Are you looking for micro pigs for sale? Looking to buy a teacup pig? Well, if you’ve been hunting for a pet pig for your home you’ll probably be confused and wondering what’s the best way to approach the buying process. If this is you then check out our ultimate pet pig buying guide
As discussed in the ‘top pet pigs breeds‘ article, there’s no defined standard of Micro Pig. The shape and size of the animal can vary, depending on whether or not it’s a coloured Micro Pig or black one. However, both type of pig share similar characteristics and these are things we need to look out for when choosing stock.
It’s worth noting that many of the points below can be used when buying a Kune Kune or a Potbellied Pig.
When it comes to owning a pet pig I would urge people to try the sanctuaries first before thinking of buying one. The sanctuaries take in thousands of pigs every year and many of them never get rehomed. Not only can you save some money, you’ll be doing a great thing and helping an animal who needs a home. Also some sanctuaries are very experienced with pet pigs so you’ll be getting a pig from an expert. For a list of sanctuaries see the end of this book.
Points to Consider
Every pig is an individual. Some are noisy, others are quiet. Some are timid, others love attention. Some can be aggressive, others are tame. Observe and examine the pig thoroughly and make sure they’re suitable for your home.
Make sure you take the following points into consideration when viewing stock:
- The golden rule when buying a pet pig is this; make sure you see the adults of any piglet you intend to buy. You need to see the piggy parents in person. Ideally, you want to see the sow with her young.
- The boar of the piglets will usually be kept separate from the mother till around the ten week mark. If the piglets you are viewing are under ten weeks old, and they are being kept separate from the rest of the herd, ask to see the breeding boar which has been used to father the piglets.
- You will often find that bad breeders will be unwilling to let you see the piglets with their mother or father. When you see the parents you need to ask yourself: do I have the correct environment and enough room to take care of a pig this size?
- Please note, photographs of the parent pigs are not evidence alone. Photos can be faked, doctored, and misused. We’ve seen photos from our website turn up on dodgy sites and in classified advertisements. This illustrates that photographs of the animal you intend to buy cannot be trusted 100% – it also highlights again the importance of seeing any pigs in person.
- Some pigs can be noisy. If you have neighbours make sure you ask them before committing to anything. You don’t want a noisy pig creating problems for you and them.
Adopting from a Sanctuary
Sanctuaries are a great option for anyone wanting a pet pig. If you choose to adopt, rather than buy, you could save yourself a lot of money. Also, you’ll be helping an animal which really needs a home – possibly one that’s been abandoned or has had a tough time.
Thousands of pigs are abandoned every year, and sanctuaries usually struggle to find enough homes to rehouse these pigs. Some of them will never be rehomed due to health or behavioural problems. However, this doesn’t stop the sanctuaries taking care of these animals and providing them with a good home.
So, why not help the sanctuaries out and save yourself a bit of cash? Adopting a pig from a sanctuary has many advantages, some of them are:
- Most sanctuaries know their animals well; they’ll be able to fit the personality of the pig to the owner.
- Some sanctuaries are experts in swine care; they’ll be able to show you how to take care of the animal properly.
- Most sanctuaries verify new owners before allowing them to take home an animal. This ensures that owner is capable (and has the means) to take care of the pig properly.
- Some of the big sanctuaries routinely castrate and spay all their pigs. This will save you a lot of money and will also make the pig significantly easier to keep.
The chances are you’ll probably end up with an adult pig. This is because most pigs are abandoned due to them becoming too big for the owners and their homes. Adopting an adult pig has many advantages: firstly, the pig will be fully grown and secondly, the pig will have matured and passed adolescence. Taking care of a fully grown pig means there won’t be any hidden surprises regarding size. Also, pigs that are slightly older can be more relaxed and easier to keep.
Being Offered a Pig
Sometimes people are offered a pig for free. Again, this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Over the years I’ve been contacted by various people who’ve been in this position. They’ve been given a pig only to have unexpected problems (and vet bills) later down the line. You need to make sure you ask the right questions before you take on this responsibility.
Below are just a few of the questions you need to answer before committing to anything:
- Do I have enough room for this pig?
- How big will this pig grow and how old is it (bear in mind that pigs are not fully grown until 3-5 years of age)?
- Is the pig part of a pair or more? Do I have room for more than one animal?
- Is the pig healthy?
- Does the pig look fat or underweight?
- Does the pig have any behavioural problems? Will it be safe around my family?
- What’s the pig’s medical history? Is there one?
- What breed is the pig?
- Is the pig noisy? Will my neighbours be happy about the noise?
- Is the pig being fed the correct diet?
- Where is the pig being kept now?
- What conditions is it being kept in?
- Is the pig they intact? (un-castrated/un-spayed)?
- If the pig is female, is she pregnant? (You need to be 100% sure of this).
- How old is the pig?
- Does the owner have an honest reason for giving the pig away?
- Do I have the finances to take on the pig, especially if it needs regular treatments by a vet?
There’s nothing wrong with taking on a free animal – you might be doing someone a favour whilst saving a bit of cash. But don’t rush in; make sure you do your homework, and examine every animal thoroughly.
A good vet who’s knowledgeable about pigs can really help in these situations. The vet may cost, but they’ll be able to spot problems you can’t. It could save you a lot of stress, and money, in the future if they happen to find something serious before you take on an unknown pig.
Use the information in the rest of this book to answer the above questions before committing to anything. Make sure you are as well prepared as possible.
Taking on a pig (or pigs) in need of a new home is a good thing – however, the above points just go to show that it’s not a decision to be rushed.
Finding a Good Pet Pig Breeder
Just as in life, there are good and bad people in the pig breeding industry. But how do you sort the good breeders from the bad ones. This chapter covers the things you need to look out for when choosing a breeder.
Finding a breeder who’s been established for a few years is a great first step. The longer they’ve kept pigs the better. If they have been breeding for a few years they might have previous customers who could testify how good their pigs are.
The best way to find a good breeder is to do your research: ask around, look on the Internet, or ask someone who already owns a pet pig if they can recommend anyone. Or even ask a vet.
A good breeder should encourage viewings of their herd, not just the parents. You should always view a pig’s parents; this will help you to gauge the adult size of your future pet. It’ll also allow you to interact with parents and you’ll be better able to judge their temperament.
A good breeder will be happy to answer any questions you have. They should be knowledgeable about the breed they keep and have confidence in what they do. Make sure you ask plenty of questions. Breeders who shy away from your questions, or provide bad or vague answers, should be avoided.
A good breeder will work with a veterinarian. Any decent breeder will need a veterinarian to maintain the health and welfare of their herd. Vets are needed to perform many tasks on pet pigs, including: castration, spaying, administration of drugs, check-ups, and diagnoses. Ask the breeder about their vet and how he helps?
When viewing pigs make sure you pay close attention to the condition of the animals; do any of the herd look sick, injured, lethargic, lame or thin? Where are the pigs kept and does this area look clean? Are the pigs well kept? Do they have a good temperament? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself.
When looking at piglets you need to take the whole litter into consideration, not just the ones that you like. Observe the condition of the piglets as a whole. Do all the piglets look healthy and full of energy? Do they look clean and well fed? Are the piglets properly socialised? Find out when weaning will be finished?
A good breeder should provide after sales support. You should be able to call them in times of crisis, and they should be there to advise should problems arise. If this is your first pig then this level of support is invaluable.
A good breeder should provide some (or all) of the following: care guides, feeding instructions, size guarantees and a vaccination schedule. If you’re buying a Kune Kune or Potbellied pig, your breeder might be able to provide you with a genetic history and pedigree record.
A good breeder should ask you as many questions as you ask them – they’ll want their pigs to go to a suitable home. They should be asking questions about your set-up and how you’re planning to keep your pigs. Be concerned if the breeder doesn’t take an interest in you or they don’t ask you much?
Here a few questions we used to ask our customers:
- Have you seen these type of pigs before?
- Are you aware of how big they grow?
- Where are you planning to keep your pig?
- How much room will the animal have?
- How are you planning to stop your pet from becoming bored?
- What are you planning to feed your pet?
- Have you visited other breeders? If so, what have they told you about the breed?
The above are just an example of some of the questions a decent breeder will ask you.
Too Good To Be True?
Just remember that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Good quality pigs cost money. When you take into account feeding, housing, vet bills, stud fees, advertising, etc., the costs quickly mount up. Quality animals are more expensive to buy, as you are paying for the time and care that has gone into the breed – pigs are no different. If you see offers for pigs that are ridiculously cheap then you should be suspicious. If the seller is claiming that their bargain piglets will end up being the size of cat, or something similar, you should be really suspicious.
If you like a particular breeder and they have no piglets for sale, ask them if they have a waiting list. Sometimes it’s worth waiting for good stock to become available, rather than rushing and buying the first pigs you come across.
Make sure you buy the best quality pig you can afford. Your pig may live to be anything up to twenty years old, so try to buy the best genes and healthiest pig possible. You may regret the decision later it if you don’t.
When dealing with Micro Pigs it might be worth paying a veterinarian, or asking an experienced pig keeper, to take a look at the piglets you intend to buy. This might cost, but, it may prevent from you from buying counterfeit pigs. Unless you’re experienced with pigs it can be hard to determine whether the piglets you’re looking at are genuine Micro Pigs or not. Get an expert to view them if you have any doubts.
Be careful when buy from classified ads or notice boards. These are the favourite haunts of the bad and rogue breeders. These breeders set up shop overnight, sell their bad pigs, and then disappear. When things go wrong for the unlucky owner, or the piglets grow into huge pigs, these bad breeders are often nowhere to be seen.
Be careful if a breeder is only willing to drop a piglet off at your property or home, and not let you view the piglet at their farm or premises. If a breeder makes an offer like this, and they’re unwilling to let you see their herd or the parent pigs, then take your business elsewhere. This seems to be a common way people are scammed into buying a counterfeit pig.