General Info

micro pig information

Keith Connell is generally recognised as the founding father of the current miniature pet pig trend.  Mr. Connell in Canada, reportedly saw the Pot-Bellied Pigs on exhibit in Europe and in 1985 imported twenty into Canada. Two of the twenty died in travel or in quarantine, leaving eighteen. Those eighteen pigs, all unrelated, became the founding breeding stock. Under Canadian law, Mr. Connell was not permitted to sell any of the original eighteen pigs imported into the country. Only the offspring could be sold or exported from Canada, and from Mr. Connell’s original stock come most of the pure Pot-Bellies recognized today. Reportedly, all of the original “Connell Line” stock were black pigs.

There are only two lines recognized as original lines in the United States. Keith Leavitt, from Texas, was responsible for the second recognized line in the United States. The “Lea Line” pig has a somewhat longer nose than the “Connell Line” pig. This Leavitt Line, based in Cypress, Texas, descends from certain Pot-Bellies imported to the United States from Europe in 1989.
Although the Pot-Belly originated in the Orient, they are not numerous there today and can no longer be imported from there. The United States has forbidden any further importation, and the only pet Pot-Belly that can be registered must have lineage traceable to the breed’s original stock in Canada or the United States.

Today there are more Pot-Bellied Pigs in the United States than anywhere else in the world. Their U.S. population, according to estimate, may be as high as thirty-six thousand. Since the first of these miniature pig pets arrived in North America in 1985, their popularity has exploded so swiftly that in 1990 Vogue magazine’s Pet of the Month was the Pot-Bellied Pig.
Kayla Mull, a microbiologist and entrepreneur in Norco, California is generally credited with being the first person in the United States to actively market the Pot-Bellies as pets. Her company is called Creatures of Comfort.

Prices can vary quite widely for this trendiest of new “upscale” pets and depend on various factors such as current supply and anticipated demand. Indeed, the demand has been so high that breeders have reportedly sold for $34,000.

In addition to driving up the price on legitimate, registered Pot-Bellies, the pet pig craze has had other noticeable effects. Some swinophiles have taken full-sized pigs, such as Durocs, for house pets.

Another effect has been the springing up, practically overnight, of a multitude of “backyard breeders.”

Many of them, unfortunately, are interested in cashing in on the pet pig craze, not in the ultimate health and safety of the pigs. Typically, they offer reduced prices on crossbred or other “miniatures” that may not be registered, or may not even be Pot-Bellies.

See our information on fake miniature pigs if you want to avoid ending up with one of these.

If you are a true lover of animals, you can take one of these less pricey piggies home and love it just as much as you would one of his pricey cousins. However, you should do so without being fooled or misled as to what kind of pet pig you really are acquiring. With the advent of the growing pet pig craze, you will find fellow swine aficionados, who range from Hollywood celebrities to your next-door neighbor.

If you do decide to share your home with a pet pig, too, you will be in good company. Since 1985, when the offspring of Connell’s original eighteen pigs began making their way into this country to zoos and private buyers, the mini Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pig (sometimes called Asian or Shar-Pei, as well as Chinese) population continues to grow daily!