Miniature pigs are very intelligent new pets. But it is not easy to find your way among the adoptable breeds of dwarf pigs. Here is our list: it aims to give you benchmarks to know what you can find on the market and to identify fraudulent sales attempts that you may be subject to.
What is a dwarf pig?
The qualifier “dwarf” designates pigs which generally weigh between 60 and 80 kg. This is the pig weight range that you generally find to adopt. But there are also large dwarf pigs that can exceed 100 kg. Keep in mind that malicious people are capable of lying to you about the final size of a pig. Dwarf breeds are characterized by early sexual maturity (for some around 2-3 months) while they do not complete their growth until the age of 3.
There are many dwarf breeds of pigs in the world, but few are ultimately adoptable. Most of the dwarf breeds of pig originate from universities that needed to develop laboratory animals that were close to humans and easy to handle. The effects of the drugs in these pigs are very close to what they are in humans, their metabolism is similar to that of humans, as is their skin: arrangement of hair, texture and thickness, etc.
The so-called “I” breed is the most common breed, the one you find if you are looking to adopt a miniature pig in France. It is a Vietnamese breed. A pig I can weigh around 50 kg, if it is the lean variant, or 80 kg, if it is the fat variant. The snout is short, the forehead narrow, the skin wrinkled (more in the fat than in the thin), the hair short. It is a particularly pot-bellied black pig to the point that the belly can drag on the ground when it is a pregnant or lactating sow.
The so-called “New Caledonian” dwarf pig is only a variant of race I: the head and the snout are longer. The back is a little less hollow and the belly a little less rounded. They are also less wrinkled. They are found black, pink, with or without gray or black spots. They weigh between 35 and 60 kg.
These domestic pigs are native to America from a naturally dwarf species native to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. They are the origin of many breeds of dwarf pigs. Black or gray, they have few hairs and a short snout. The average weight of an average adult pig is 70 kg for the normal line and 45 kg for the miniature line, developed in 1978. In the laboratory, they are used to study everything related to the skin (skin burns, scarring) and diabetes. They are having some success in the United States. On the other hand, you will only find rare individuals in France to adopt.
Miniature pigs without a specific breed
You will also find wild boar with striped dress. It is only so during the first months of their life and turns brown and then gray with age, with or without black spots. They are pigs from crossing Vietnamese breeds (see below).
Pigs which are said to result from a so-called crossing with a peccary constitute a scam. Because a peccary does not quite belong to the pig family. It is a wild animal from South America, impossible to import. And crossbreeding of pigs with wild specimens is prohibited.
These Japanese dwarf pigs appeared in 1945 from different crosses. They have long hair and large floppy ears, a plump belly, and wrinkled skin. Their average weight is 60 kg in adulthood. As one does not find in France, a dwarf pig with floppy ears, it is perhaps quite simply a Vietnamese pig or, more serious, a farm pig. So be extremely suspicious!
This breed was developed in the United States from Florida pigs and is only available for animal testing. Their hair is white, their skin white covered with black spots. Their adult weight is about 70 kg.
The Hormel (or Minnesota or Sinclair) pigs
This pig was developed in 1949 in the United States from the crossing of a guinea pig from Alabama with wild strains from Catalena Island. Other crosses followed. Its weight is on average 70 kg at maturity. It is only used by laboratories.
The miniature Göttingen
He is a dwarf pig who is small due to a deficiency in growth hormone. This is why it has proportions approaching a farm pig, while it weighs only between 26 and 55 kg. This breed was developed in Germany in the 1960s from the cross between Minnesota dwarf pigs and Vietnamese little pigs. After a few years, with the breed displaying too many Vietnamese characteristics, genes from the Landrace breed were introduced to compensate. Since around 2010, this little pig has been very popular in the United States because it is an adorable dwarf pig of pink color and very docile. You will not find any in France.
Many dwarf breeds of non-adoptable Asian pigs
The Co breed pig is another black Vietnamese shorthair pig. He is small and weighs little more than 50 kg as an adult. It is a very hardy pig, the most resistant to diseases of Vietnamese dwarf pigs.
Mong Cai pigs are an imposing breed that is no longer really dwarf since it can reach (or sometimes even exceed) 100 kg as an adult. The white coat has large black spots present on the head, back and rump. It is a long-haired breed.
The Muong Khuong breed also exceeds the standards of dwarf pigs because these pigs reach, adults, 90 kg. Their ears are large and hanging down and their heads are elongated. Their skin is black or gray, covered with a fine hair. Their snout is a little raised. Their body is large and their belly is well rounded.
The Meo breed also corresponds to a large pig because the adult weight reaches 100 kg. Her dress is black but her legs, part of the forehead and tail are white. The legs are short, the head is large, the snout is long and the ears drooping. The back is not hollow.
The Soc (or Heo Ede) breed has a fairly long snout and short legs that allow it to move quickly. Its black hairs are long. It is well suited to outdoor living.
Pigs of the Van Pa breed reach a maximum of 40 kg in adulthood. Their dress is black silver. The body has a compact appearance because the neck is thick. The snout is sharp and the ears are small.
Taiwanese breed Small-Eared has, as its name suggests, small ears. It is also found under the name of Lanyu (a small island where he is from). It is a black pig that could have disappeared had it not been the subject of safeguard measures by the Taiwanese government. His crossing with a European breed gave birth in 1975 to the Lee-Sung breed, which produces black pigs with white spots of about sixty kilos. He is also the source of Mistai pork (only 30 kg) and Langbin pork.
There are also 3 wild Nepalese dwarf breeds: Chwanche, Hurray and Bampudke. The first is black, the second is light brown and the third, also called Sanu Bandel, is gray. The latter is considered one of the smallest pigs in the world since it does not exceed 20-25 kg in adulthood. These are three breeds that are particularly resistant to disease and parasites.