Dawn Camp @Camp Skipping Pig
1776 Torrey Hill Rd
Java Center, NY 14082
Often the subject of healthy weights comes up when talking to people with pigs. As with any animal, including humans, there are extremes at either end of the spectrum that are, without a doubt, unhealthy. There is no excuse to have too thin or too fat a pet. If you can't afford to feed it, ask the local pet shelter for help or rehome it. If a breeder tells you to severely limit the amount of food to feed one of the piglets he/she is trying to sell, go elsewhere. Better yet, adopt from a rescue and don't support the lies the breeders tell! Some even offer their own special mix, which is mostly indigestible bird seed. And never, ever sign a contract with a breeder promising to keep the pig at a certain weight by a certain age. Breeders have those contracts to cover their lies and to put the blame on the buyer when the piglet exceeds the promised (Teacup/Micro-Mini/Royal Dandy/whatever you want to call it) weight. As with too thin, there is no excuse what-so-ever to have an obese pig! Control its diet and get rid of the junk!! Do not hand it a treat every time you walk by or it begs! Cut treats into small pieces. Instead of a whole apple for each pig stretch one into 4 or 5 treats for 4 or 5 pigs. If you have a single or two pigs, LIMIT their treats! Control their food intake, WITHIN REASON!
Common sense is sadly lacking when it comes to feeding pet pigs and the pigs suffer as a result. Their lives are shortened and they end up crippled and trapped in a body they can't carry. They end up deaf and blind as well, and many never recover their hearing and sight fully once it's lost. Eyes embedded behind fat become infected and diseased. If in doubt as to the proper way to feed your pet, contact your veterinarian or a sanctuary, either of whom will be able to get you and your pig back on track to a healthy life. Send me photos and I will try to help, but do not waste our time if you do not intend to follow through. We are all busy with discarded pigs who have "gotten too big" or bite or can't be kept for one poor excuse or another. For us it is all about the welfare of the pigs and we do not have time to waste on those who won't help us help their pig.
Here is a YouTube video that shows various pig weights...
Following are photos showing examples of both extremes and proper pig weights. They are meant to act as a guideline as you determine if your pig is at a healthy weight. If unsure what to feed your pig, contact your vet, a sanctuary, or me...send pictures...and we will try to establish a healthy diet and lifestyle for your pig. It is as important for them as it is for us.
This pig is MORBIDLY OBESE and probably 200 pounds or more. This is absolutely inexcusable and its owners should be ashamed to have allowed it to get in this condition. This is just another form of abuse and neglect, though surely its owners will profess to love it...a lot. What they are doing is killing it slowly. Its life will be shortened by at least half. Should a medical emergency arise requiring surgery, this poor pig would likely not survive anesthesia. You can see that its legs are breaking down at the ankles from the excess weight. Arthritis, heart ailments and breathing difficulty will set in, further complicating things. Fat deposits on the face have rendered it blind and very likely deaf as well. Imagine being blind, deaf, crippled, and trapped in a body you cannot move. And people wonder why a pig in this condition starts to bite. It cannot see, hear or move freely. It is a prey animal, and any one of those handicaps would mean death in the wild. Instinctively, the pig knows that, and an unexpected touch may cause it to bite. In addition to lacking senses it depends on for survival, it is in pain. All of this extra weight is crippling. Any single cause would be a reason to bite. Add to the list the fact that a pig is as intelligent as a three year old child and smarter than most dogs. Wouldn't you feel snappy, if you were in this condition? It will take a couple of YEARS to safely get the weight off this sad pig...IF it lives that long.
This pig is SEVERELY OBESE and her life expectancy is greatly shortened. Her people feed her a lot of bread, junk food and dog food. She is almost blind and has difficulty walking. Again, no excuse, and she will die young.
This pig is also SEVERELY OBESE. He also has a hernia and his owners were advised by their vet to control his weight. They have not, so not only is he at risk for all of the health problems associated with obesity, his hernia puts him at greater risk of an early death.
This pig is MODERATELY OBESE at 150 pounds. He is a tall pig, and long, but still heavy for his frame. This photo was taken after he had lost a considerable amount of weight but still had some to go. His vision was still impaired and his hearing never fully returned, despite eventually getting to a healthy weight.
This pig is in EXCELLENT CONDITION, bright, healthy and active. She is able to enjoy life and should live well into her teens, barring a major health issue, such as a tumor. In this photo she is about two years old and not fully grown. She weighed about 100 pounds.
This pig is a LITTLE THIN, due to health issues. Once recovered, he regained his weight and was just right at 120 pounds. In the picture his hip bones show a little...not bad, but 5-10 pounds additional weight is all he needed.
These three month old piglets are JUST R IGHT. In this photo they weigh about 30 pounds each. As adults they weigh 125 pounds...a normal and average weight for healthy potbellies. What breeders of the professed Micro/Teacup/dandy pigs fail to show prospective buyers is a true adult pig...at 5 years of age. They show off tiny parents, if they show anything at all, and they are often barely a year old and have up to 4 more years to grow. Beware of the size hype. What is important is the pig's weight in proportion to its frame...NOT that it stay at 35 pounds (or whatever) as a adult.
This potbelly (below) is at an IDEAL WEIGHT for her age and size. She is two years old in this picture and weighs about 70 pounds. At maturity (5 years) she will weigh around 120.
She was sold as a "Micro-Mini" for a lot of money.
This sad little pig is a starving "Teacup" pig, owned by TeenyTinyPigs. Not only is she starving to death, she looks pregnant. Breeders will boast about how little their pigs weigh with no consideration given to their health. In most states the owner of this pig would be charged with animal cruelty and neglect.
This pig was sold as a Micro pig. In an effort to keep him small his...get this...well educated, professional business type people...starved him nearly to death and kept him locked in a basement for 4 years in Bowmansville, NY. His tusk had grown 1/2" into his face and they claimed not to have noticed. That does not happen overnight. Tusks grow slowly and it happened over his lifetime. Upon arrival he would fall over when he put his head down to eat. He weighed 44 pounds when rushed to the vet clinic for treatment. Over many months he eventually recovered and weighed in at a healthy 120 pounds.
Here is also a GREAT link to valuable information for anyone who wants or who already has a pet pig
Save it as a "Favorite" for quick reference! http://www.minipiginfo.com/
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Dawn Camp @Camp Skipping Pig
1776 Torrey Hill Rd
Java Center, NY 14082