Full grown Potbelly Miniature Pigs range from 15-18 inches in height,average 3 foot in length and weigh an average of 90-150 pounds with some reaching 200 pounds or more. (At one time the ideal weight according to breeders was around 50 pounds, but evidently this standard has been changed.) Males are larger than females. (Their farmyard cousins can weigh up to 1500 pounds.) Unlike livestock pigs, Miniature Potbellies have retained the shiny dark gray, brown, or black coat of the wild boars, with occasional spots of white. Solid white coats are also found. Their tails are long and straight rather than curly. They have an exaggerated potbelly, a swayed back, and erect ears.
GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Found in the domesticated state in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Pigs are omnivorous. With wild pigs activity is mainly nocturnal and crepuscular, but domestic pigs adjust to a daytime schedule. They eat fungi, tubers, bulbs, green vegetation, grains, nuts, cultivated crops, invertebrates, small vertebrates and carrion. Our pigs eat fruits, vegetables, pig pellets, and roughage.
LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Wild pigs live in a group of females and their offspring with males joining the group to mate. Pigs differ from other ungulates in that they are born in a nest and remain there following birth. Potbelly Pigs reach puberty around 6-7 months of age. Females have a heat cycle every 21 days that lasts about 3 days. The gestation period is around 114 days and a litter of 4 to 12 is usually produced. Piglets are weaned at 8-10 weeks. Full growth is not reached until about 3-4 years of age. Life span is about 12-18 years.
The snout is adapted for rooting for food; a cartilaginous disc supported and strengthened by a prenasal bone makes a very good digging tool. The pig has a very keen sense of smell and can locate minuscule amounts of food in the soil and can follow it by air-scenting. They have been used by law enforcement agencies to sniff out drugs.
Wild pigs throughout the world have been extensively hunted for food, sport and as pests to man's crops. Size, temperament, and sharp tusks of many make them potentially dangerous adversaries. Asian Potbelly Miniature Pigs are also known as Chinese or Vietnamese Potbelly Pigs and are descended from the wild boars that once roamed throughout China. Around the 10th Century AD, these boars were domesticated and used as both pets and food throughout Southeast Asia. They can be seen on tapestries from these early periods and archeological excavations have also produced bones from these pigs. They have been bred in Europe since the 1950s and in North America since the 1980s, mainly for pets. Introduced into the U.S. from Canada in 1986, by 1992 there were 20,000 homes in the U.S. with potbellied pigs as pets. Breeders rapidly increased the pig population, but potential lifetime pig owners are not necessarily increasing at the same rate, which leads to overpopulation and wasteful deaths, similar to the problem for dogs and cats. Potential pet owners need to know that these pigs may squeal loudly, root up flower beds and floor tiles, eat house plants and sometimes furniture, and may grow larger than expected. They need daily exercise, a well-managed diet, and attention to their specific health problems. Potbellies may be housebroken and harnessed or leashed much like a pet dog. They are intelligent and adapt well to household routine.
STATUS IN WILD:
Found only in the domesticated state.