Myth of Tea Cup Pigs
Kevina at age one
First time eating anything but greens
Kevina today age two
Healthy and happy at 100+ lbs.
THE STORY OF KEVINA
Kevina (originally named Kevin Bacon) came to me when a patient of mine had a friend of a friend in a rough bind. Apparently, the man was told by his wife that it was “it is me or the pig” and the better of the two (the pig!!) lost out. Joking of course, but it was a blessing that my patient knew I rescued pigs and was able to connect me with this lovely pig in need of a home.
All my pigs have come to be full grown and adequately fed if not obese. When this patient told the office receptionist she had an adult pig in need of a home currently in a carrier in the back seat of her car she told the receptionist she wanted to transfer the pig to my vehicle. I was terribly flustered, however, as I just had my compact Toyota in the parking lot. The average potbelly pig weight is 120 lbs. and I need to transport the pig in an extra-large carrier in the back of a truck. When I ultimately went out to see this pig I was amazed to see just a 10 lb. little squirt. My patient had been told by the previous owner to feed just ½ cup of green leafy vegetables a day and so understandably at one year of age this little sweetheart was adorably tiny but also profoundly malnourished. To make the story even more sad, the pig was considered “too big” given the promises made by the breeder who sold the pig with promises that the pig would remain “tea cup” sized.
When you google "tea cup" pig the parents you will be told the baby is "guaranteed" to be tiny as the parents are small themselves. But if you breed the "runt" of the litter when it is just barely sexually mature and NOT at full size itself it is expected that the babies will be smaller than normal as infants. But potbelly pigs can breed at 3 months of age and yet don't reach mature size until age 3 years old! To keep that "tea cup" pig tiny their owners are told to limit food intake to the point of starvation and essentially attempt to stunt the growth of the pig.
I fully agree that "tiny" Kevina is absolutely adorable, just as any kitten or puppy. But to try to limit that animal's growth via severe food restriction is NOT going to be successful long-term, is profoundly cruel and immoral and leads to serious health problems in the animal.