A true, purebred Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is not as large as many of the "pet" pigs bred and sold today in America. Because ordinary farmyard pigs and wild boars can be cross-bred with the original pot-bellies, many today grow quite large, reaching weights of up to 300 pounds!
Many "pet" pigs are displaced every year in America, a sad situation caused by so many being bred and marketed as "mini-pigs", "tea-cup pigs" and so on. These animals are bred for profit and often purchased by well-meaning, but ignorant people who soon find out their little pig is going to grow beyond the accommodations a suburban home may provide.
Male pigs can become fertile at just six months of age. They are full-grown by six years of age. Many "pet" pigs are allowed to eat a diet of sweets and, simply, far too much food, leading to overweight animals who will grow so fat they can't walk properly or see, with folds of fat that cover their eyes. Pigs with lighter skin area also susceptible to sunburn. The pigs require proper winter housing as well.
"Spike" (right, black pig) joined the Black Pine family when his owners moved out of state and wanted to ensure his well-being long-term. "Wilbur" (right, pink pig) was adopted in the spring of 2010 after being found in a home inside the city limits, against a city ordinance. The pig's discovery came when police found a meth lab in the home. Wilbur was just a few months old.
"Arnold" (left) was adopted upon the request of an elderly widow. The pig was the pet of her retired farmer husband, and shortly after his passing she found herself with a large farmhouse and other animals to tend to, an overwhelming situation. Just days after Black Pine agreed to adopt the pig, the woman also passed away quietly in her sleep. Police contacted Black Pine to share this sad news, and Arnold was shortly after transported to his new forever home. Friends of the former owners visit from time to time to bring Arnold some of his favorite treats. We honor all these caring people for their commitment to making sure Arnold has had a good life, before, during and after his owners' deaths.
Black Pine encourages anyone interested in keeping a pig as a pet to please adopt from a shelter. There are pig rescue organizations around the nation looking for good homes. Contact local humane societies to see if you can help a pig who needs a home. Check your local ordinances to make sure it's legal to keep one before you bring one home.
InfoBox - Potbelly Pigs
Diet in wild: Vegetables, eggs, worms, grubs, flowers, fruits, and more.
Life span in captivity: up to 20 years.
Weight: From 80 to 300 pounds.