Pigs have become very popular pets, however, they are not for everyone. When I adopted my first pig, Biscuit, I was told he was a Juliana Mini Pig and that he was 8 weeks old. Knowing very little about mini pigs at the time, I believed what I was told. He had spots and he was very small, so I thought he fit the description I read online. However, as the month's passed, Biscuit was growing very large. I wondered if I was feeding him too much. The Vet informed me that he was in fact not a Juliana mini pig, but most likely was a mix between a mini pig and a meat hog. He was also not 8 weeks when I brought him home, but most likely 4 or 5 weeks of age. Which is way too young for a piglet to be taken from his mom. Unfortunately, this is far too common and breeders sell off the piglets before they get too big so that they will pass as tea cup (smaller) pigs. Biscuit is now well over 250 pounds, any pig that weighs under 350 pounds is considered a "miniature pig". Many pig owners keep their pigs in the house and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that as they are very clean animals and are easily potty trained to go outside. However, I really can't imagine Biscuit in the house at his size. Fortunately, we have the land and the facilities here at Saint Francis Farm to care for Biscuit properly and he is very happy and comfortable living in the Pig Pavilion. Many pigs are ending up in rescue shelters after being neglected, abandoned, or abused. Educating people is one of our primary goals here at Saint Francis Animal Sanctuary to reduce the number of unwanted pets. If you are considering keeping a pig as a pet it's important to do your research and understand what you are signing up for. First and foremost, owning any animal is a commitment for the life of that animal. Piglets are adorably irresistible, and social media is flooded with pictures of cute piglets. Pigs do not reach their full size until they're 3 years of age. If you are considering a pig as a pet, make sure that you see both the boar (male pig) and the sow (female pig) if you are buying the pig from a breeder. This way you will know for sure how large your pig will get. It is also important to verify that it is okay for you to own a pig in your community. Many times people bring pigs home, and then find out that pigs are not allowed.. Trust me, you will not be able to hide your pig. Even if he or she is on the smaller side of a "miniature pig", their squeals can be heard for miles. I often hear that if you're careful about how much you feed your pig, they will stay small. While it's true that you can easily over feed a pig, starving them to keep them smaller than they should be naturally is not humane and can cause health issues. The best approach before bringing home a pig, is to do your research. If you have the space, time, and patience, pigs do make wonderful pets. Also, consider adopting an adult pig from a shelter. There are so many sweet adult pigs that need a loving home.
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