Several years ago it seems the trend of micro pigs took over the UK and my then 4yr old daughter Millie begged me daily to get her one. From seeing adorable pictures of micro piglets in cute little wellies to sipping water from fancy teacups, the novelty of taking a huge loved farm animal and making it a tiny domesticated pet captured the hearts of animal lovers far and wide.
With most micro pig breeders being based out in the countryside, Kew Little Pigs brings breeding closer to London. They are only micro pig breeders in the UK who focus on exhibiting and educating the public on their intelligence, understanding, needs and owners responsibilities, also offering private parties, school visits and events as well as having an interactive website packed with photos and videos for all things piggy.
Micro pigs are pigs that has been selectively bred down in size for many generations to become smaller than average sized adult pigs. Typically a micro pig will grow to just below the knee in height -approximately 18-20inches – although it can be difficult to estimate the size it will become as an adult which is why it’s important to always see both parents and be advised on proper care and feeding.
Kew Little Pigs are specialist breeders who practise controlled breeding to ensure the boars do not mix freely with the gilts and sows so that mates can be suitably chosen depending on size, age and temperament for a structured and successful breeding programme. This selective breeding ensures all piglets can be traced back through the family tree.
Litters are typically born towards the end of April with a limited number of micro pigs available for sale each year as well as piglets and pigs of various ages. Owners are vetted so that micro pigs may only find their way to caring, passionate and capable homes because of their specialist needs above that of a typical family pet.
With 10yrs experience in the industry, KLP also offer a very helpful comprehensive pig keeping course for first time pig keepers covering the legalities and care that goes into owning a micro pig. Surprisingly micro pigs make wonderful family pets as well as school mascots and petting farms. With their gentle nature and love of fuss and attention they’re practically irresistible to children and adults alike. Micro pigs hair is hypoallergenic making them ideal for those with allergies and compared to traditional domestic pets they need only minimal vaccinations and vet visits which makes keeping costs more affordable.
Being the inquisitive and social creatures that they are, it’s recommended that you keep pigs in pairs as they can become lonely, bored and stress if left by themselves for too long. They make great pets for all ages however careful considerations must be taken to keep a micro pig at home. Pigs must be kept fenced in pens with a suitable shelter called a ‘pig ark’ as pigs are unable to regulate their body temperature and may overheat if they don’t have enough shade. They’re also master escape artists and pens must be checked regularly for signs of damage or escape hatches!
The ground is best kept covered with a thick layer of wood chip which can be found at most garden centres or at a tree surgeons, as being natural foragers they also tend to dig around and root up the ground. An outdoor area of around six square meters with a sty is ideal. Like cats, micro pigs can come indoors but it’s important that they have access to outside space too to express their natural behaviour and leave healthy happy lives.
Pig feed can be purchased in 20kg bags costing £15.00 which will last around 6-8wks and is also our preferred method for feeding our house bunny; they can’t have any food from the kitchen, scraps or commercial waste as it’s important not to overfeed them. Apples, pears, bananas, carrots and cabbage make for a delicious occasional treat as well as plenty of fresh water daily and regular checks for any sign of illness or damage to the pen area. Hygiene is also very important for pigs and being zoonotic it’s advised you wash your hands with an anti-bacterial hand gel before and after contact, as well as frequently disinfecting all equipment, bowls, scoops, water buckets and food troughs.
Micro pigs are available from 8wks old and come with up to date documentation, medical records and a birth certificate. If cared for correctly they can live for between 12-15yrs like most dogs and I have to confess as an absolute animal lover it’s a pretty tempting thought!