We have four wonderful female micro pigs called Picnic, Conker, Pumpkin and Coco and our lovely unrelated boar Pongo on the farm. All are incredibly friendly and love human attention. They behave a lot like dogs, following you about, wagging their tails when they're happy, and trying to 'help' with all sorts of farm activities!
The pigs are hugely popular, attracting a lot of visitors to the farm and they genuinely enjoy their interactions with people and dogs!
Our daughters are their biggest fans and are always eager to pet and play with their pigs.
You read a lot about micro pigs being raised as house pigs and, whilst pigs can certainly be house-trained and live indoors, this is something we would advise against; pigs love to be outdoors, to root and explore, and to do piggy things!
North Ronaldsay Ewe Grace with lamb 'Flood Street Albert'
Micro Pigs, also referred to as Miniature or Teacup Pigs, aren't a standardised breed yet here in the UK, and are the result of cross-breeding several breeds to reduce the size of the resulting offspring. For this reason, different lines can have very different sized pigs, although it's generally accepted that Micro pigs should be no more than 20 inches to the shoulders.
Pigs live for between 10 - 15 years and are incredibly intelligent animals that can be trained to do all sorts of things, much like a dog. They also enjoy coming on walks with you!
Pigs are naturally clean animals, who won't soil their bed and are easily toilet-trained. They are also considered to be hypoallergenic, thanks to their thick, wiry hair and lack of undercoat - in contrast to most dog and cat breeds.
Pig Picnic enjoying scratches and attention from our daughter, Ophelia
Micro piglet sisters
Pigs are highly sociable herd animals and cannot be kept on their own. Even if they have non-piggy companions, we advise as with any livestock, that they thrive best with companions of their own species.
We will be breeding our pigs once the girls in 2024, with a focus on ensuring a miniature size, but also a friendly temperament of the piglets.
Like with sheep, you must own a CPH Number before owning pigs. This is free to obtain through DEFRA. Once you have your CPH number, register with eAML2 so that you're able to confirm pig movements on or and off your land. Within 30 days of bringing your pigs home, you must register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to be issued with your herd number.
We feed our pigs a specialist feed, Allen & Page Small Holder Range Pot-Bellied Pig Feed, which is specifically formulated to give mini pig breeds what they need, which includes lower fat than in commercial pig feeds. Our pigs also have access to hay and plenty of grazing/foraging through the day.