Not-so teacup pig

Samantha Ghali

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Not-so teacup pig

My potbelly pig, Otis.

My potbelly pig, Otis.

My potbelly pig, Otis.

My potbelly pig, Otis.

Samantha Ghali, Staff Writer

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“I want a pig that is going to stay small. They are so cute. They don’t grow more than 15 pounds. I saw it on the internet.”

You might hear people talk about these “teacup pigs” and how they want one because they stay small. The internet shows photos of small pigs in cute teacups and pumpkins and claim they will not get any larger than 15 pounds. I’m hear to tell you that this is not realistic or factual and “teacup pigs” do not exist, I repeat they do NOT exist. If a pig is over 2 months old and still weighs only 15 pounds, then the pig is being starved. A 2015 CBS News article found that some farmers that sell these “teacup pigs” won’t feed them as much as they are supposed to so they stay a small size, but their organs continue to grow. The devastating truth is that their organs get too big for their tiny bodies and these small pigs die after a year or so.

Some websites show photos of pigs when they are about a week or two weeks old and tell you they are going to stay this small forever. That would be like if I showed you a photo of a 1 month old baby and told you that they would stay that small forever. This obviously isn’t the case and the same goes for “teacup pigs.” The correct term for a “teacup pig” is a “pot-bellied pig”. These pigs are at the smaller end of the ‘pig scale’ averaging a weight of 120 pounds compared to the usual farm pig averaging a weight of 800 pounds. The thing that keeps happening is families buy these “teacup pigs” and then realize that they are getting too big when they thought they were going to be only 15 pounds and unfortunately, they end up giving them to either a rescue shelter or even worse, abandoning them. In the CBS News article, Anna Key, vice president of the North American Potbellied Pig Association, estimated that 90% of pigs adopted in the U.S. are later taken to a rescue or sanctuary.

I can relate to this personally because I own a potbelly pig. I found a woman on Craigslist who was selling “miniature pigs” and I went to take a look at him. She told me he wouldn’t weigh more than 30 pounds in his lifetime. I knew this was a lie. Fortunately, I have been obsessed with pigs since I was young and knew that these “teacup and miniature pigs” did not exist. I have had my potbelly pig for a year and a half now and he is about 100 pounds and I love every pound of him. The moral of this story is, unless you plan on housing a 120 pound pig in your home (or in your backyard) please do not fall for the “teacup pig” scams that some farmers and companies are trying to push.