Teacup Pigs Do NOT Exist

A lot of good work has been done by various organisations to debunk teacup pig myths. Sadly though, a shocking number of our cases still come from people who were falsely sold a pig with promises that it would remain small and cute forever. We firmly believe that all pigs remain absolutely adorable for their entire lives, but we certainly can’t say they stay small. Even the smallest breeds will usually get to be the height of a Labrador and often twice as wide. The simple fact is that teacup pigs do not exist.

These pigs would be considered ‘Miniature’ or ‘Micro’
Kunekunes living the good pig life

Size isn’t the only thing that matters!

Maybe Labrador-sized doesn’t sound too bad, after all, dogs live in people’s houses all the time! Remember thousands of years of selective breeding has gone into making dogs our domestic companions. Up until very recently pigs were bred exclusively as livestock. All pig breeds retain the behavioural traits from this breeding history. They require an environment that enables them to exhibit and explore these behaviours. You may chose to have them come into your house sometimes, but they need daily access to suitable outdoor areas to live fulfilled lives.

While some organisations do recognise “micro” or “miniature” pigs as general descriptive terms, neither of these are an actual breed of pig. They usually refer to smaller breeds such as a Kunekune, or Vietnamese Pot-belly, or cross-breeds of several generations of smaller pigs. There is no way for anyone to guarantee what size a pig will be when it grows up.

We do have some smaller breed pigs available for adoption. Most of them are fully grown so there will be no surprises in a year’s time! Please check out the information here if you are interested in adopting.

So-called Teacup pigs are unethical

If you do get a pig which remains smaller than the average size for its breed there is a good chance it will encounter a lot of health issues throughout its life, as it is likely the result of unethical and inhumane inbreeding practices. Pigs that seem very small for their age have often been underfed which causes stunted skeletal growth and a host of other health problems.

The lack of ethics of many “teacup/micro/mini” pig breeders does not end at their treatment of the pigs. They will mislead you and charge you hundreds of pounds in the process. Pigs can have babies from an early age. Unethical breeders will often breed from pigs before they are fully grown. They can then show the parent pig without mentioning that they and their piglets will become larger in time. The ‘parent pig’ they show you to demonstrate what size their babies will be may not even be the actual parent. They could be another, slightly older, piglet sibling, or a completely unrelated pig who happens to be smaller member of its breed that they keep around to mislead hapless piglet purchasers.

The teacup pig trade can be harmful the pigs used for breeding
One of our rescues
A very underweight mother used for breeding for many years

On top of this, due to the unethical breeding and treatment that is usually involved in producing these pigs, they are often plagued with health issues which will cost you a small fortune in vets bills.

The consequences

You might notice that many of our cases are pigs between one to two years of age. This is the age at which pigs become fully grown and their owners realise they can’t take care of them. Barely a month goes by without us being contacted by someone asking us to find a home for pigs who “got too big” or “were supposed to be mini, micro or teacup”. Please, please do not become one of those people.

This piglet could easily have been sold as a teacup pig
Adorable little Trevor as a piglet
A fully grown adult pig is a big responsibility
Trevor 18 months later