Am I allowed to have a miniature pig where I live?

You need to check with your local council to see if you are permitted to keep a miniature pig where you live. Miniature pigs are classified as livestock and unfortunately even if you live on acreage, your council may not allow you to house a miniature pig.

What do you feed a miniature pig?

Miniature pigs should be on a routine diet of crushed mixed grains like wheat, barley, corn and peas. The grain should be around 12% protein. Along with a staple diet of grain, a miniature pig should also be fed a mixture of fruit and vegetables and plenty of water.

What can’t you feed a miniature pig (or any pig)?

  • Any meat product including pies, sausage rolls, bacon and cheese rolls, pizza, deli meats, table scraps, etc.
  • Any carcass or part of a carcass of any mammal including meat, bones, blood, offal and hide (pigs that feed on carcases are also at risk of contracting anthrax, which is contagious to humans).
  • Excreta (faeces) of any mammal
  • Household, commercial or industrial waste, including restaurant waste and discarded cooking oils.
  • Anything that has been in contact with prohibited substances via collection, storage or transport in contaminated containers (such as meat trays and take-away food containers).

These restrictions apply to all pigs, including pet pigs. Pigs also should not be fed onions, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine or urea. Miniature pigs should not be fed Pig Grower Pellets as they are too high in protein and can contain growth hormones. If you aren’t sure, don’t feed it to them!

Where does a miniature pig sleep?

If a miniature pig is going to be sleeping outside, a kennel for them to sleep in is fine. The kennel should not be raised off the ground, as miniature pigs only have short little legs and like to feel stable. The kennel should be lined with a soft cushion or dog bed, and blankets or straw for the pig to snuggle in to. Any type of shed or shelter is suitable for a miniature pig to sleep in, so long as they are sheltered from the wind and rain, and there is plenty of bedding to keep them warm. If the miniature pig is going to be sleeping inside, most dog beds are suitable for them to sleep on. Select a dog bed that is level with the ground and has solid walls so the pig can’t roll out. Provide plenty of padding and warmth with nice soft cushions and blankets. Miniature pigs also love to sleep on their owner’s laps.

Do miniature pigs get along with other animals and pets?

Miniature pigs are very social and quickly become attached to most other pets and animals. My pigs have always gotten along with every animal they have encountered; horses, calves, lambs, chickens and even my toy poodle. Occasionally a piglet and another pet may clash, but for the most part, they will love everyone, two legs and four.

How big do miniature pigs grow?

My miniature pigs grow to be around the size of a solid Blue Heeler. They will grow to 45-60cm tall and weigh 40-70kg if they are not overfed.

How long does a miniature pig live?

A miniature pig will live between 12-15 years. For this reason, a miniature pig is a pet for the long term, and you should consider whether you can make this long-term commitment.

Do miniature pigs need to have a nose ring?

It is a personal choice whether you choose to put a nose ring in your miniature pig. Miniature pigs like to snuffle around the dirt for grubs, so if you have a manicured garden that your pig will have access to, you could consider having a nose ring for your pig to protect your garden and plants. I personally don’t have nose rings in any of my own breeding pigs, however my pigs don’t have access to my garden.

Do miniature pigs dig?

When a miniature pig is moving dirt with their snout they are not digging in the way that a dog does. They are using their snout to look for grubs and plant roots and other tasty things in the soil.

How much room do you need to keep a miniature pig?

A miniature pig will be happiest in a nice paddock of one acre or more. A large backyard can be ok for a miniature pig, provided that the person or family have a suitable lifestyle that will allow them time to take the pig for daily walks. If a miniature pig is confined to a small area they can get bored and take their boredom out on your garden, and become overweight if they are not getting enough exercise. A miniature pig cannot live in a unit or apartment.

At what age is a miniature pig fully grown?

In my opinion, miniature pigs are close to their mature height by two years old, however they will continue to fill out up until the age of four. Some breeders will tell you a miniature pig is fully grown at one year old but this is not true. If a miniature pig is 40cm tall when it is one year old, it will most likely grow to be 50cm tall when it is fully grown. This is what I have found through my experience. You should always ask for the height and age, as well as a photo of the parents of any piglet you are looking at buying.

What plants and weeds are poisonous to miniature pigs?

Miniature pigs will take a bite into most plants and weeds without thinking much about whether its poisonous or not. Pigweed, Fiddleneck, Cabbage, Turnips, Broccoli, Mustard, Rape, Lambs Quarters, Irses, Golden Chain, Lamurnum, Tabacco, Tree Tobacco, Pokeweed, Mayapple, Mandrake, Wild Cherries, Black Cherry, Bitter Cherry, Choke Cherry, Pin Cherry, Bracken Fern, Rhubarb and Cocklebur are all poisonous to pigs and if ingested can be fatal.

What makes a better pet, a male or female miniature pig?

I don’t believe one sex of miniature pig makes a better pet than the other, if they are de-sexed. It can all just come down to whether you are a girl pet person or a boy pet person.

What do we vaccinate our pigs with and what is it vaccinating them against?

All of our breeding stock and our piglets are vaccinated with PLEvac vaccine. This vaccinates for Parvovirus, Leptospirosis and Erysipelas.

One of the main diseases pig owners should be vaccinating their pigs against is Leptospirosis as  Lepto is zoonotic, meaning humans can pick up the bacteria from contact with the urine of an infected pig. In some cases, a swines leptospirosis infection is asymptomatic. When symptoms do occur they can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, depression, and blood in the urine.

The other disease our vet recommends pet pig owners vaccinating for is Erysipelas. Swine erysipelas is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae seen mainly in growing pigs and characterised clinically by sudden death, fever, diamond-shaped skin lesions and arthritis. The fever can induce abortion in pregnant gilts and sows.

PLEvac does cover both of these which we vaccinate all of our piglets with at 6 weeks of age before they leave our farm to go to their new homes. Our vet recommends that piglets be given a booster of the PLEvac vaccine approximately 4-6 weeks after their initial vaccination.

We also vaccinate all of our breeding stock with ECOvac E.coli vaccine for pigs. Pregnant sows are vaccinated with ECOvac to protect neonatal piglets against E. coli scours.

All information given is to be taken as a guide only. The Little Pig Pen does not except liability for any actions taken by any persons on reliance of its content.