Breeds & Types of Pot Belly Pigs
Size, Weight and Life Span Information
All Potbellied Pigs are miniature when compared to their cousin, the farm hog. Hence the name miniature pot bellied pigs. When full grown, a farm hog can exceed 1,000 pounds. Thus it is obvious why Vietnamese pot belly pigs are considered miniature. Also, weight is not always the best way to describe them. Their bodies are very compact and solid. A 100 pound pig can be the size of a small dog that weighs 35-40 pounds.
A full grown potbellied pig can be anywhere from 100 to 250 pounds and not be overweight, and is still considered a miniature pig. The average weight seems to be 120 to 150 pounds but just like humans, pigs do come in various sizes, shapes and weights. With proper feeding and exercise your pig will grow to its predetermined genetic size. You can affect your pet pig's weight through overfeeding, underfeeding, or a lack of exercise (just like us!). This is not a good idea and could cause serious health problems!!
There are many breeders out there that tell people that potbelly pig's will stay small if you do not feed them a lot. In the PBP world they are called back yard breeders. Please, DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM! Underfeeding a pig, or any animal for that matter, will cause serious health problems and deformities. Plus, other breeders may tell you that their pigs are a 'special' line or 'special' breed. Here is a tip for you: ALL pot belly pigs in North America and Hawaii come from the same line. Period!!
The lifespan on the average pot belly pig is now considered to be 12 - 15 years. It was originally thought that their longevity range was from 12 to 20 years. The truth is that nobody knows for certain. The oldest potbellied pig we know of is one that died at 19 years of age. Keep in mind that the potbellied pig has only been in this country since 1985, so this pig evidently was one of the originals. UPDATE: We hear from more and more people with pigs living to be 18-20.
We are still learning a lot about these unique little animals. This is a serious consideration for anyone contemplating a potbellied pig as a pet. It is, quite literally, a lifelong commitment given the longevity of these animals.
The average full grown pot bellied pig is anywhere from 16-26 inches tall at their shoulders. I am 5'4" and my biggest pig, Ziggy comes to just above my knees.
If you cannot get your pot belly pig on a scale, you can still weigh her by using the formula below. You will need a measuring tape similar to those used by tailors. The formula is not exact, but it comes within about three percent of the actual weight. The formula is as follows:
- Girth Measurement: Take the heart-girth measurement. Your measuring tape needs to go around the body just behind the front legs and over the shoulder area. As an example for you I will use the measurements of my little girl Flower. Her girth measurement is 43 inches.
- Square the result (Multiply the measurement by itself). Example: The measurement was 43 inches. 43 X 43 = 1,849
- Length Measurement: Measure the length of your pig. Start at the top of his or her head right in between the ears and measure down to the start, or base, of the tail (not the end of the tail). Flower's length is 39 inches.
- Girth Result X Length: Take the girth measurement result (in the example above this was 1,849) and multiply that times the length of your pig. In our example this would be: 1,849 X 39 = 72,111.
- Weight Calculation: Divide this result by 400, and you'll have a weight accurate to within about three percent. In our example: 72,111 divided by 400 = 180 pounds. Factoring in the 3% variance (5.4 pounds), this means Flower weighs between 174.6 and 185.4 pounds.
Credit for this formula goes to the Old Farmer's Almanac 1993
Some potbelly pigs have a naturally "plump" appearance. They have full round jowls, a rounder body and more of a "pot" belly. Others are slender and more athletic. If you can see the ribs, hips or other bones your pig is underweight. If your pig looks like it has swallowed a melon when looking down at him from above your pig may be overweight. Another indication of an overweight pig is when their eyes are surrounded by folds of fat.
The most common type of mini pig is the Potbellied Pig (also called Vietnamese Potbellied Pig, Miniature Pot Belly Pig, or Chinese Potbellied Pig). The KuneKune is also a mini pig, but weighs in at around 400 pounds on average and looks more like their cousin the farm pig.
Another breed is the Guinea Hog which is about the size of a large pot, but looks a bit thinner and taller. (I'm not sure of the weight). They look similar to a pot minus the belly and a lot hairier.
As for the so-called Teacup or Micro Mini pig's, these are just normal potbellied pig's that have been chronically underfed and malnourished in an attempt to keep them small. Their life span is maybe FIVE YEARS. This is because the pig stays tiny, BUT THE ORGANS continue to GROW NORMAL SIZE for a normal size pig. Teacups, Micro-Mini's, European Bluebutts, these are all fancy names made up by breeders. All potbellied pigs within the United States come from the same line.
The only reason we have very small, tiny PBP's is because of unscrupulous breeders inbreeding the pigs, or telling people not to feed them much in order to keep them small. That is animal abuse. Please do not fall for this.
The information presented within our information and resources section has been collected from what we consider experts and various reputable persons including vets, sanctuary owners, and private pig owners among othsrs. Information shown is the latest available. Although we have had pet pigs for 20 years and consider ourselves quite knowledgeable, we are by no means veterinarians. Any health related information presented below should be checked out with your personal veterinarian.