Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pig

Appearance

Pot-bellied pigs are a domestic breed of pig that came from Vietnam in 1985. They are much calmer and much smaller than a farm pig usually only weighing between 100 and 250 pounds when they’re full grown. Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs are usually plain black in color but if crossbred they may also be white, spotted, or have asymmetrical patterns. Like their name suggests, their large bellies, combined with their short legs give them a very round, pot-bellied appearance. 

Adaptations

The snouts of pot-bellied pigs are smaller compared to other breeds of pigs, but they’re very sensitive to touch and provide a powerful sense of smell. These pigs are exceptionally clean and smart animals. They can be easily trained to do various tricks, and even be housebroken. Pigs love to be challenged and enjoy learning how to do new things. Pot-bellied pigs are also herd animals, which means they enjoy socializing with other animals, and would do well when put together with another pig.

Most pigs are easily prone to diseases, but Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs are known to be more resistant to disease and parasites than other breeds. 

The Teacup Pig Myth

Pot-bellied pigs are the smallest recognized breed of pig, though you may have heard or seen individuals claiming to own a “teacup” or “micro-pig.” There is significant debate as to whether or not these pigs exist, but many agree that examples of these are simply pot-bellied pigs that are either not fully grown yet, malnourished, or inbred.

 Supposed teacup pigs often surprise their owners, either with their sudden growth into a regular sized pig, or with health problems and short lifespans. This is due to the fact that even if the outside of the pig stays small, its organs continue to grow to a normal size. There are no healthy examples of true mini or teacup pigs. 

Where are they?

This pig lives at the Children’s Animal Center.

VIEWING TIPS
Our pig, Hamlet, is intelligent and knows how to do some tricks. You will be able to see him at close range in his yard if he isn’t walking around with the goats.

Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Sus scrofa

Species Survival Plan

No

Habitat

Open woodlands near wallows

Food

Grass, plants, roots, vegetables, insects and grubs

Originally Native To

Vietnam

Characteristics

Much smaller than a normal pig; black, white or pink; have “pot belly” that hangs down

Lifespan

Wild 10 years
Captivity 15 - 20 years

Social Behavior

Social, prefer to live in herds

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