If you want a pet less common than your average cat or dog, you have plenty of options, from iguanas, tarantulas, martens, to any other animal that you'll manage to domesticate and to hold it in your house. But breeders are not satisfied with these existing species and they continue to experience. Thus the miniature pigs were born, known also as micro pigs or teacup pigs.
You have surely seen enough TV stars from Hollywood who appear in town with such a miniature pet. Micro pigs have become very popular among those who want to be distinguished by a special pet, recently joined in the trend. They record a huge success in the U.S., but also in Europe, especially in Germany and England.
You can easily recognize micro pigs after their miniature appearance. At birth a miniature pig is about the size of a cup of tea, for which the British have already named it "Teacup Piglet". When they reach maturity, they do not increase greatly in size, reaching up to 12-13 inches tall. There are several breeds of pigs, but they don't dramatically differ. American breeds are distinguished from European ones in that the former are somewhat bigger, the weight of an American micro pig ranging between 25 and 50 kilograms, while a European micro pig does not pass 35 kilograms at maturity. But there are also dwarf pig species that you can raise as pets such as the miniature Vietnamese pig or the Yucatan miniature pig. The species are distinguished between them by the shape of snout, some having it facing upwards, others having it smooth, by the shape of womb or through the form of their back, the latter being straight or slightly arched downwards. Also, miniature pigs can have different colors. You can opt for a pink pig, for a black, white or for a white and black spotted one.
Miniature pigs are fairly easy to raise. Given the small sizes, you won't need too much space in which to grow them. You can keep the mini pigs in the apartment or in the yard, but the latter is recommended, as these species are very dynamic. Miniature pig pets need to be active; otherwise they are prone to obesity, so if you don't have the possibility of giving your pet a space in which it can wander, then it is advisable to go out with it to a stroll more often. In terms of the space you'll offer to your micro pig, you should know that dwarf pigs do not like closed, dark spaces, and they will not ever poop in the same place where they sleep. Miniature pig pets really like to bathe, so it would be ideal if you could provide them a source of water. If they become dirty and you want to wash them yourself, you can do it only with water, without adding other special shampoos or foam, as is done with other pets.
Maintenance is not expensive for teacup pigs. They are grain-fed animals, and a 15 kg pig, for example, will not need more than 200 grams of ground grain per day. You can reward them with fruits, but not too much because remember, they are prone to obesity. It is also better not to give food scraps for the same reason. Another advantage is that the miniature pigs are a healthy breed and have no hereditary diseases.
If you want to buy a miniature pig, you have to resort to a breeder, due to the fact that this breed has not yet been included in pet shops, given its novelty and why not, its preciousness. A specimen costs around a thousand Euros, and a healthy pet, properly maintained, will live between 12 and 15 years.
Teacup pigs are ideal for people who want to stand out by displaying such an exemplar which will definitely attract strange looks and reactions and will stir up curiosity and appreciation. You just can not remain impassive at the sight of a miniature pig that walks on a leash, or is worn in some purse or pocket. For this reason, it became in no time the star of the breeders. Also, such a pet can only be cute because, even if it's full of energy, it is not very noisy. Among the Hollywood stars who have purchased a miniature pig there are included Paris Hilton, Rupert Grint, Chris Murray, David and Victoria Beckham. So if you want to be aligned with these stars and if you have the financial situation, you can buy such a micro pig that will capture everyone's attention.