All information given is to be taken as a guide only. The Little Pig Pen does not accept liability for any actions taken by any persons on reliance of its content.
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.
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.
- 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 carcasses are also at risk of contracting anthrax, which is contagious to humans)
- Excreta (feces) 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!
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 into. 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.
Miniature pigs are very social and quickly become attached to most other pets and animals. Our pigs have always gotten along with every animal they have encountered; horses, calves, lambs, chickens and even our toy poodle. Occasionally a piglet and another pet may clash, but for the most part, they will love everyone, two legs and four.
Our 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.
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.
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.
We personally don’t have nose rings in any of our own breeding pigs; however, our pigs don’t have access to the garden.
When a miniature pig is moving dirt with their snout, they are not digging in the way a dog does. They are using their snout to look for grubs and plant roots, and other tasty things in the soil.
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, take their boredom out on your garden, and become overweight if they do not get enough exercise. A miniature pig cannot live in a unit or apartment.
In our 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 we have found through our 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.
Miniature pigs will take a bite into most plants and weeds without thinking much about whether it’s poisonous or not. The following plants are all poisonous to pigs and, if ingested, can be fatal:
Pigweed, Fiddleneck, Cabbage, Turnips, Broccoli, Mustard, Rape, Lambs Quarters, Irises, Golden Chain, Lamurnum, Tabacco, Tree Tobacco, Pokeweed, Mayapple, Mandrake, Wild Cherries, Black Cherry, Bitter Cherry, Choke Cherry, Pin Cherry, Bracken Fern, Rhubarb and Cocklebur.
We 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.
All of our breeding stock and our piglets are vaccinated with the PLEvac vaccine. This vaccinates for Parvovirus, Leptospirosis and Erysipelas.
One of the primary diseases pig owners should be vaccinating their pigs against is Leptospirosis. Lepto is zoonotic, meaning humans can pick up the bacteria from contact with the urine of an infected pig. In some cases, a swine’s leptospirosis infection is asymptomatic. When symptoms 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 vaccinate 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 six 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 the ECOvac E.coli vaccine for pigs. Pregnant sows are vaccinated with ECOvac to protect neonatal piglets against E. coli scours.