WMPF'S "WEE I AM"
WEE mini PIGGY FARM'S
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YOUR MINI PIG CARE AND SO MUCH MORE.
PLEASE READ ---------
THIS PAGE HAS VALUABLE INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
OUR PETS LOOK TO US TO CARE FOR THEM IN THE MOST LOVING WAY POSSIBLE. THIS LOVE WE HAVE FOR THEM SOMETIMES WILL DRIVE US TO CAVE INTO THEIR WANTS AND NOT THEIR REAL NEEDS. TAKE CARE IN MAKING SURE YOUR PIG GETS A QUALITY DIET THAT EXCLUDES ANY EMPTY CALORIES. PIGS CAN NOT ONLY DIE FROM UNDERFEEDING BUT OVERFEEDING AS WELL..
There is a lot of information, mostly negative, about this miniature pig world. The biggest reason is people's perception of what a "mini" pig is. We would like to sort out the facts vs. fiction on this hotly debated topic.
First of all, let's start at the beginning ... pigs have been a food source forever (not in this house!) hence, bigger is better! The quickest way we can get the hog to market, so we put them on fattening diets, breed them into bigger and bigger pigs, so that we can have a food source at the lowest price possible (younger and bigger = less expense to raise and feed)
In the 1980s miniature pigs were brought into the United States as pets. Miniature pigs generally weigh less than 150 pounds (68 kg) and stand less than 21 inches (53 cm) at the withers (compared to 300–600 pounds (140–270 kg) for many pigs with some growing as large as 1,000 pounds (450 kg))
But what about those of us that know that pigs are not food?, that they are animals, HIGHLY intelligent animals to be exact ~ 3rd most intelligent after the chimpanzee and dolphin, easy to train, sweet and family oriented. Well, we don't want big market hogs, even though they are just as lovable .. they just are too hard on the sofa and an 600lb friend is hard to have on your lap and forget about a dog door that will work, you will need to remove the entire door! Pigs in all sizes are wonderful, but if we want them as pets, we obviously need smaller pigs. And this is where our journey starts ...
The quest for the smaller, "miniature" pigs began and what appeared was the Vietnamese Pot Belly pig ... much smaller than his cousins, only tipping the scales at 150 - 200 lbs ... from 2/3 to 3/4 smaller, but the problem was, 200 lbs is still a lot of pig and most ended up going to petting zoos, sanctuaries, slaughter and farms.
Over the last 20 years, a smaller pig has emerged through selective breeding and cross-breeding to produce a smaller breed developed for scientific laboratory research (sad) which has resulted in another public surge in the pet market. Finally people can have a smaller (under 65 lb) pig as a pet!
Here are the basic breeds of the "miniatures" that are used in breeding programs to produce smaller laboratory pigs and the currently popular pet pigs,, :
Miniature Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs - These miniature pigs represent probably the most popular breed adopted today. They have an appealing appearance and docile disposition. Their exaggerated potbellies and swayed backs (a sign of overfeeding in other animals) are completely normal and healthy. Their average height is about 16 - 20 inches and their average weight can be over 100 lbs..
Juliani (Painted Miniature) Pig - These little guys are truly diminutive, averaging about 12-16 inches and weighing 15-60 pounds. Like the potbellied pig, they have a gentle disposition. They also love to play with toys. The mini juliana has a longer nose, slighter boned body and longer legs then a pot belly. They have more of a straight back with less of a belly. The mini juliana is always spotted.
African Pygmy or Guinea Hog - Truly Lilliputian, these miniature pigs weigh in at an average of 20-40 pounds and reach an average height of 14 to 22 inches. They are active, alert and highly intelligent. In contrast to the potbellied pigs, African Pygmies have straight backs. They bond quickly to their humans and love to be close to their favorite people.
Yucatan (Mexican Hairless) Pig - These mini pigs come in both a small and not so small model. The larger breed can run upwards of 200 pounds while the smaller variety averages between 50 and 100 pounds. They grow to 16-24 inches in height.
Ossabaw Island Pig - Averaging 14-20 inches and 25-90 pounds, Ossabaw’s have a fantastic temperament, bond well with humans and are very bright. These guys live up to 25 years so you’re practically adopting a child and raising him through college as much as buying a pet.
The sizes being mentioned on the net, which are not breeds but a combination, are the following:
"Potbelly Pig": 18 - 26" weigh up to 200 lbs
"Miniature Potbelly Pig": 16 - 20" weigh up to 100 lbs
"Toy Pig": 14 - 16" (Can be a combination of two breeds) They will be many different colors as well to include chocolate, spotted, pink, and red.
"Micro pig": 12 - 16" This is a new breed in itself, you will notice a different body type than the potbellies and a longer, squared off nose., straight back, smaller tummy and longer leg. This is what we breed. They are also weigh less than pot belly pigs, which makes them easier to handle.
"Mini Micro Pig": 15" and under, same as the micro in looks but smaller. The true ones that stay this small are very rare. We will have mini micro pigs in 2011.
"Mini Juliana Pig": 10 -16" This is a breed in itself. Unlike the pot bellies the Juliana is very delicate boned and has a long nose and always has spots. Also knows as the painted pig or spotted Juliana. This is the smallest of all of the mini breed but many do not like it's purebred look, we cross them to micros to get the smooshed in nose people want. Juliana pigs are an important part of our breeding program, they bring incredible color and the small size to the party, purebreds are also very rare.
Mini Kunekune x micro 15 - 18" A cross between a mini kunekune and a micro pig. The kunekune is a wonderful, sweet and very friendly pig. Once an endangered species they are now becoming very popular in the United States. I have been breeding the mini kunekune to my micro's. This is a program in progress for us. We love the mini kunekune although love the micro as well so bringing the two together is giving us a smaller sized pig with the colorful kunekune personality, darling face and a touch of the micro which is slowly downsizing them.
~ please note, these size references are general guidelines and can vary, pigs are measured from the ground up to the shoulder. This reference refers to healthy, fit pigs, not overfed (and not underfed) for more info on feeding your pet pig. Please look to the next portion of this page on Feeding Your Mini Pig.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO PONDER THE THOUGHT OF THE MICRO PIG PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH. THERE ARE NO RULES OR REGULATIONS THAT SET THE STANDARD'S IN SIZE QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE MICRO PIG. LOOK NOT ONLY TO FORUMS AND NEWS ARTICLES THAT HAVE GROWN TO LEAD TO SOME DISTORTED VIEWS ON JUST WHAT THESE TINY PIGS ARE ALL ABOUT. LOOK TO THE MEDICAL RESEARCH COMPANIES THAT ARE SPENDING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO CREATE SMALLER AND SMALLER VERSIONS OF SWINE. THIS IS NOT TO DECEIVE THE PUBLIC INTO BELIEVING THAT THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A MICRO. THIS IS TO BENEFIT THEIR RESEARCH AND TO GAIN MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO USE THESE PIGS TO CREATE AND ADVANCE THEIR ABILITY TO SAVE BURN VICTIMS, HEART DISEASE VICTIMS, DIABETIC'S AND MANY OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT THE RESEARCH COMPANIES ARE LEARNING AND FINDING THE MEANS THROUGH BY CONTINUING TO DEVELOP SMALLER PIGS.
IN BRINGING THIS TO YOUR ATTENTION I AM BY NO MEANS AN ADVOCATE FOR USING ANY ANIMAL FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH. THIS WAS TO POINT OUT TO YOU THAT THERE REALLY IS EVIDENCE OF THE MICRO PIG EXISTING. THE MINI AND MICRO PIGS DO THRIVE IN SITUATIONS WHERE THEY ARE BEING BRED WITH A KNOWLEDGEABLE, ETHICAL BREEDER WHO WILL NOT JEOPARDIZE HEALTH FOR THE SAKE OF SIZE. BUT, PLEASE REMEMBER -- YOU CAN HAVE BOTH A HEALTHY AND SMALL PIG WHEN DEALING WITH AN HONEST BREEDER.
WE BOND QUICKLY AND LOVE COMPLETELY....DON'T MAKE PROMISES TO US THAT YOU CAN'T KEEP. DO YOUR RESEARCH TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE ADDING US TO YOUR LIVES FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. TOO MANY OF US END UP ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD OR IN OVER CROWDED SACTUARYIES THAT ARE DOING THEIR BEST TO KEEP UP WITH THE DEMAND OF OUR NEEDS.
PLEASE SPEND TIME TO RESEARCH, ASK QUESTIONS, VISIT MANY WEBSITES AND TALK TO MANY PEOPLE. GO TO YOUR LOCAL PIG SACTUARY TO SEE IF YOU MAY FIND WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THERE. BE PROACTIVE IN YOUR PURSUIT TO FIND YOUR ANSWERS.
WHEN YOU FEEL READY TO TAKE THE STEP TO ADD ONE OF US TO YOUR FAMILY AND YOU CAN NOT FIND YOUR FOREVER NEW FAMILY MEMBER AT A SANCUTARY, THEN WE AT WEE mini PIGGY FARM WOULD FEEL CONFIDENT THAT YOU ARE EDUCATED AND AWARE. READY TO BRING A NEW PIGLET INTO YOUR HOME WITH THE EDUCATION THAT WE TRY SO HARD TO DELIVER.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WEE mini PIGGY FARM IS VERY SPECIALIZED IN WHAT WE DO. WE ARE A SMALL FARM WHERE EACH OF OUR PIGS ARE IMPORTANT TO US. WE DO NOT MASS PRODUCE. OUR SOWS DO NOT BREED MORE THEN TWICE (AT THE MOST) A YEAR. IN BEING SO SMALL AND SPECIALIZED WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO RUN AN EFFECTIVE HEALTHY PROGRAM WHICH INCLUDES US CONTINUING OUR FORMAL EDUCATION FROM THE LATEST IN FARM AND AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT TO EFFECTIVE AND UP TO DATE SANITATION STANDARDS. GENETICS, BREEDING, AND TRAINING ARE ALL INCLUDED. WITH THIS AND FOLLOWING A CONSISTENT "HEALTHY FARM" PROGRAM OUR COSTS CAN BE AS HIGH AS OUR PROFIT. TO INCLUDE THE HIGHEST OF STANDARDS WE ALSO HAVE INCLUDED A "SPECIAL NEEDS PIG" PROGRAM. WE HAVE A FEW PIGS HERE THAT REQUIRE VETERINARY CARE AND CONSTANT ATTENDANCE AND LOVE FROM US. WE NEVER GIVE UP HOPE BECAUSE AT TIMES HOPE IS ALL WE HAVE GOT. DUE TO UNETHICAL OR UNDER EDUCATED PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE VERY POOR AND NON ETHICAL BREEDING CHOICES THESE PIGS HAVE SUFFERED THE CONSEQUENCES. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NOT GOTTEN TO THE POINT OF BECOMING A NON PROFIT PROGRAM, WE STRUGGLE TO CONTINUE TO KEEP OUR SPECIAL SWEETHEARTS GOING. ALL WE ASK IS THAT YOU LOOK TO FIND THE BEST POSSIBLE PLACE TO FIND THE PIGLET THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. IF A PIGLET LOOKS AT ALL ILL OR YOU HAVE ANY GUT FEELING THEN PLEASE, KEEP LOOKING.
FEEDING YOUR MINI PIG
Pigs love to eat (what else is new?) and the proper type and amount of food he/she gets is very important. There are several companies that make mini pig chow.
These feeds are designed for pot belly pigs and should always be the mainstay of their diet. Pig chow has what they need in it. It is a complete food made to give them what they need, especially protein that a pig has to have and can't make themselves. We have produced a certified organic micro mini pig feedthat will supply all the nutritional needs, plus no fillers, soy or corn. If you want to be notified when this is available please go to our product page or email for more information.
We have to try and remember that these pigs are Omnivore not Herbivore. They cannot make their own protein. That is why it has to be fed to them and they will get that in their pig chow. In the wild the protein would come from; , worms, bugs,vegation and soil etc. The pig chow we give them has the protein added so it makes our life easier.
Part of good mini pig care is proper diet. Feed your pig at least twice a day.Try to schedule your feedings to be at the same time as mini pigs will begin to digest food a half hour before their scheduled feed time. Keeping your piggy on a schedule will help this nautral event that is a part of their digesstive health. At around 1 year you may need to decrease the amount slightly. This will depend on your pigs metabolism and activity level. Each pig is different and you will need to experiment how much feed it needs to stay health and fit.
Avoid feeding your pig dog or cat food. Cat food is made for cats as dog food is made for dogs. They do not have the proper nutrients for your potbellied pig and the protein level is too high.
The rule of thumb is to purchase a feed that is low in protein, 12% or 14% although this can be a complex subject due to what proteins are in the feed. Mini pigs also require many unique ingredients to make up a wholesome diet in a feed. Never feed hog chow, goat chow, rabbit chow, etc. Stay away from sweet feeds. The micro and mini pig have a very different digesstive system then other animals. Other feds that are not designed for them can cause major health problems that are even contributing to illness's that otherwise would not be an issue.
Food amounts should be cut down if your pig is able to graze a great deal. For instance, in the summer months my pigs are outside grazing all day so I can cut back on the amount of food I feed them. Usually I will cut it in half. In the winter we do increase the amount fed to the outside pigs as they need that protein to burn off. In the winter we usually double what would be their normal amount.
Please do not feed your pet pig "people food" or you will end up with an over weight and unhealthy pig. They are just like humans: What we put in their body will reflect their helath in most everyway!!
Give your pig a sprinkling of a good kelp vitamin, we use Ultra Kelp for ALL our animals, horses, dog, cats, and pigs. Your pigs overall health and appearance are the best guides to determine the proper amount of food. Basically, when it comes to diet, good care of mini pigs is pretty much the same as good care of yourself. No sugars, low fat, do not overdo it with feeding! The key is moderation.
FOODS TO AVOID
Onions, kitchen scraps, junk food, sweets, high sugar fruits.
Corn which has no nutrient value and is known to be the highest product that may contain micotoxin's.
Potatoes: Too starchy and high in calories.
Tomatoes: Highly acidic. Stick with very dark colored veggies and some but not a lot of fruits. Fruit is high in sugar which is the reason we limit both ourselves and our mini's to it. A few bits of fruit a day will be fine.
FOODS TO LIMIT:
Yams and Potato: high in carbs, save for thanksgiving treats!
Treats: Limit ANY treat to a minimum and train without using treats as bribery, they are very smart and can be trained easily without food bribes, which can also make them pushy and possibly bite oriented. (see more on treats below)
~ Important Note! ~
Overfeeding pigs is a problem, a lot of caring people are feeding their mini pigs amounts of food and the wrong foods out of (what you may consider) love. There are a lot of Pot Belly pig sites on the net claiming that we mini pig breeders are encouraging underfeeding our pigs to keep them small, that would be not only ridiculous but cruel. Pigs LIVE for food, they act like they are starving even with a full belly, good training is key to keeping your pet pig well mannered when it comes to food and feeding time. They should learn to be quiet and calm, not squealing out of control in excitement, but that will take gentle leadership on your part, the caregiver.
A pig that has the genetic potential to be fit and healthy at 14" tall (at the withers) and about 40lbs as an adult, can climb up to 16 - 17" and over 100 lbs due to obesity - pigs gain weight on the top line which is why the height can be effected. So, you have a choice, you can overfeed your pig and deal with the health issues that come with that, like diabetes, blindness, not being able to walk, cancer and heart disease , or you can take the time to train your pig good manners, feed it the highest quality feed you can and allow it plenty of space for exercise. A fit, healthy pig should be well rounded, lean but with no visible ribs or hip bones, everything should have a nice covering. Underfeeding is cruel and dangerous. It is no different then what we as humans do to ourselves when taking drastic measures to lose weight. It can be very damaging to their health. A mini pig that has been underfed will show visual signs that you can not ignore.
Or this ...
Or this ...
The choice is yours.
Please, do not feed your pig chocolate!!!
There are some reports that chocolate can be deadly for pigs, so better safe than sorry! In fact, try not to feed your pig any candy at all. It is much better for them and is good micro pig care.
Make sure your pig always has access to clean drinking water. It is as important to them as it is to us. In some cases potbelly pigs develop a taste for fruit juice and the like. My house pigs rarely drink plain water any more as we made the mistake of adding 100% fruit juice to their water. They now prefer, I mean demand, to have some fruit juice mixed into it. That is fine. As long as the fruit juice is sugar free, 100% juice! But I still have a bowl of water around just in case and they do use it on occasion.
If you are going to mix in fruit juice, make the mixture mostly water. Just a hint of sweetness from the juice seems to be fine. If your pigs are anything like mine they will let you know if the mixture is not right! Even in cooler weather pigs will need to have drinking water available.
However, the best thing for your pig is pure water. So, get them used to that as it is completely natural for them, just as it is for us.
When your pig is thirsty he will drink. Some pigs need a lot of water, some pigs seem to seldom touch it. But NO, you don't need to put juice in if your pig drinks enough to keep you happy.
It amazes me that we give these guys all kinds of credit for being so smart yet we think they don't have enough sense to get a drink if they need it? Some just don't require what other ones do. But once you start with the juice they can and will hold out for that until you come through with it, so if they are drinking well I wouldn't do it.
Keep in mind that there are times of the year when pigs will drink more. Winter is one time. Many pigs drink much more in the winter than normal. Or, if it is abnormally hot, some pigs may increase their water intake, so make sure you keep them supplied with clean, fresh water.