377651358155&type=1)

    Learn more at http://www.facebook.com/LilOrphanHammies and http://www.lilorhpanhammies.org

    We are a Miniature Pig Rescue with 20 years of experience.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_domestic_pig_breeds

      Also; notice that “Teacup,” “Micro,” “Mini,” “Micro-Mini,” “Pixy,” “Dandy,” “Nano,” “Pocket,” and “Thimble” do not appear anywhere on this comprehensive list of breeds. Why? The answer is simple. They do not exist. All of the above are fictitious names; manufactured (and in some cases trademarked) by breeders to suggest a diminutive size and used to sell their stock.

      And pigs DO NOT achieve their adult height at just 1 year of age as stated in a comment below. They complete the majority of their growth by age 3, but continue to grow until they are about 5 years old at which point the have achieved skeletal maturity.

      We cannot speak to this particular breeder’s feed; but, in general, it is a bad idea to purchase feed designed by a breeder. We have seen breeder-created “grain” feeds that are all fiber forage, with little nutritive value, that effectively starve the pigs that they are given too. In the U.S., it is not legal to manufacture and distribute feed that has not gone through the proper channels (FDA and appropriate divisions http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/AnimalFoodFeeds/default.htm) to be tested and approved. It is also -in most cases- illegal to sell and transport pigs across state lines as they are still regulated as livestock and are subject to related quarantines etc. 

      Before you spend $2500 on a pig: check out all of the pigs that are now in rescues (Lil’ Orphan Hammies, Best Friends, Pig Harmony, Belly Draggers, Farm Sanctuary, Ross Mill Farm, Pigs Paradise, The Pig Preserve, Pig Pals of NC, Pig-A-Sus, Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, Pigs Peace Sanctuary, Snooters Farm Animal Sanctuary and the many other rescues that are out there; bursting at the seams with miniature pigs that exceeded the size guaranteed to their owner and then subsequently relinquished or abandoned.

  25. I have 10 teacups and 5 minis and 2 big pigs and 2 bigger pigs and then about 16 medium someplace near the middle pigs for adoption . THEN I have 2 not allowed in the city pigs ..They are are on sale today . I also have 4 emails and 5 phone calls to return for some needing to come here . None of these pigs are under 90 pounds …all were sold to families as a xyz pig . No matter what the name is” genetics” call them pot belly pig mix up  to fatten the wallet of a person that could care less what happens to them for the next 15 yrs . I do believe these families that love them will do the right thing no matter what and keep them forever <3 because I dont know anyplace that has any room or funds to keep them .

  26. I’m disappointed in this article.  You had a fabulous opportunity to expose the exploitation of animals and instead you write this and completely miss the point.

    • Sue,
      While you are quick to toss around the labels of “uneducated” and “ignorant”, you will soon find that these are the people you SHOULD have been listening to. These people absolutely DO know what they are talking about. Really, they do.

      Our Little Flock, we’re still waiting to hear how you justify sending a pig to an illegal home, and yet claim to be and “ethical breeder”. And waiting….

      I’m curious where you have found these vets who tell you that pigs have reached their full height by a year?!?! What on earth? That is so, so not true.

      Hmmmmm…. why do you have to specially formulate your feed? Why not use or recommend a feed that is already made for potbelly pigs? It is such a common practice for breeders to come up with feed combinations that will stunt the babies they sell, causing nothing but more health problems down the road.

      As for Ms Eckler, the article’s writer- shame on you. Did you do any research at all? You have just promoted more falsehoods, leading more people to go down this micro myth path who have no business doing so. That’s another $2,500 in the breeders’ pockets for each, and that many more pigs who will have their lives torn to shreds when they commit the sin of growing too much.

      • I would like to know how many micro mini pigs you have had as a pet?

        • Speaking for myself….I have had 12…..3 have passed away of old age & presently have 9 potbelied pigs. “Micro” is a new term., which frankly, does not exist. The experience with potbellied pigs in the comment section adds up to about 50 years. I doubt your few months with Lily can equal that. Pigs as pets has only been in North America since 1986 when that idiot from Bowmanville zoo brought the first ones into Canada. 

          • I knew a breeder that imported a “Micro” boar from California.  He was small, the smallest I have ever seen, but, he was not healthy.  He had numerous genetic defects, which are usually from inbreeding or line breeding.  She bred him to her potbelly girls for a couple of years, and only half of the piglets in the litters survived the first few hours.  More passed away in their first years of life, and I lost track of the others. The boar himself passed away very young.  I guess the point I am trying to make is that it takes years and years of careful, breeding, and a vasy knowledge of gentics to produce a realiably small animal, that is realatively healthy.  Look at the miniture version of the larger breed dogs. They are rife with genetic defects and you have to be prepared to deal with that if you purchase one from a breeder.  Pet pigs have not been on this continent long enough to have smaller versions.  If someone can show me a pig, that is fed a proper diet (not a “specially formulated” one), and is 30lbs at 5yrs. old and is healthy, I too will apoligize.

        • Dear Susan~

          Our organization has rescued and cared for more than 1000 miniature pigs. We receive calls regularly from people who have purchased “micro” and “teacup” pigs, and are looking to re-home them because they did not stay small. Many of the pigs that have ended up in our sanctuary are animals that exceeded their “guaranteed” size and/or because they did not make such a grand “indoor only” pet. The very small handful of pigs that do stay under 90 lbs. are either starved or wrought with genetic defects from “line breeding.”There truly is no such breed as a “micro” pig. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_domestic_pig_breeds) Breeders selling under these misleading names are victimizing both the animal and the loving owner. It is difficult for new and prospective owners to get correct information. Even those who take responsibility and research the animal before purchase are met with a barrage of incorrect and misleading information. My first pig, Dexter, was just 20 lbs. and 6 months old when I got him. I could hold him in my arms. By age 3, he was 175 lbs. By age 5 he was a bit above 200 lbs. He was not obese. He was nothing unusual. He was just a very healthy, run-of-the-mill black potbellied pig! He was, nonetheless, an wonderful companion!

          Please feel free to contact us for information. We are here to help and to educate. 

          Best Regards,

          Lil’ Orphan Hammies

          http://facebook.com/LilOrphanHammies

          http://lilorphanhammies.org

        • I have eight potbelly rescue pigs. My smallest is a sow who stays right about 90 pounds. And for years I have belonged to various pig groups, comprised of thousands of pig owners and rescuers.

          All of the terms such as micro, mini, teacup, yadda yadda yadda are simply marketing terms used by breeders. They are all potbellies, plain and simple.

          Do you ever notice that all the people arguing on the side of all this “mini” stuff have young pigs? And maybe some of the breeders who charge these ridiculous prices? Ever stop to wonder why that is? IT IS because those with fully grown pigs have found out  that the size thing is all a scam. Where are all the pet pig owners who say “Ah, yes, my pig is a healthy five year old and weighs only 30 pounds”? They do not exist!!

          I would give just about anything to be able to fast forward several years. All you indignant baby pig owners would  be saying “Oh, ummm…. never mind”.

          Do you think we are making this stuff up? Or arguing the point just for kicks? Nope.  We have simply seen this all play out over and over and over. Yes, some people keep their overgrown “mini pigs” despite their size and challenges. We have members of the pig lists who joke about their 200 pounder who was sold to them with a guarantee from their very educated breeder to stay a “Mini Micro Tiny Teacup Flufferoo”.

          But there are multitudes who find a way to justify not keeping their pigs. We see them come and go. And once upon a time, they sounded EVERY BIT as adamant and indignant as you do right now.

          I am thrilled to hear that you will keep your Lily pig no matter what. I wish you a long and happy life with her.

  27. Just had a call yesterday from someone wanting us to take in their 7 mth old “micro” pig. They purchased her from a breeder in Bowmanville who will not take her back. This little one is full of energy & they cannot handle her. This is #7 on a list of pigs needing homes…..used to be the babies were easier to place but now we cannot seem to find homes for any of them.Last week was a call from someone who is being forced to give up their young pig by the bylaw dept in their town….it never ends. The rescues are all full. 
    ***Thank you Macleans for most likely adding to the problem with this article.***

  28. Don’t hold your breath for Our Little Flock to answer our concerns because she is too busy caring for, and thoroughly researching all aspects of the genetics for, all the breeding stock she is looking after – including alpacas, cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, dogs, chickens, and the pigs.
    And if breeding that number of totally different species doesn’t raise the red flags for people then I don’t know what will.

  29. I would like to add another post to address the issue of selling these “micro” or “mini” pigs.  As a pig owner myself I will be the first to admit the reason I have been so drawn to these animals is because they are so darn cute!  BUT that being said I would like to share my experience with my pet pig “Rooty” with both people that own or that are considering to purchase a pig for a pet.  I’ve read through many of the posts shared and the size of the pig hass been the main argument of debate.  I would like to first say that the size of my pig was not the my biggest concern.  Yes, I can totally see the issue with a 200 lb pig living in a tiny apartment but for me personally the size of my pig was the least of my worries!  Pig behaviour is is the trickiest part of owning a pig.  It frustrates me to no end hearing breeders tell the public how intelligent and clean these animals are.  NEVER mistake intelligence for obedience!  The more intelligent an animal is can make it more difficult to train.  Pigs don’t have that willingness to please like a dog will.  Rooty has not once been remorseful for tearing apart my entire living room!  As far as being clean goes, yes Rooty will not have his bathroom near his food, but if he is in a room not near his personal area he has no issues relieving himself.  Toilet training aside (which knock wood Rooty has been trained for quite some time) he can not help his skin and hair falling out on a daily basis.  Not sure why because I have seen other pigs, but Rooty is bald all year round!  If you want a pet pig make sure you love sweeping!  So despite the size of the animal whether your pig is 50 lbs or 150 lbs a pig still is a pig!  They need to be allowed to root and be outdoors.  If you are a person that likes to travel, well your pig is not likely to be ok with you being gone.  Every time we leave for a trip we require a live in pet sitter.  Rooty did not take well to the doggy day care despite being on individual care (which cost a fortune!).  My latest issue with Rooty has been my boyfriend moving in.  Rooty does not like any sort of change in the house hold.  He made a point of showing he was not happy!  Pigs are so sensitive to their surroundings and are creatures of habit.  A few years a go, my mother passed away and Rooty was very attached to her.  He actually mourned her death and it took several weeks until he started being his normal self again.  I would like to give great thanks to both Susan Morris and Kim Waterfield for their amazing help and support with Rooty.  I know I was at my witts end and almost parted ways with Rooty.  I, like most people got Rooty because I loved pigs and thought they were so cute!  I didn’t do my reearch before hand.  My advice and reason for making this post is to share my story with Rooty to make people aware of the reality of owning a pig.  Owning a pig requires a great deal of patience and understanding.  I know these mini pigs are too cute for words but please listen to the experts who dedicate their lives to rescuing these precious animals.  There are too many of these pigs already in this world.  If you do have in in your heart to own a pig, please adopt a pig that needs a home.  Do your research and talk to an expert not a breeder!      

    • Excellent insights! I do random work on a farm that has seven rescued potbellies. There is a huge difference between intelligent (which pigs definitely are) and biddable. Intelligent is my Siberian huskies… biddable is a Golden Retriever. Pigs, like Siberians, were not bred for obedience, they were bred for a job (in the case of both, occasionally being eaten). I happen to like independent minded intelligent creatures, but most people would rather have that Golden Retriever. And should.

  30. We welcome Susan and the Chen family to contact us for information. We are a registered 501(c)(3) rescue. We have 20+ years of experience with miniature pigs. We would be happy to provide guidance with feeding, health, and anything else you need to know. Henry looks wonderful and healthy and happy; but his feeding regimen will need to change as he continues to grow. We have nothing to sell you. Our information is free. Our goal is to educate. We want to ensure that both prospective buyers and new owners have access to the correct information on their pets. The more pigs that can stay in their homes, and the more prospective owners that can be reached with correct information; the fewer the pigs that will end up in shelters. 

    http://facebook.com/LilOrphanHammies
    http://lilorphanhammies.org

    • Thank you very much for your offer. I think what has saddened me most, is peoples reactions and their assumptions. These are more than just pets…Lily is a family member. We did not jump into this decision without educating ourselves and we certainly dont take her well being lightly. We adore Lily and for people to suggest that we would get rid of her because she may or may not turn out how we expected is hurtful. I truly appreciate your offer, but I really do trust Our little Flock. She is well educated and has a great amount of experience. I agree with what you are doing, and i can only hope that people educate themselves before they chose ANY animal as a pet and make sure they are fully committed to providing the best life for that animal……whatever it may be.

      • If she is well educated, why does she have so many facts dead wrong?

        • And why does she refuse to answer a few straightforward questions?

          • there IS such thing as a mini-pig!! 45-50 pounds DOES exist!! i am first a rescue center and would not be in my interest to get big size pigs being adopted since they would endup back here!! i started this genetic breeding program to bring down the size,for piggies to not be abandonned because of ‘breeders’ ‘farmers’ lies!! i have farm pigs,potbeelied,,Guttingen…and many others…and yes they are ADULTS of more then 5 years old…i have 14 generation pigs here! the dwarfism was use in this genetic..same as what gave us the miniature horses! if they dont exist you have about 300 videos and thousands of pigtures to explain….www.facebook.com/minicochon

      • It’s wonderful to know that Lily has such a loving home. :-)

        And, while abandoned pets are an all too unfortunate reality, we don’t assume that every owner will take this course of action should their animal need to be re-homed. We do have pigs that were rescued from hoarders, dumped in kill-shelters etc. But we also have pigs whose owner’s contacted us directly in their time of need, and who have continued to support and visit their pig after placing them in our care.While we do see a number of “red flags” on this breeder’s site; we do not know or have any experience with this particular breeder. Our biggest concern for Lily and Henry would be the breeder-created feed. As we don’t know this breeder personally, we cannot pass judgement on her specific formula. We can only offer advice from our own experience with breeders in the U.S. If Lily begins to show any symptoms of poor growth (tightness of skin around forehead and jaw, lean face/lack of cheeks, a long/lean appearance, thin flanks, poor standing posture/bowed or buckled limbs, thin or narrow shoulders, prominent spinal column, ribs or hips, thinning coat aggressive behavior towards food, etc.) it will be important to reevaluate her diet and, most likely, change feeds and increase it. I’m including a link to Sammy’s album so that it is easy to reference some of the physical features that I have mentioned above. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.206536792708907.57038.153377651358155&type=1I sincerely hope that this will never be an issue for you with Lily, but I believe that forewarned is forearmed and that the best way to arm oneself is with information. :-)We wish you the very best with Lily! As long as one is educated and prepared, pigs are truly wonderful companions!

        • I am sure it is o heartbreaking to see so many wonderful animals suffer…..and your passion for taking care of these animals shine through. I can assure you that the feed Our Little Flock provides is in fact excellent. I can assure of this as we tried other “pig” food from our local Mill. Lily became ill from this food. She thrives on this food. Her food is a balance of the necessary nutrients she needs….and it certainly shoes. She is a happy and very healthy piggie.I took some time to look over your pictures of Sammy. It was very hard to see. I hope you take take comfort that my lily looks nothing like that and is quite healthy.. She has been to her vet and is in great shape!

    • Thank you LOH for the welcome. Henry is happy, healthy and we would love him if he grew bigger than expected. We do not hide him indoors, he spends most of the time outdoors rooting and grazing, except when it’s bad weather, and he lets us know! Our breeder Jaime approved our application for a piglet because we had a backup plan (friends with a farm). We also divide a lot of our time at our cottage where pigs are legal. I am fully aware of how much work he is, like any pet (or child). You get what you put in. Owning a pig is not for everyone, it takes real commitment. 

  31. “At eight weeks he weighs six pounds,” she reported. But after just six days with Henry, now 20 lb”

    Hmmmmm….my pig is just an ordinary pot bellied pig and when she was 20 lbs when she was 12 weeks….this isn’t looking good for Henry.

    • Forgot to mention Daisie is going to be 3 in April and 120lbs.

    • Henry at the time of the interview was 20 lbs, he is now 24 pounds at 7 months.

  32. Since this article came out (one week ago) we have had x3 messages sent to our web site asking for help in placing their “mini” pigs …..one because they cannot handle the behaviour & 2 because of City bylaws…..this is in ONE week! God help us!

  33. Linda Bowen sold her prize breeding sow Luna to some twit in Ontario named georgette Dunn with wee little pigs and she sent very unhealthy, malnourished terrified piglets. She claims she cares so much but she’s a fraud and could care less. I’m sure she’s seriously ticked off every person that bought a piglet from her! She called screaming she wants the last bit of money we owe her now after I wrote her saying we have documentation that two vets that have been at our farm both stating the piglets lived in disgusting living quarters and were invested… linda should be ashamed of herself!!! georgette dunn called my hubby crying she needs the money to pay for lunas eye surgery …. then he told her the facts of the piggies condition- she dried up her tears and started bartering him down to like 200 or 300$- then she said if we don’t pay her she will call the cops and report Wilbur stolen??? Petunia had missing fur patches due to a parasite that is only from disgusting straw beds and rat shit! These were sold as indoor pets for 2500$ plus $250 flight !!! She was refunded my flight as well as given a huge credit for my hassles then she lied about that to me and got caught.POOR PIGLETS!!! I hope she gets shut down and Linda I had allot of admiration towards you but your a lousy person!

  34. It’s all a lie. If Paris Hilton can’t even get one to stay under 100 lbs, no one can.
    Google it.

    Macleans should do a proper story, about the realities of owning a pot-bellied pig and the amount of pig abandonment in this country due to lying breeders and gullible journalists.

Sign in to comment.