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!|