With the current climate of media attention and ever growing popularity for pet pigs advertised as mini, micro, miniature and teacup pigs, the BKKPS committee has prepared this statement to clear up confusion and help educate prospective pig owners in their search for pet pigs.
As a society we are regularly contacted by people who have bought a 'tiny' pig, that has grown to an unexpected size.
There is no breed of pig called the mini, micro, miniature or teacup pig.
These words can conjure an incorrect image in the minds of those who are not familiar with the sizes of pig breeds.
The smallest breed of domesticated pig in the world is the Kunekune. However, it is not the size of the kunekune breed that makes it most suitable as a pet - it is the personality, temperament and ease of management honed over hundreds of years and countless generations.
There are varying sizes of Kunekune across the breed and indeed at times one sees very large Kunes as well as some slightly smaller ones. The breed standard states that Kunekunes should measure between 24 and 30” at the shoulder at full grown. Full grown height is not usually reached until the pig is at least two years of age.
Kunekune piglets are very tiny at birth and are still very tiny when weaned and this may be misleading to a novice pig keeper. The ‘runt’ or the tiny pig of the litter who does not do as well as the others will eventually reach the same size as his siblings, albeit, he may take longer to reach that size. Similarly mating 2 runts together may result in smaller piglets at birth, but these piglets are just as likely to grow to their full genetic potential as others.
Pigs that are the result of cross-breeding programmes have not been classed as a breed as they do not have a documented lineage controlling the pedigree bloodline. As a result of this genetic make up, pigs bred in this way will not breed ‘true’ to a type and therefore cannot be guaranteed to grow to, or stay at a particular size or type. Any individual pig may contain stronger physical and behavioural characteristics from their mixed heritage resulting in unexpected characteristics or growth patterns that may not be exhibited at birth.
We as a society, do not agree with keeping pigs as house pets, as it clearly states in the guide to keeping Kunekunes on this website that a minimum of half an acre of grazing is required for two pigs and that pigs should be kept in groups of two or more as they are a herd animal.
If you are searching for a pet pig a responsible breeder will always be happy to show you all their stock and answer questions before taking deposits. Do not assume that a pig photographed at just a few days old will remain small after two or three years.
Use common sense, ask questions, ask for details of other pigs sold by the breeder in order that you may see the ‘finished product’, and above all, consider the long term commitment and responsibility of owning pigs.