Friday, 5 December 2014

MICRO PIGS DO NOT EXIST

Posted by Rosie

MICRO PIGS DO NOT EXIST


Sorry if I shouted that but it is something that needs to be shouted until everyone understands it is true.

There is a video going round Facebook at the moment with some tiny piglets being played with in a house somewhere.  Under it is the comment "I officially want a pig.", followed by a lot more comments.  These comments range from the "Aww so cute, I want a Micro Pig," ones to the more cross ones saying "Pigs should not be played with like toys." In between are a good few saying nobody knows why these piglets are being played with and we should not get cross with some unknown person for posting a 30 second video of playing piglets.

Well suffice it to say, I belong firmly in the "piglets should not be being played with like toys" with camp and this is why.

There are in fact two issues that get my back up here - one of actual mistreatment of animals and one of using the internet to further publicise something that does not exist for financial gain.

Mistreatment first.  The piglets in this video are young.  VERY young, probably no more than a day old as they are not walking properly and one still has it's umbilical cord attached.  These piglets should be with their siblings (if there are any) and with Mum, bonding with her and getting the colostrum that will help protect them from future infections. Instead they are being played with in a house and she is nowhere to be seen.  This is blatant mistreatment and the sow may well be very distraught being separated from them or worse still could reject them when they are returned to her.  OK, so it is possible that Mum died whilst farrowing (giving birth) but in that case the piglets should all be together in a suitable barn, being bottle fed and looked after in the manner befitting a farm animal, not played with like toys.

Which brings me to the second point of misinformation.  For several years now some breeders having been mating small pig breeds in an attempt to try and breed increasingly small piglets which they then sell as so called Micro Pigs (sometimes also called teacup pigs) with a very high price tag attached.  A quick search on Google revealed several adverts for micro pigs with price tags from £120-£550, all stating they would make good pets.  Now in my book a pet does rather imply animal that shares your house and I can assure you it is very rare that a pig settles well into a house environment.  OK so have them in the garden which will be fine if you want your garden completely trashed and in all likelihood your pigs escaping.  Whilst one site I found did mention the CPH number you will need to get from Defra in order to legally own a pig in the UK others did not.  One also suggested that pigs should be sold in pairs (at the "reduced" price of £1000 for 2) as they are sociable but did not insist upon it.  Ah and many "guaranteed" that your pigs would stay small, no more than 14" high was one claim.  Hmmmm.  Sadly I am aware of countless stories of people buying so called micro pigs that then grow, and grow and well .... grow!  And to be honest, even if a pig stays at the 14" height they can be quite capable of throwing their weight around and having you over.  Think of an animal the size of a medium dog but 2-3 times as strong. 

Micro Pigs are not a recognised breed and reading the websites I have found where they are for sale there is a lot of both conflicting and misleading information out there.  But let me summarise it as this ... 
Pigs of any sort do not make excellent pets, they should never live alone and there is no guarantee that they will stay the small size as advertised. 

Returning then to the video.  The person who took it may not be a breeder of micro pigs, I don't know.  However the way they are treating these newborn animals is more than wrong, it is cruel and people need to be aware of this fact.  This type of video with images of cute, young and very small piglets also serves to further add credence to they myth that micro pigs exist and they make great pets where in fact this is just not true.

As you may know we keep and breed pigs for meat.  They are a small breed called Kune Kune but by small that still means our boar weights well over 120 kgs and even our smallest pig, the knee high Peardrop has had me flat on my back in the mud whilst pushing to get to her food.  Our piglets which were born less than a fortnight ago are already out and about, hurtling round their pig pens like mad things.  If you can catch them some quite like a cuddle but others definitely do not and squeal and wriggle furiously until you put them down.  As for their future, some will be sold on for people to grow them on before slaughering them and we will keep the rest for the same reason.  Of our other pigs, Charlotte, our naughtiest one, may break out again and find her way into the house but she will not be welcome (click here and scroll down to see what a pig looks like in your front room) and Peardrop may well have me over in the mud again.  

Pigs are great fun to have on a smallholding but they are not house pets and they are not micro pigs.  They do not exist!

Small but NOT micro piglets!

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20 comments :

  1. Interesting post. Must admit I thought they were a breed. People really need to look into their pets properly

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    1. No, they are a cross usually of Kune Kune and Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs where the smallest pig in the litter, the runt, is bred with a small male to try and reduce the size of the resulting piglets. The breeders of these small pigs have worked hard on their marketing but no breed of Micro Pig exists and the genetics of the resulting piglets will in no way ensure that they stay small in adulthood.

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  2. It's sad that some people believe the hype and choose a pig as a family pet and even more irresponsible that they are being advertised in this way. I have a friend with Kune Kune pigs but she has a smallholding too - they are most definitely not house pets! #pocolo

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    1. Kune Kunes are great on a smallholding (they are the breed we have) but no way would I want one in the house. Finding Charlotte in the kitchen once was shock enough!

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  3. Oh, well said that woman! I have had a baby pig in the house, but that was because it's mother was unable to feed it and it went outside when it started taking it's playpen for a walk round the room! Jane x

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  4. I wish that the people who watch that video would red this. I agree with the mistreatment. And in the video they are hiding in the cute curtain when really its not. #pocolo

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    1. Exactly. The video has been shared thousands of times and most of the comments are of the "Oh how cute, I really want as micro pig" variety. Yet if you do a bit of searching on the Internet you'll soon come across many stories of mistreated and abandoned so-called Micro Pigs whose owners could not cope when their little piglet grew to it's full potential.

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  5. This is such an interesting read. I have to say that I am one of those people - and you might find me odd for saying this - who believes that houses are for people and not animals! I find it odd enough living with a cat (yep, maybe I'm the one who is odd) and I believe that what these people are doing is nothing more than animal cruelty. So sad. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo :) x

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    1. Thank you Victoria and no, I don't think you are odd not believing animals should be in the house, you simply have a very different attitude to other people. You certainly understand how wrong it is to have a pig as a house pet and I wish so many more people would.

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  6. I've never seen the video and frankly, don't really ant to see it either. I agree with you %100. Pigs are pigs and are not meant to be played with like toys. As for breeders who are trying to breed small pigs as pets, that's just wrong, at least that's my opinion. #animaltales.

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  7. I haven't seen this video either and it strikes me as madness. Why would anyone ever think it could be a good idea to have an indoor pig as a pet? The world has gone mad. Keep telling it like it is Rosie!

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  8. Lucas & Grace say - The Mothers made sure we read this post and we learnt so much. We've always liked pigs and thought that they would make a great pet, especially the tiny ones. We're so glad that we read this. #animaltales
    The Mothers say - A great post which everyone who has designs to own this type of animal should read :)

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    1. Thank you. If only more people realised the truth.

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  9. A great post. So informative and I certainly learnt a lot. I always assumed that micro pigs were a recognised breed and would make a good pet. So pleased I read this :) #animaltales

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  10. I always have had a bit of a soft spot for pigs, they are very cute! If I had land I would love to have some pigs, but I wouldn't want them in my house as pets.
    I'm not sure if you have seen the show about honey boo boo, but she got a pet pig in the show and dressed it up with tiaras and pink stuff. I think both the show and the channel had a responsibility to make it clear that pigs should not be kept as pets, but I don't think they did.

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    1. Never heard of Honey Boo Boo but it is shows like that which only serve to further the myth that Micro pigs exist. I even wrote to Blue Peter once when they featured them but got a very lame response back. Not happy.

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  11. I'm sharing this as so many people still don't understand this. A lady near my parents jumped on this particular breeding bandwagon a few years ago but has since taken her business in a new direction thankfully!

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    1. Glad she stopped. It is just so irresponsible and people just do it for the money.

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