(An article I wrote for ABCNews; images have been provided by Tanglewood Farm )
Miniature Pigs , Micro Pigs , Mini Piggies or Teacups, however you want to say it these itty bitties are the latest pet craze to hit Britain. These teacup sized oinkers have become competition to the already popular toy puppies. Watch out Chihuahuas and Yorkies these micro pink cuties are no longer just your county fair blue ribbon prize winners. Micro pigs have taken wanna-be pet owners by storm.
Only 3 lbs at birth, micro pigs will reach 25 to 55lbs by adult maturity similar to that of adult Pugs. Mini piglets are barely 3 inches tall and are tiny enough to be carried and fit snuggly in a tote around town, but as adults they will mature to reach between 10 and 15lbs, much like a small Beagle.
“They make excellent pets and are easily housebroken. They are not finicky eaters, don't bark and rarely shed. Their tremendous intelligence and amiable nature are quickly making them a strong contender as America's favorite house pet,” according to Tanglewood Farm a Miniatures Farm in Canton, GA.
With the H1N1 Virus on the spread swine are getting to get a bad name, but according to breeders a person cannot catch the H1N1 virus from pigs. In fact, these tiny friends have hair rather than fur, making them less troublesome to allergy sufferers than many dog breeds, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Miniature Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs came from Southeast Asia to the United States in the 1980s. Mini piggies can range from black to white and even some white pintos with ocean glass blue eyes.
These little bitties cost a pretty penny. Depending on breed and/ or sex the price of a Miniature Pig could range from $700 to over $1000. However popular it is in Britain, the trend hasn’t caught on just yet here in the States. Many places like New York still consider pigs as farm or exotic animals and will not legally allow residents to own one as a pet.
But don’t worry; there won’t be a run out of miniatures any times soon. Micro pigs hit sexual maturity within a couple of months after birth and produce 13 litters a year making these pint-sized Wilburs readily available.