A Growing “Teacup” Pig Problem

Cute Pinterest photos won't fool a pig farmer, but pet owners are finding out pigs, even little ones, are still pigs. ( Photo: PORK )

Pinterest is full of cute animal pictures, and among the most popular are teacup or miniature pigs. But like we all know—pigs, however big or small, are still…well, pigs.

Others are figuring that out too. Even the Humane Society of Missouri is asking people to think twice before adding a miniature pig as a pet.

The Humane Society of Missouri has 31 pigs at their Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Mo. That’s four times as many pigs as they took just three years ago.  (Click to watch the video report.)

Some people bought the pets, not realizing that miniature pigs can actually grow to be 40 lb. to 300 lb. And they still have natural pig instincts—rooting and raiding the cabinets were just two examples of pig behavior people weren’t prepared to deal with.

But, make no mistake, miniature pigs are becoming a big business. A single piglet can bring $50 to thousands of dollars—more than double what a commodity hog brings. Breeders a lured by a pig’s ability to reproduce quickly and have large litters.

Few pork producers will ever consider trading commodity hogs for mini pigs. But the industry should be wary of the growing public relations issue. Few consumers will see the difference between pets and food producing animals—regardless of their size.

 

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