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I know you are thinking a pig is a pig but a pig can be a longer pig genetically, which like a taller person can weigh more than a shorter person. Same for a piggy, a longer pig can weigh more than a shorter pig. Does the pig have extremely short legs? With shorter legs it would be easier for the pig to become lazier which in turn causes them to be less physically active in turn gaining weight. Well at Nene's Little Farm we do strive to breed our healthiest, smallest pigs with our healthiest, smallest pigs with the features people fall in love with. Adorable pug little nose, short legs and awesome temperament. Even then genetics from generations of the past kick in something totally different. Understand not in a bad way just different colors and characteristics that neither the mother nor father has. But we can approximate the weight of the piglet at maturity according to its mother and father's stature and weight and the size of past offspring they have produced.
Is your little piggy a couch potato? Or will it run with your other pets? Not to say that your piggy won't stay slim and trim while living indoors most of our piggies do live indoors with their new families. Some piggy's are renegades and love to run outdoors (in a fenced area). Honestly some pigs are naturally more active than others just like there are so many different shapes and sizes in human beings the same goes for pigs. The biggest most important factor in determining your piggy's weight (just like humans) is his or her diet. With all due respect I want you to ask yourself a question. "Do you have overweight dogs or cats?" Well the reason I am asking is because if you do you might be confusing excessive food and high calorie treats with love which is the kiss of death for piggies. Why? Because miniature piggies have very slow metabolisms, if you start to give your darling a little piece of this and that they will expect it every time. You in essence have created a monster that will constantly be at your feet when you are eating looking to get something from you. Your pig will also be overweight, over height and extremely unhealthy. This is a catch 22 situation because once the little darling puts on weight they tend not to want to be as active because it gets harder and harder to move around with that extra weight and little short legs which in turn help them gain even more weight! I guess pigs are a lot like us humans. When pigs put on weight they put on a lot of fat along there back as well which can add as much as 2-4 inches to their height.
Environmental temperature- If the temperature gets cold, it will take the pig more energy to keep its body temperature at its normal range. If piggy shivers, those are muscles contracting to create heat. Muscles that are contracting equal more energy expenditure which means piggy will need more feed to compensate. Now if we went the other way where it piggy is hot, then piggy will eat less and lay around more. In this case you will need to mist the piggy either manually or automatically and the water evaporating will cool them off.
Other foods available- I know this is an easy one. Is piggy fed other foods or allowed to graze? If so then they will eat less feed. Or should be fed less, not necessarily will they eat less because they are pigs.
Social Hierarchy- Yes believe it or not pigs have a pecking order. I told you that pigs get along well with other animals and that is the truth except for one other animal and that would be a strange pig. Pigs get along well with other pigs when they grow up together but if they don’t know each other then they have to sort things out. Unfortunately one has to bow down to the other then everything is fine with the world. But the one that is more dominant will get more of the feed.
Nursing Status- A nursing mother will produce a lot of milk. This in turn takes a whole lot of energy. A lactating mother can consume up to 4-6 times more food than normal. If a mother has an especially large litter, even at the increased amount of feed given, there will be a point where she will be eating nonstop and still not be able to produce enough milk for all her babies. This usually can occur with the larger pigs used for consumption.
Feeding amount- Are you sure you are giving piggy the correct amount of feed everyday? Are you sure? Are you following what the bag of Mazuri says to feed piggy? Are you sure? If not weigh it out one time so you can see how much it actually is with your eyes. I hope you are not giving the little monster any excessive treats or fruits. The feed is actually all piggy will ever need.
So to help with your sweet little piggy's weight and health you need to feed them food specifically made for them. We highly recommend Mazuri Mini Pig Active Adult made by Purina (Nutri Source has been discontinued by Tractor Supply). This food is low to moderate in energy( meaning lower in calories) and high in fiber to help keep them full. It is important that you pick a morning feeding time and an evening feeding time and stick with it, don't worry they will remind you. Such as 7:00am and 5:00pm with vegetables given to them during the afternoon. Vegetables such as celery, cucumbers, green peppers and lettuce. I call these free vegetables which will help keep them full but don't have a lot of calories, and try to limit the amount of fruit given to the little darling because they have too many calories and sugar that your piggy doesn't need. So as a rule of thumb feed your piggy approximately 1-3% of its bodyweight in Mazuri Mini Pig Active Adult daily. I didn't make that up it is the feeding directions printed on the bag.
So for example if your piggy currently weighs 25 pounds that would be converted to 400 ounces of total bodyweight. The proper amount to feed your piggy is 1-3% of its bodyweight in feed daily; this is according to the feeding directions on the bag. So 1% will equal 4 ounces, 2% will equal 8 ounces and 3 % will equal 12 ounces. So the proper amount to feed your darling would be 4 -12 ounces of Mazuri Mini Pig Active Adult daily split up into two different feedings. That would be 2 - 6 ounces once in the morning and 2 - 6 ounces once in the evening with vegetables in the afternoon. Please understand this is only a general guideline it also depends on the pig's age, genetic make-up, activity level and temperament. If your piggy looks like it is getting thin increase its feed, likewise if your piggy is gaining weight on this schedule, cut them back a little. Follow these recommendations to help your piggy live a long and healthy life. A couple of days after adding this page, I received an e-mail from Jamie. My answer explains a little more on how food plays a role in the final stature of a piggy.
hello, i was reading your site and you seem to be a reputable breeder/pig owner. its so hard to believe some of the things off the internet, therefore i am asking your help in answering a question or two honestly so we don't end up w/an unwanted piggie. your article said the juliana breed adult weight is approx 15-30lbs. so a 15lb adult(at it's full growth/weight)pig is possible and it is healthy. owners on the internet have said there is no such thing as an adult being that small & if there is one, its starved or malnourished. it also said breeders may breed two adult pigs that are only 2-3yrs old weighing less(due to not reaching max weight)therefore they say the adult pigs are "smaller" so therefore the piglet will be small, but in turn it's just because they haven't reached the full adult weight yet.
i know this is a lot of info i'm asking help on, but i was really interested in a micro piglet, however if it's gonna get as big as some of the "horror stories" i've heard on the internet, then i'd rather not get one and regret it later. if you would email me back i would greatly appreciate it. if you choose not too, i understand also. i just want an honest answer from a breeder who wants what's best for the piggies so it doesn't end up "unwanted." thank you and god bless.
My Answer back was;
Good morning Jamie, hope to find you doing well. Those are a bunch of great questions you are asking. Is 25-35 pounds attainable? Yes it is, not the norm but is possible. We have several different pigs that are that size. We have a piggy by the name of Major who is 3 years old and weighs 20 pounds. Remember he is not fully grown yet and understand a mini pig that weighs less then the norm at maturity will be the runt of the bunch, nothing wrong with it health-wise just the smallest one of the litter. A good range for a normal micro miniature pig would be 25-35 plus pounds, the plus is due to the different variables I discussed earlier.You said that
"breeders may breed two adult pigs that are only 2-3yrs old weighing less(due to not reaching max weight)therefore they say the adult pigs are "smaller" so therefore the piglet will be small, but in turn it's just because they haven't reached the full adult weight yet."
Micro mini pigs are considered fully grown at 3-4 years of age. Just like humans if we keep eating non stop our weight will keep increasing and our adult weight will not have been attained. No one should ever under feed an animal just to keep it small, but one must understand it is a pig. If you've ever heard the expression "boy he eats like a pig" then you must wonder how it came about. Pigs are constantly looking for food, and have a never ending appetite. Understand there is a difference between underfeeding a pig and feeding a pig the proper amount of food. Go back on my website when you have the chance and take a look at Arnold who is on my rescued page. Arnold is a micro miniature pig that lived in New York in an apartment and was fed unlimited amounts of dog food. Arnold should by all rights weigh in at a normal weight, instead he weighs approximately 120 pounds, he is 24 inches tall and 40 inches long and is a girth. Major is 12 inches in height and 24 inches long weighing in at 20 pounds. Both are micro miniature pigs, both worlds apart in size and weight. So Arnold eating dog food exclusively which is way higher in protein, higher in fat, higher in calories and lower in fiber than a pig needs in turn helped him grow larger, bigger and fatter. Same thing with humans eating the wrong diet, we will get bigger and fatter. Also know that Major was the runt of the litter fed a proper diet all his life. Mazuri Mini Pig Active Adult made by Purina is awesome and specifically made for mini pigs, its directions on feeding a mini pig is 1-3% of the pigs body weight per day. It is a moderate energy meaning not too crazy on calories and high in fiber. So 1-3% breaks down as follows:
So if a mini pig weighs 25-30 pounds that equals 400-480 ounces of body weight
1 percent is 4-4.8 ounces, 2 percent is 8-9.6 ounces and 3 percent is 12-14.4 ounces of feed per day. We stick with the average which is 2% at 8-9.6 ounces of food per day. Which comes out to be 4 - 4.8 ounces in the morning and again in the evening. Also advisable to supplement their diet with lots of free vegetables(no tomatoes) Yes the proper food and nutrition is very important to how big a pig even a mini pig will grow but no one should ever under feed an animal to keep it small. I hope this answers all your questions. If not please ask more. Thanks again Jeanie.
Hello my name is Morgan. I am doing a research paper in school and I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about your pigs.
I read something saying that a lot of 'miniature' or 'teacup' pigs are underfed to keep them small and stunt their growth but their organs continue to grow their whole life. This causes to make them live only 5 years. Have you heard anything about growth stunting or organs continuing to grow?
What is the typical lifespan of your pigs?
I saw your conversation with Jamie on your website and that does answer some of my questions. But I still don't understand how a pig who is supposed to weigh 30lbs can end up much taller and heavier even if its overfed. How do we know for sure how much these pigs are supposed to eat? Everyone keeps saying they will eat whatever and whenever they can, but won't most dogs do that too? Overweight dogs don't become taller from being overweight. You said your smallest pig is 9in tall, but your adopted pig who was fed dog food is 24in tall. I realize pigs and dogs anatomy are not the same but I am just eying to understand everything.
Most of the internets info either says mini pigs don't actually exist and these pigs are being starved to stay small and that if you buy one you are a horrible person. Or they are from breeders say ohh my precious pigs are so small and perfect and cost $1500 and so on. I am finding no facts that can be backed up on either side.
If any of this email sounds accusatory or offensive I apologize. It's not meant to be. I am just trying to find the truth. I have always been extremely interested in mini or teacup pigs. I have wanted one ever since I was little. But recently I have just found all this horrific info saying they are starved to be kept small and only live a few years and so on. I would never want to do that to an animal so if I am ever able to get one I want to know that it is capable of being happy and healthy.
Thank you in advance! There is no rush for an answer because I'm still only in the research portion of writing my paper and I am sure you are kept very busy with your adorable little piggies.
Here was my answer:
Hi Morgan and I hope to find you doing well. If you don't mind me asking how old are you? What grade are you in? This sounds like an awesome topic for a research paper, I will try and answer all your questions to the best of my abilities. First of all there are many actual breeds of miniature pigs. At our little farm we breed micro-miniature, Pinto's and Juliana's; these are 3 actual breeds of mini pigs originating from England for research purposes. We have many pigs that are in the 25-35 pound range that are fully grown and not starved. I have never heard about them staying small and that their organs continue to grow, that is a new one for me. It is true if you under feed an animal you will stunt its growth and cause it to stay smaller or due to the lack of essential nutrients the animal will fail to reach his/her genetic potential; that is a very cruel way to try and keep a piggy small. This animal will be plagued with poor health and a shorter lifespan. On the other hand if you were to offer an animal after weaning and throughout puberty a diet unlimited in protein, fat and carbohydrates, all those excessive nutrients would place its body in an optimum position for maximum growth. Meaning possibly a thicker skeletal mass, more muscle tissue and of course more adipose tissue. These nutrients will cause them to grow to their maximum potential that their genetics allows them. Just imagine if you had an appetite that was never satisfied along with an extremely slow metabolism and you were allowed unlimited amount of food? You would always be hungry and constantly eating and with a slow metabolism you would gain weight non stop, you will be a fatter piggy and also a bigger piggy. Pigs when fed excessively store a great deal of fat, besides their stomachs they store a lot on their necks and along their backs. Excessive fat along their back can be 2-4 inches thick adding to their height. On the average mini pigs live to be 10-15 years of age. A human fed a proper diet will be at a normal weight( like my small piggy) when fully grown, have you seen a 600 pound human before?(like my rescue piggy) It is not that a human will grow taller it's more like the excessive nutrients will create an optimum atmosphere for maximum growth. Dog metabolisms are on fire compared to a pig, you can give a dog human food and it won't really affect its weight due to the higher metabolism; when I say grows larger, I mean a dog or pig fed excessive amounts of food will undoubtedly grow bigger and larger then a dog or pig that has been malnourished all its life.
Go to Mazuri.com
which is owned by Purina; Purina is the largest maker of animal feed in the world. From mini pigs, elephants, bears, big cats, zebras and a lot of different exotic animals. They spend millions of dollars on research on all their products to make sure their feed provides 100% of all the nutrients, protein, fat and calories that particular animal needs. So understand feed IS Purina’s business, they are the leaders when it comes to feed.(Top Dog). All of our animals and that includes goats, a cow, dogs, cats, a rabbit and of course our Little Piggies are fed Purina products. So with that said read the directions on Mazuri Mini Pig Active Adult Diet which states depending on their activity level, temperament etc. they should be fed 1-2 percents of their body weight in feed per day each day. So a full grown miniature pig at 25 pounds weighs 400 ounces. 1-2% of feed for a 25 pound pig would come out to be 4-8 ounces by weight of feed a day. These animals due to their slow metabolisms do not require many calories a day. Pigs are pigs, CONSTANTLY looking for food. They are always looking for food and seem always hungry but require very little food to stay healthy. May be that’s why it seems like breeders are starving their pigs. There is a difference between starving a pig and feeding a pig the correct amount. 4-8 ounces does seem like someone is starving a pig, but in actuality it is the correct amount. We give our pigs a little more than recommended without weight gain and a lot of salad vegetables to help keep them happy and full. If a mommy is lactating we will depending on the mothers metabolism and litter size give them up to 4 times the amount recommended and mix this feed with Mazuri’s youth formula for extra nutrients, protein and calories. I hope I didn’t ramble on too much, I am not a scientist so understand all the information above is what we do here. If you ever have the chance and you are visiting the Central Florida area please stop by and visit. This way you can see first hand how healthy our little piggies are. Please if you have any other questions e-mail me back. I hope this helps you get an A on your paper. Thanks again and GOD BLESS Jeanie.