When selecting a pet pig for
you or your family, there are a few important things to consider.
First off, whether you will
go to a breeder or adopt from a rescue.
There are many wonderful pigs
in sanctuaries and foster homes that need a good forever home. Most of these pigs have come from abuse, neglect, or abandonment
situations. This is a large variety of these pigs in every age and color, and sex.
The good thing about adopting
from a sanctuary or foster home, is that you know the pig is in good health, is a true potbellied pig, has been spayed or
neutered, and you will be given care instructions, and a support system should you have any questions about the pig or
it's care. You always have help available when you need it.
On the other hand, purchasing
a piglet from a backyard breeder is a very risky venture. We have rescued many pigs that came from those types of places.
Some were abandoned because the owners found out that they were not true potbellied pigs, but were rather mixed with domestic
farm hog, and they got very large and hard to handle. Also many of these pigs are inbred with mothers, fathers, or siblings
and have a whole host of genetic problems and birth defects, which causes a whole host of medical problems, that can be very
costly when you receive veterinary care, and more importantly causes the pig to suffer and have a shorter lifespan. Basically
when you purchase a piglet from a backyard breeder, you are getting a piglet that is barely weaned, or not even weaned, and
it has had no vaccinations or health checks, has a uncertain genetic makeup as to whether it comes from inbreeding, and may
have serious birth defects that may not show up until the pig is older.
Weaning is another very important
issue to consider. Many breeders sell their piglets before they are old enough to be weaned off mother’s milk. A piglet
should stay on it's mother's milk until it is at least 6-8 weeks of age. Mother’s milk provides very essential things
that are important to a piglet's immune system, development, overall good health, and emotional well-being.
Many people turn to breeders
because they want a very young piglet. Young piglets are very cute, but if they are taken away from their mothers too
early, can be a nightmare to whom ever buys them when they present with illnesses like pig scours, mange, diarrhea, and a
host of other young pig related illnesses. Sadly, many new pig parents learn this the hard way, and many loose their piglets
when they die from these preventable illnesses.
So, if you aren't sure, take
your time and do plenty of research before you consider purchasing a young piglet from a backyard breeder.
At least if you adopt from a
sanctuary or foster home, you know you are getting a pig that is free from disease and illness, is a true potbellied pig,
not a mix, and has been spayed or neutered.
You also get a great support system to help you with any pig
issues you may have from care to behavior issues.
Whether you adopt a boy or girl, remember that a pig can live 16-18 years, and you are making a lifetime commitment
to care for and love, whichever pig you choose.