Discover the differences between miniature pigs and Vietnamese pigs, in addition to the care you have to have with them.
In recent years, innovation has become fashionable when household pets are concerned. We are no longer satisfied with having a dog or cat as a pet at home, but this range has expanded to incredible limits a few decades ago. One of these new pets increasingly common in the home are company pigs.
Pigs are treated lately as if they were dogs in the home, they are fed, cleaned and walks on a leash through the city. These are small pig breeds such as the Vietnamese pig or the mini pig, so they can live with us, but do we really know how to differentiate them?
Differences between mini pig or miniature pig and Vietnamese pig
To begin, we must know the origin of these two pig breeds. The Vietnamese pig, as its name indicates, comes from Vietnam, it has a flat nose and a very strong body, from which a huge belly hangs. It can be many colors but the most common is black. However, the mini pig or miniature pig is nothing more than a laboratory pig created by the human being after the union of many races and much research, in which it has tried to reach the perfect specimen so that it is trained as a pet pig and lives in the home.
One of the key races in the creation of the mini pig in the 80s was the Vietnamese pig, both for its small size and for its tame character. However, it was not the perfect size that was sought, so other races such as the Kune Kune and the African Pygmeo joined to find the ideal specimen.
The main difference between the mini pig or miniature pig and the Vietnamese pig is obviously the size. Although these specimens when they are babies seem very endearing and small puppies, Over the years they can become large adult specimens. That is why it is very important to keep this in mind before getting a pig as a companion animal, since there are people who believe that they will be much more domesticable to have even on a floor.
The adult Vietnamese pig can measure up to about 65 centimeters high at the cross, while the mini pig does not usually exceed half a meter. The real difference is in the weight, since although a Vietnamese pig has an average weight of 65 kg, there are specimens that they can weigh more than 100kg, something that can become a problem if we want to have it as a pet in our home. However, the dimensions of the mini pig are much smaller, making it the smallest breed of pig that exists. The mini pig does not weigh more than 40 kilograms in weight, which distributed in its body make it much smaller than a large breed dog. All this will vary in addition to the crossing of races that have come together for its creation, the type of life you lead, food and daily activity.
As for the character, both are very domestic and they get to take a lot of love from their owner, with whom they will want to spend long hours resting on the sofa, since they are very affectionate as well as lazy. The Vietnamese pig has a slightly more stubborn character than the mini pig, so education in the first months of life should be especially important if we want that living with a domestic pig at home is not a problem.
Miniature pig care
From the moment you decide to have a Vietnamese pig or a mini pig or miniature pig at home you should know that you will need basic care just like other pets. The care of domestic pigs does not vary depending on the breed practically nothing, simply in that you should know the size you have when you are an adult and that they will need a lot of care since the pig is a very long-lived pet, getting to have a life expectancy of 20 years.
The feeding of this type of pets is very important if we do not want them to have health problems derived from obesity. Although we believe they are fat animals because of their natural physiognomy, it has nothing to do with it. Ideally, feed them with fruits and vegetables and include in your diet specialized feed that you can find in stores that work with this type of exotic animal. It is especially important that you measure daily food quantities, so a Vietnamese pig cannot eat the same as a mini pig, and keep the water always within reach. As we have said, daily exercise is important so it is an animal that needs walks and activity where it can also develop its sense of smell, very characteristic in this pet.
Consequences of abandonment of Vietnamese pigs
Once the Vietnamese pig begins to grow, and especially if it is in a city, its owners begin to worry when they see the cost of their care, their food or their own weight increase.
For this reason, having a Vietnamese pig is a great responsibility for those who decide to adopt one, who must be informed about the ordinance of their country, community and municipality as well as anticipate and inform themselves about the possible growth of their pet.
There are many breeders who do not hesitate to mix a Vietnamese pig with other common farm pigs, pigs that reach very large sizes.
In addition to the pig's own suffering, we must emphasize that Vietnamese pigs share species with ordinary pigs and wild boars, that is, they are capable of producing offspring among them. This has meant that many abandoned Vietnamese pigs in Spain (among other countries) have reproduced with wild boars, resulting in specimens that had not been seen before in the territory: much stronger, furry and wild.
Once the Vietnamese pigs are abandoned and recovered by associations and foster homes, they are rarely adopted, even if they are totally hands-on, docile and friendly individuals.
These are already domestic farm pigs that usually weigh between 43 and 136 kilograms in weight, that is, it's not about miniature copies As we usually believe. They have an elongated and fat body, showing a prominent belly that accentuates over time. Its legs, short and thin, are stronger than they appear. The face of the Vietnamese pig is tender and as its age progresses it is filled with furrows and wrinkles totally characteristic of the breed.
Males reach sexual maturity at six months of age, even before their full development, at 6 years they are considered exemplary and adults. Currently there are an incredible and varied number of specimens that have emerged when mixing different pigs in captivity and that is, in case there were different types of pigs of Vietnamese origin.
Vietnamese pig reproduction
Vietnamese pigs reach puberty at three months of age. The female has a sexual cycle of three weeks, in which she goes into heat and her attitude is passive and lazy. Once it is fertilized by the male, gestation lasts 114 days and results in 5 to 15 offspring.
It is recommended that males be castrated before six months of life, since they do produce bad smells and tend to have a bad mood. Females can also be sterilized in the same period of life for reasons of health or behavior.
The Vietnamese pig is an animal that lives in a herd or community. As with dogs, among them a strong hierarchy is established that everyone fulfills and respects.
Is about very intelligent animals, with its own personality and a very developed instinct. By adopting one, you can find a demanding, sensitive, neurotic or independent specimen, and in spite of education, their personality plays an important factor. He will learn to shout, to get your attention, to wake up and to ask for food. They may also be jealous of other animals, empty a pantry or be sad to scold them. Pigs are very sensitive animals unlike what some people may think. They are curious by nature and they will love to follow you while you do your daily tasks, snorting and collecting dust spots with your nose.
By spoiling them in excess they can become territorial and aggressive, especially towards friends or family who visit us at home and that is that Vietnamese pigs have a strong instinct to defend their territory. For this, it is very important that we learn about education and obedience, which, as in the case of dogs, is essential for proper living. We must set standards and firm discipline, on a daily and continuous basis as well as let them understand the meaning of the word "No" and obviously never allow a lack or aggression towards a human.
The positive reinforcement works beautifully through treats and snacks (grapes or small portions of cheese) and that is that pigs are food lovers. It is not a difficult animal to train since its ability to remember commands allows them to repeat actions over and over again. You would be surprised at what a pig can learn to do.
Before adopting a Vietnamese pig it is important to prepare properly to welcome the new family member. The care will depend on the age, the weaning time, their socialization and the type of education they have received.
Do not be shy, before adopting a specific specimen you must inform yourself of all these questions because it is not a simple care animal such as a fish or a bird, it is an animal that will grow, that has feelings and that needs attention like than a baby
The Vietnamese pig must have a personal space not too big at home, sheltered from the cold where to sleep and rest. If you decide to have it inside the home we advise you to prepare a room for it, with a linoleum floor in case you urinate, which is easy to clean and maintain. Outside the residence you can make a booth or pen with a door that does not allow you to escape from the farm. Creating a closed space outside is a good idea in case we decide, in the future, to leave you in a nursery when we go on vacation.
The sleeping area can be similar to an ordinary pet bed, yes, of somewhat large size. Like a dog, you must have your own briefcase to travel by car if we decide to take it on a trip or excursion.
You should not place your residence and food in the same space because it is a totally unhygienic measure, besides not liking them. In this way, you will place your bowls in an area enabled for it.
If you have decided to adopt a young specimen, it is important that you offer them something warm to snuggle, like a hot water bag wrapped in a cloth.
We can teach our pig to defecate and urinate in a litter boxIf we start education from an early age we will not have problems in the future. Of course, the box should be somewhat larger and have a low height. Do not use cat litter as it can be eaten, use another type of sand or pine shavings (elements dedicated to rabbits or chinchillas). You should also be away from the sleeping area, preferably outdoors, where you feel most comfortable.
It is important that you have toys for them that foster their intelligence and fun, just like you would with another pet. Look for toys that cannot be swallowed or broken.
Finally we add that pigs do not sweat through the body, they eliminate sweat from the upper end of the nose. For that reason and in high temperatures it will be beneficial for him to provide a small pool for children or a mud hole, irresistible! Then you will clean it with clear water.
For your food, arrange a large bowl, made of plastic, for example, that cannot be broken and can be accessed without difficulty. You should never give food for dogs or cats. In the market you will find specific feed to give your Vietnamese pig, food that contains fiber and low fat. Even so, you must remember that the pig is an omnivorous animal, for that reason it is essential that you offer green protein with, for example, worms.
The daily food rations will be divided into two doses, something important for them to perform a good digestion. You should always have plenty of fresh water available. If you have your pig in the field grazing you should reduce their daily doses of food. Do not offer food for humans either because the result will be a pig with too much fat, sickly and unhealthy. A false myth is that you can get a smaller pig if you feed him less. That is totally absurd and false, and is considered full-fledged abuse.
Foods that we can offer in addition to feed: lettuce, cabbage, celery, carrots, or green pastures.
Some foods that we must limit: fruits, corn, potatoes and the like, tomatoes, spinach.
Foods we should never give: chocolate, sugar in general, alcohol or foods that you think a pet should not receive.
Castration is recommended of Vietnamese pigs if the owner's intention is to adopt him as a pet. In this way, and whenever it is done in youth, we can prevent diseases such as cancer, mastitis, zeal and dominant or territorial attitudes. We will also prevent them from reproducing if they escape from home with wild boars for example.
We will have to find a veterinarian to cut his hooves when he needs it.
Vietnamese pigs tend to dig up and rummage through the garden in search of worms for example. In extreme cases it is recommended to go to a specialist to put a ring in their nose, so we will avoid this behavior.
Next we will discuss some of the most common diseases of Vietnamese pigs:
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Prevent your Vietnamese pig from taking roots or ingesting any type of object. You can identify a problem of this type if you vomit.
- Colibacillosis: This is a diarrhea that usually appears in poorly nourished young specimens.
- Salmonella: It affects specimens of all ages, usually after weaning. It can occur after eating food from garbage or fecal matter from other species.
- Constipation: May occur if you do not receive enough water or due to kidney disease. Promoting exercise can be beneficial for evacuation.
- Rectal prolapse: It is due to bowel irritation after prolonged diarrhea.
- Lymphosarcoma, lymphoma and carcinoma: As our Vietnamese pig ages, these types of small tumors appear with him, which in case of lodging in the intestines can be very serious.
- Dry, flaky skin: It is common and is removed by cleaning the skin with wet towels regularly.
- Sarcoptic mange: It can happen just like other pets.
- Melanoma: This is a skin tumor that must be removed.
- Sunburn: It happens if we frequently expose them to the sun without protection, water or mud.
- Limp: Due to the shape of the back Vietnamese pigs can suffer muscle pulls, ligament damage, fractures etc.
- Infectious Artritits: It affects pigs of all ages. You need veterinary treatment.
- Cracked hooves: Due to the exercise on abrasive surfaces such as concrete.
- Tetanus: It happens after a dog bite or skin abrasion among others.
As you have already imagined, pigs love to browse and dig, especially in kitchens and bathrooms that must remain securely closed, just as you would with a child, you must prevent him from reaching products that may be harmful to him.