Pets are a significant part of life for many families. When a family has a pet, this can add affection and fun to their lives. Although most pet owners prefer to adopt and care for traditional pets such as cats, dogs, birds, or fish, some pet owners decide to make a more unusual choice.
In the 1990s, a popular pet trend was to adopt and raise Vietnamese potbelly pigs. But of course many others do like to keep the vietnamese pig because of its delicious meat quality.
In this article I explain everything you need to know about this pig.
Vietnamese Potbelly Pig Characteristics
Potbelly pigs were first found in Eurasia about 4000 years ago. B. The potbelly pigs now found as pets in America came from Vietnam. The first of these pigs came to America in about 1985.
Their original name was “Lon I”
These animals are small and very cute. Their most recognizable feature is their big bellies. Their bellies grow so large they sometimes drag on the ground when the sow (mother pig) becomes pregnant.
Potbelly pigs first became popular because of their cuteness, but their owners soon discovered these pigs were also excellent pets. Some have been trained to use litter boxes.
Most Potbelly pigs are solid black. If these pigs are crossbred, they can be any color between black and solid white.
Many Potbellies have spots on their coats. The number of spots and their patterns vary widely.
Some of the pigs’ coats have asymmetrical patterns. Their skin is very wrinkled. Their skin is also very tough, which makes the Potbelly less likely to get parasites on its skin.
The fur of a potbelly is very thin. In addition to its hair, a Potbelly has bristles (like whispers). A potbelly’s ears stand straight up. A pure Potbelly has a straight tail. The tail is found high on the animal’s backside.
Vietnamese potbellies are the same species as American or European pigs, so they can breed with each other. Some caretakers crossbreed the pigs on purpose. A curly tail is a telltale sign of crossbreeding.
Because their hair is so thin, the skin is exposed to sunlight. Potbellies might even get sunburned. When the Potbelly needs to cool off, it will roll around in the mud.
Pigs are social and live in groups. The groups are called “sounders.” The sounders include up to 20 pigs. On average, a sounder is often composed of six females, and all their babies.
When they live in the wild, potbellies stay with and socialize with other pigs. When the pigs are raised at home as pets, they have been shown to form close bonds with humans.
Pigs in the wild communicate with the other members of their herds. They use a “language” of grunts, gurgles, and squeaks to communicate. Some herds of pigs also use different types of sneezes to communicate.
Pigs are highly intelligent. They have excellent memories and can focus on a task. Therefore, they can be trained to do tricks, like dogs.
Some pig caretakers have reported success in training potbellies by using clickers. as signals.
Although other pig breeds are prone to developing infections regularly, the Vietnamese Potbelly’s immune system is designed so it is less likely to get sick.
All pigs need regular veterinarian visits and have their teeth checked by a dentist caring for pigs.
This species’ boars (male pigs) become fertile at six months old. The boars haven’t yet reached their full length or weight by that age but are capable of mating with a female pig.
Potbelly pigs like other breeds of pigs have poor eyesight. However, they have excellent senses of smell and hearing.
How Much Are Vietnamese Potbelly Pigs?
The average adoption fee for one of these pigs is between $600-800. This fee usually includes the pig’s vaccinations and a health examination from a veterinarian. It may also include the cost of the pigs’ spaying or neutering.
Before adopting one of these Potbelly pigs, a prospective buyer should be sure to research the costs of its food and the materials it will need for a safe shelter.
What Do Vietnamese Potbelly Pigs Eat?
Vietnamese potbelly pigs are omnivorous; omnivorous animals eat both plants and meat. Potbellies enjoy a variety of food but prefer to eat leaves, stems, roots, fruit, and flowers.
A Potbelly’s sources of proteins include eating some insects. They also enjoy eating “eggs, amphibians, and small reptiles.”
In the wild, they spend the majority of their days rooting through the earth, in order for them to locate food.
Potbellies can smell food deep under the ground. The snouts of these pigs are smaller than the snouts of other pig breeds but still enable the pigs to find the smells of food, dig through the ground to get the food and help the pig dig the food out of the earth.
Their snouts are strong and as flexible as that of other pigs’ snouts.
Potbelly piglets who have been weaned from their mothers’ milk can start on 2 pounds of food per day when they are three weeks old.
The best food for piglets is pellets because they contain the right balance of nutrients.
25% of a pig’s diet should be non-starchy vegetables. Fruits can also be included but should be limited because they have high sugar.
The pig should also be given a children’s chewable multivitamin.
Pigs are born with the instinct to root (dig with their snouts) through the earth for food. The potbelly pig also needs to do this, and it should be allowed to root. The pig will be able to get iron and selenium from the earth.
Your pig also needs some fiber in its diet. Alfalfa and hay are good sources of fiber.
Baby potbelly piglets stand and nurse as soon as they are born. The sow (mother pig) “sings” to her babies while nursing.
The singing helps the piglets recognize their mothers’ voices and increases the bond between mother and baby.
Pig caretakers need to be watchful of the pig’s weight. If pigs are not monitored, they will gain too much weight.
An overweight potbelly can acquire rolls of fat around their eyes. When they get these fat rolls, it causes them to be unable to see. The Potbelly will need to be put on a carefully monitored diet and to be more active during the day. The pig will then lose the excess weight.
And of course, in the lack of this diet condition, do make sure to at least provide the pigs feed which provides all the nutrients the pigs need in order to thrive.
What Is the Vietnamese Potbelly Known For?
They are known for their “cute” appearance due to their small bodies, droopy eyes, and big bellies.
Vietnamese potbelly pigs originate from Vietnam. The pigs can best live in areas with open woodlands and an available water source. They also need a place full of thick leaves and trees where they can make a shelter.
In Vietnamese culture, pigs are a symbol of “happiness, satisfaction, and wealth”. They even have the year of the pig, and the people who are born during this time according to the Chinese calendar are said to share traits with pigs, including bravery, intelligence, diligence and sociability.
Boars (male pigs able to mate with a female) of this breed develop sharp horns called tusks. The husks grow at the sides of the pig’s mouth and point upward.
These husks are made of the same material as the pigs’ hair. Husks will continue to grow throughout the life of the Potbelly pig.
Pigs’ hooves grow. A veterinarian will need to trim the hooves a few times a year.
How Long Do Vietnamese Potbelly Pigs Live?
In the wild, the Potbelly lives about 10 years. But, if the animal is cared for in a human’s home, it can live as long as 15-20 years.
Can You Eat a Vietnamese Potbelly Pig?
In Vietnam, pigs are not sold as pets. They are raised and sold for meat, and their meat is delicious.
Some who eat their meat have said the Potbelly is the tastiest type of pig meat.
These pigs are sometimes referred to as “grease pigs” or “lard pigs” because their meat is very high in fat.
The taste of the meat of a potbelly pig is similar to the taste of sausage made from other pigs. It is easier to cook and has less smell while it is cooking.
The meat of the potbelly pig is rich in sodium and saturated fats. It also contains the same vitamins and minerals as the meat of other pigs.
Cooking the meat on the grill can eliminate some of its fat content and make it a somewhat more healthy option.
As with other pork meat, the Potbelly’s meat should not be eaten raw or when it is undercooked. If pork is not completely cooked it may contain intestinal parasites.
Potbelly meat is likely to cost more than the meat of other pigs, because there is not much of a demand for it.
Where to Buy a Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig?
These pigs are not generally found at an animal shelter. They are located on farms or in specialized shelters. Potbellies can be found by searching the internet for the location of a place that sells them.
Caring for these animals requires the same work and commitment as caring for a cat or dog.
Before you get a potbelly pig, You should consider whether you have enough space in your yard to keep one.
It would be best if you also remembered that pigs have a strong smell, so the area where the pig’s waste is piled will have a powerful odor. Are you ready for that? It would be best if you also were sure you have enough money to feed the pig and pay for its visits to the veterinarian.
If you genuinely feel you are ready to adopt a potbelly pig, you may be able to find them at:
A- Local farms: If you know of a farm that raises potbelly pigs, they may have a pig to sell. Contact the farm and give them your name. Even if they don’t have a pig available now, they may have some in the future and can call you when the time comes.
B- Online livestock exchanges: Websites (like Farmia.com) have listings of livestock being bought or sold.
C- Pet Sanctuaries: Some organizations that rescue animals from unhealthy homes or dangerous living conditions may have potbellies available for adoption.
How Big Do Vietnamese Potbelly Pigs Get?
Vietnamese potbellies reach an average length of 3 feet by the time they become adults. They can also grow to an average height of 15 inches.
Although some people who adopt these pigs assume they will stay as small and cute as they are at birth, they inevitably grow bigger. The males of this species are larger than the females.
Some Vietnamese Potbelly pigs are tiny. Owners of these smaller potbellies sometimes refer to them as “Teacup Pigs.” But this is not a correct term since they are not separate breeds. They are just smaller potbellies.
How Much Does a Vietnamese Potbelly Pig Weigh
Vietnamese potbellies are much smaller than American or European pigs. They do not reach their total growth until they are five years old. They usually weigh between 100-300 pounds, although most average about 150 pounds.
Conclusion: Vietnamese Potbelly Pig
Vietnamese potbelly pigs became popular in America in the 1990s as pets. These pigs are smaller than other breeds of pig. They have large bellies which sometimes drag on the ground.
These animals are intelligent and can learn to do tricks. Buying a potbelly pig will cost about $600-800; the pig will need food, a safe shelter, and visits to the veterinarian when they are sick. Potbellies eat both plants and meats.
Their average weight is 150 pounds. Their average length is 3 feet, and their average height is 15 inches.
They usually live 10-25 years. Pigs raised at home as pets live longer than pigs in the wild.