Dawn Camp @Camp Skipping Pig
1776 Torrey Hill Rd
Java Center, NY 14082
The following are excerpts from postings by people who have purchased pigs from breeders who promised a certain size/weight. In order to make the promised weight, the pigs would have to be starved nearly to death before their first birthday, and if the feeding recommendations are followed beyond that the pigs WILL die of starvation or be severely stunted.
Here is a feeding chart actually posted by a breeder. It isn't nearly enough for a growing pig. NOTE that it states the amount ius to be divided into TWO feedings! 1/4 cup divided in half is 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons twice a day. Measure out two tablespoons of pig feed. REALLY?! This is supposed to sustain, satisy and allow an 11 pound pig to grow into a healthy adult??? A piglet starting to eat solid food would reasonably be expected to eat, IN ADDITION TO FORMULA, 1/4 cup of pellets 4 times a day.
One common ploy used by unscrupulous breeders is to deny access to their property, instead offering to meet in a public area such as a mall parking lot. They will use the excuse "biosecurity", but if a prospective buyer doesn't already have a pig, there is little concern. It is simply a method to prevent buyers from seeing what may be less than desirable conditions at the breeding facility AND to prevent them from seeing the actual size and condition of the breeding pigs. If a breeder will not welcome a buyer to their property, a wise buyer will walk away. A wise buyer will NOT put down a non-refundable deposit on a piglet, nor will a wise buyer purchase a piglet sight unseen, only relying on a photo. Often breeders will switch piglets and the buyer, usually states away will have little or no recourse. Smart people will ask for references from happy buyers, which will include valid contact information, and they will USE IT. They will ask for PROOF of age and size of the parents. They will ask to talk to the veterinarian who handles the health care of the pigs.
Smart buyers will have done their homework and will NOT buy into the lie that an adult pig will weigh as little as 35 pounds or that a year old pig is full grown. It is not. Pigs will continue to grow for 4-5 years. They will insist that the pig be spayed or neutered BEFORE they buy it. There are costs and risks associated with surgery and it is the seller's responsibility to assume those, especially considering the prices they charge for something that doesn't exist to begin with.
Keep in mind, too...NO HEALTHY PIG WILL HAVE ANGLES. One should never see protruding hips, spines, shoulder blades and cheek bones. A healthy pig will be nicely rounded and well proportioned, like Egan in the photo below..
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT BUYERS WHO FEEL THEY WERE SCAMMED BY A BREEDER REPORT THE BREEDER TO THE USDA, THE BREEDER'S STATE VET, THE BBB...ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE POSSIBLE. THE LIES HAVE TO STOP. There are groups on FaceBook where bad breeders can be reported and researched.
Post by DL on FB page Preloved Pigs....
"Looking to place/adopt out: 2 year old, 3/4 Juliana Potbelly mix. Female- Un-spayed. Current weight 102.6 lbs. She refuses to use stairs and is to heavy for me to pickup so moving her is likely to be a rodeo. I have pursued every option I have to keep her only to hit a definite brick wall. She was purchased from Texas Tiny Pigs at a cost of $1250. I am offering her free to the right home. Located in New Mexico."
So...two years old with at least two years left to grow she is102 pounds. She is chunky but not obese. Her weight is within normal range for her age. This is not a tiny pig. She is a normal sized potbelly mix being passed off as exceptionally small.
And CT posts the following...
Sounds about right... I have 2 2-yr old "Mini Pigs" that were promised to be between 23-26 lbs full grown from Oink, Oink Mini Pigs. Paid $1500 for Barbie Q. I wanted another to keep her busy so I inquired about her sister from the same litter but the breeder wanted $1200-1500. Told her my hubby would kill me so she dropped the price to $800 since she was the last of the litter and the breeder wanted to go on vacation. In essence I paid $2300 for 2 pigs that were supposed to be no larger than 26 lbs. They now weigh 101 & 103 lbs at 2-yrs of age.
two years old and 100+ pounds. A couple of years left to grow.
CT adds the following...
I have a friend who got a pig from the same breeder, different litter and her pig now weighs 185 lbs at 2 yrs old. You know what's sad? Barbie Q has a very famous and viral pic that the breeder took the month before I got her. I bet people looked at Barbie's pic and thought there is no way this piglet would be BIG.
I got a "Royal Dandie" pig from a breeder and she sent with him a sample of the food he HAD to be on. He was supposed to be 15-20 lbs fully grown. As soon as I saw him I could tell he was not healthy, he had mange and was so skinny and he was just a baby at the time so thankfully I was able to put him on healthy food right away and today he is a happy healthy piggy. When I had the food analyzed, it was a starvation diet to keep him small. All of the other Royal Dandy pigs I knew of died within a few years because they had major health problems because of nutrition. Im so lucky that I had the information back then to make sure he would be ok. Fourteen years later I still have an amazing wonderful piggy boy.
There are countless stories just like these. Sadly, most of these pigs are dumped because their owners were duped and the sanctuaries are overflowing with unwanted young pigs who have exceeded the promised/expected/implied weights given by the breeders. People need to do their research THOROUGHLY, and be willing to keep their pet pig REGARDLESS OF HOW BIG IT BECOMES.
More examples of the Teacup Myth will be posted as owners share their experiences.
July 2015...article on pet pigs...
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LOS ANGELES – Eva Monroy bought a mini pig for her family and fed it what the breeder instructed: a half-cup of food in the morning and a half-cup at night.
But the piglet named Hammond started raiding the pantry and digging through the trash. A veterinarian told Monroy that he was behaving badly because he was starving.
The breeder promised the diet would keep him a mere 12 inches tall. But when Hammond grew to 20 inches and 180 pounds, “my husband couldn’t handle it any more. ‘Either the pig goes or I go,”‘ Monroy, of El Monte, California, says he told her.
So she took the animal to Lil’ Orphan Hammies, a rescue about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
READ MORE: Pigs as pets? Animal shelter hopes to deter potential buyers
It’s a common story playing out nationwide, leaving thousands of pet pigs homeless and rescues packed. The crunch has led many sanctuaries to limit how many pigs they will accept or stop taking them completely.
The craze for tiny pet pigs started decades ago and gets reignited every few years. Online sellers offer teacup pigs for thousands of dollars, promising the animals will stop growing after age 1 and stay small if fed a restricted diet.
But the tiny pigs keep growing until age 4 and will starve if they aren’t fed properly with potbellied-pig food or a blend of vegetables, animal groups say. Once they grow too big to handle, people give them up.
“There are not enough homes out there anymore. These pigs are in big trouble,” said Sue Parkinson of Lil’ Orphan Hammies in Solvang, which took in Monroy’s porker and others no one else would.
Parkinson, who has saved 1,000 pigs since founding the rescue 23 years ago, says she gets 20 calls a day from people trying to get rid of their pigs.
Same goes for Nancy Koontz and her husband at Grazin’ Pig Acres in Ramona, 40 miles northeast of San Diego.
“We absolutely fell in love with the potbellied pig. But we can’t take more because we don’t have the time, money or help,” she said.
Anna Key, vice-president of the North American Potbellied Pig Association, estimated that 90 per cent of pigs adopted in the U.S. are later taken to a rescue or sanctuary.
Complicating things is their care: Some veterinarians won’t treat them because they consider them farm animals. Many cities and counties do not allow pigs on property not zoned for livestock, but that doesn’t stop many pet owners.
As pets, people get potbellied pigs, which are a fraction the size of commercial pigs. They typically weigh between 100 pounds and 120 pounds, while farm pigs bred for slaughter often weigh 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.
Breeders say pet pigs can stay tiny because they’re learning to eat less, but rescues say they’re emaciated and losing muscle mass.
“I have never seen a full-grown, healthy, 35-pound pig live to maturity,” said Susan Magidson, owner of Ross Mill Farm in Jamison, Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia. It’s one of busiest rescues in the country, with 250 pigs and services such as grooming, massage and acupuncture.
Breeder Patty Morrisroe of Dallas, Oregon, says her smallest pigs weigh 15 to 50 pounds for life by eating specially made feed. (IMPOSSIBLE!) She says that her pigs stop growing after one year but that feeding them potbellied-pig food and letting them nibble on grass fattens them up.
“Regular potbellied pig chow is not compatible with this extremely small breed,” she said of the food recommended by animal-welfare groups.
When pigs grow larger than expected, it can lead to heartrending decisions.
Holly Jasma ordered a piglet costing $2,500 from a breeder who promised it would stay small. She had to give it to a rescue when it grew to 150 pounds.
“It was gut-wrenching – pretty traumatic for me,” the Seattle resident said.
The breeder mentioned above has sold pigs who have been taken in to sanctuaries emaciated and nearly starved to death because the owners followed her feeding instructions in an effort to keep the pig small.
Sanctuaries and rescues have NO REASON to mislead people regarding a pig's size, appropriate diet and proper care. Breeders have one reason to mislead...MONEY.
Here is a starving "teacup".
The Carousel Pet Store in Morristown, TN is exceptionally bad...the owner and her son breed miniature pigs and sell them. They are pulled from the mother at anywhere from 2 to 4 wks. The pet store is selling piglets too young and telling people to feed them inappropriately. They are dying as a result. Here is a January 2016 post from someone who bought a piglet there..."Our micro pig bought from Carousal Pet Store died just 3 days ago. Only having him for 6 weeks. We our crushed by our loss. We were at the vet with him nearly every week. He had bad e coli and was constantly suffering. We loved him and cared for him 24/7. This place needs to be shut down and those breeders need to be investigated for whatever wrong doing that is destroying the lives of these pigs."
A second piglet from there has also died....likely the same litter....and there is more...
Another piglet from this horrid place ( Carousel Pet Store in Morristown, TN ) is being treated for E-Coli at UT (January 2016) and will be lucky to survive. If she does, it will be at great expense to her owners. Here is an update posted about her on 01/11/16..."Latest update: financially exhausted we have spent close $2,000.00 on this little girl. I am still leaning towards what Dr. Carr said about undetectable gut bacteria because she now bloats terrible after eating, Dr. van Amstel noticed that and gave herthe omeprazole for possible ulcer,and reduced her probiotic to1/2 tab from the 3 I gave her. Her poop still has a greenish tint , a little lighter than the dark black originally, found her ammonia was high so they need to take a sample from a normal pig on Monday and compare, discontinued vitamin also, she did not bloat like this before that has gotten worse since this whole thing started I will mention that to the intern when she calls on Monday. Again thanks for listening and trying to help."
More on this piglet...
"She is 10 weeks old and just reached 3# today. She was bought from Carousel Pet Store in Morristown TN where the owner and her son breeds miniature pigs and sells them in her pet store. They are pulled from the mother anywhere from 2 to 4 wks. Mostly or at least this little piglet was pulled from the mom at 3 wks and then sold when going on 5 wks. 4 days after sale she developed Ecoli and was treated for it. Then started having problem urinating. Straining a lot and then we had her add cranberry juice and now is peeing normal but still a little cloudy but vet says it tests ok. Vet put her on Ampicillin for 10 days. But since the day she was purchased, her stools have been black. Even through the Ecoli. Still black. Still staining to urinate but is doing it better.
She was told by the owner of Carousel Pets to only feed veggies, fruit, yogurt and 1 Tbls of pellets. Since increasing her food she has gained a pound since we first started talking. We have several vets following her story and trying to get her healthy. Looks like this little piglet has a long road ahead of her. This is not a good breeder." Seriously...1 TABLESPOON of pellets!!!??? The piglet cannot possibly get enough nutrients from such a miniscule amount. In fact, she should still be on the MOTHER'S MILK! at this age, or at a MINIMUM, a uality milk replacer. If she were, it's unlikely she would be so deathly ill. Two of the leading swine vets IN THE WORLD are working to save this piglet!! What does that tell you about Carousel Pet Store and the animals they are selling?
HOW MANY PIGLETS FROM THIS PET STORE HAVE DIED AND NOT BEEN REPORTED??? It is past time to call the USDA and report them. E-Coli not only sickens the piglets, it can sicken humans, as well.
Texas Tiny Pigs ships piglets all over the country to people who are expecting their pig to remain tiny. They don't, regardless of how much the people paid or the promises made by the breeder. We have had several come through here and they were all well over 100 pounds as adults...and NOT at all overweight!
Hannah and Tooey were sold by Melissa Graves in West Liberty, KY with instructions to feed them 1/4 cup of food a DAY. They were nearing death when they arrived here, too weak to do any more than eat and sleep. Yet another horrid breeder sending pigs to their doom. Hannah and Tooey are now doing well, but as she grows, Hannah could still not survive into adulthood. Many of these stunted pigs die tragically when their full sized organs outgrow their stunted skeletons. Hannah's future health is still in limbo. She has a couple more years to grow. Tooey has grown well and from all appearances, will be fine despite his awful start.
Tooey, face drawn, back arched, emaciated. Hannah, unable to stand well, dragged legs.
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Dawn Camp @Camp Skipping Pig
1776 Torrey Hill Rd
Java Center, NY 14082