Potbellied Pigs' Lifespan and Care

Pot bellied pig profile
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For some years, potbellied pigs have been gaining popularity. Many celebrities have kept potbellied pigs, and during the 2010 Golden Globes, coupons for Royal Dandie Miniature pet pigs (pigs under 40 pounds) were given out to some. These adorable piglets are gaining popularity! Potbellied pigs and other pet pigs are popular for a variety of reasons, but one thing cannot be overlooked: they are adorable!

Lifespan

12-18 years (but sometimes over 20 years)

Normal Body Temperature

99.3 degrees Fahrenheit (you can easily check this with a thermometer from the drug store) rectally

Size

Potbellied pigs are divided into several types based on their size. There are various types because breeders dispute on nomenclature for sizes, proper weights for these sizes, and whether or not you can obtain a healthy " " or "mini" pig. The height of different types of pigs also influences the title they are given.

Depending on the breeder, rescue, or organization, the types of potbellied pigs listed below may be referred to by different names. If you're buying something other than a standard potbellied pig, be sure the pigs aren't malnourished or underfed in order to acquire the correct weight and size. Because pot bellied pigs don't fully mature until they are 2-3 years old, some breeders may breed young pigs that aren't entirely mature to make it appear like their "adult" parents are tiny. Most potbellied pig experts agree that having a pig under 50 pounds is unhealthy, and that if you do, your pig's lifetime will be drastically limited to only a few years since their health has been harmed during the breeding process. Needless to say, there is a lot of discussion about this in the pig world.

  • Pot bellied pigs, Pot belly pigs, Vietnamese pot bellied pigs, Chinese pot bellied pigs, and sometimes referred to as Miniature pot bellied pigs — about 125 lbs. to over 200 lbs. and 16 to 26 " tall
  • Miniature pot bellied pigs (certain breeders) — 35 to 60 lbs. and 15 to 16" tall
  • Teacup pot bellied pigs — 35 to 45 lbs. and 14.5" tall
  • Toy pot bellied pigs — 35 to 40 lbs. and 14" tall
  • Royal Dandies — About 29 to 39 lbs.
  • Micro Mini Pigs — 18 to 30 lbs. and 10 to 12.5" tall
  • Dandie Extremes — About 12 to 29 lbs.
  • Mini Julianas — 15 to 28 lbs. and 8 to 12.5" tall

Other names for different sizes of pigs exist but these are the most commonly seen varieties.

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Diet

Pigs are prone to being overfed. Overeating has made many full-grown potbellied pigs (of all sizes) fat. Although pig weight varies, there are certain telltale symptoms that your pig is overweight. If your pig's eyes are covered by a fat roll, he is overweight. Based on his height and bodily health, your veterinarian will assist you in determining the optimal weight for your pig.

Piglets can be given ordinary pot bellied pig chow starting at 3 weeks of age (but you shouldn't have a piglet until they are at least 6 weeks old). 2 cups pig chow is a reasonable beginning point, however you should alter it if your pig is overweight or underweight. The majority of individuals suggest free eating throughout the day, although some people still prefer two meals every day.

Vegetables can make up 25% of your pig's total diet (limit starchy veggies), and fruit should be provided in very limited amounts because to its high natural sugar content. Use the following basic feeding guidelines for your adult potbellied pig:

  • High quality, low protein, low fat, high fiber pot bellied pig pellets — roughly 1/2 cup per 25 lbs. daily (but most adult pigs eat about 2 cups a day)
  • Fresh, non-starchy vegetables (such as cucumbers, peppers, and carrots) to make up 25% of the total daily diet
  • 1 children's chewable multi-vitamin daily
  • Allow rooting in untreated soil for necessary iron and selenium (or supplement if your area is deficient — consult a vet first)
  • Alfalfa hay or bran can be added to the diet to increase fiber if necessary

Remember not to overfeed, avoid chocolate and salty foods, avoid fatty foods (especially animal fats), avoid feeding dog or cat food, don't give your pig food straight from the fridge (they'll figure out how to open it), and make them work for their food by putting it in a ball or pan with dirt to root in.

Basic Care

  • Pot bellied pigs are usually kept indoors but they do need time to run around outside and root in the unfertilized dirt. This will help them get the necessary exercise, nutrients from the soil that they need, and prevent constipation from not moving around enough.
  • They only sweat through their snout so your pig's nose may be wet if he is hot.
  • If your pig stops eating take him to the vet as this is never normal.
  • While living indoors, provide your pig with a space of their own and pig proof your house as you would for a toddler. A tent or sleeping box are popular options for indoor pig owners.
  • You can easily potty train your pig to use or go outside like you would a dog but do not use treats as a reward. Praise is all your pig needs for a potty time.
  • Provide your pig with an indoor rooting box with large river pebbles and a treat to make him move the rocks around and find the treat.
  • All by your exotics vet.

Pot bellied pigs are for the right person but be sure to check with your local laws prior to acquiring one.

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