Mini pigs whine all the way home, but quickly become a part of the family
Submitted by Ashley Barker, Community Web Producer
Sunday, April 8th, 2012,
Wee pigs aren't dangerous, but they can be rambunctious
Potbellied pigs are moving up in the world and off the food chain for some families in America thanks to a new trend.
Miniature pigs—sometimes called teacup or micro pigs—started becoming the pet of choice after celebrities like George Clooney, Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham purchased them.
A mini-pig breeder living in the Wilmington area hopes that families take buying a hoofed animal as a bigger commitment than one with paws.
"When you adopt a pig, it's not like a puppy," said Jay Saucier, owner of Wee Pigs. "The pig is a little more skittish than a puppy. It's a herd animal and it has to accept the family as its herd."
Saucier's black, pink, red, gray and polka-dotted wee pigs are much different than the average pig.
Farm swine that are sold for meat can generally reach 1,000 pounds when they're fully grown. Other miniature breeds sold around the state as pets top out around 250 pounds, he said. But Saucier's piglets will only weigh between 30 and 60 pounds.
He's been breeding miniature Vietnamese potbelly pigs, more so as a hobby than as a full-time business, for a little over four years and estimates that 40 to 50 pigs have been born on his small farm in Pender County.
"I don't run a big operation. I don't want to see pigs become like dogs, where everybody has to have a pig," he said. "Pigs are a little more exotic than dogs or cats and they need to go to the right homes."
That's why the selection process is so necessary.
"The pig needs to be nurtured and made to accept the family, the adopting family, as its herd," Saucier said. "When people don't do that and they just let the pig run amuck, or run and hide under the sofa, and they don't work with the pig, that's when there are issues. That happens and, from time to time, people have to bring their pigs to adoption agencies because they're not the right type of person to own a pig."
In order to avoid that kind of a situation, Saucier has some guidelines for folks interested in purchasing a pet piglet. He urges potential clients to visit the pigs when they're newborns and spend time with them before they go home, which is usually when they're weaned from their mother at 4-7 weeks old. He also wants to send his piglets home with families that have a small farm or a big yard, and have some stability in their lives.
"Pigs can be like a 3-year-old," he explained. "It can be like having a 3-year-old for 10 years, in some cases. All pigs are different. Some pigs are not as mischievous and some pigs will eventually learn to open cabinets and refrigerators, so some families have had to child proof for their pigs."
While Saucier said that his pigs aren't dangerous, they can be rambunctious.
"When they're becoming young adults in the family, they may try to establish dominance, but it's usually a nipping and head thrashing. It's never really a biting or any kind of full-on assault."
Once a wee pig has been matched with its family, Saucier said the breed is typically easier to train than dogs. They can be taught to use a litter box or ring a bell when they need to go outside and they respond well to treats for tricks.
"The wee pig will whine all the way home, but then they quickly become a part of the family," he said.
To purchase one of Saucier's wee pigs or to find out more information, click here.
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.
Jay Saucier, owner of Wee Pigs, breeds mini pigs in Hampstead.
---SEE VIDEO STORY---
PRESS RELEASE: Actor/Artist/Small Business Owner- Jason Saucier has been breeding a line of mini pigs that he has dubbed "Wee Pigs".
On a small farm in North Carolina he has all colors and markings; blacks, pinks, red with polka-dots, gray with black spots, pintos, blue eyes etc.
QUOTE: I'm not a celebrity pig owner, but I have played one on TV... Seriously though, I developed an affinity for pigs a while back when my wife and I acquired our first two girls Sweetpea and Rose. Sweetpea eventually attined some celebrity of her own when she graced the screen in an independent feature film. Unfortunately she was typecast as a pig but she's setting her sights on larger roles in the future.
I did a little more research than some of those celebrities who have gotten in on the pig craze. I'd stop just short of saying that George Clooney, who's 19 yr. old, oversized mini pig just passed away and Paris Hilton who just paid around $5,000 to one of my main competitors have made mistakes. Neither of them got close to the quality pets I am offering here on my farm. My largest adult pigs weigh less than a third of what Clooney's pig weighed, and Paris, who, yes I know, isn't strapped for cash, could have gotten a smaller "Wee Pig" without all the pork and given the balance to a charity.
I have selected the pigs in my program from the best breeders in the country, they are the smallest you will find in the state and some of them have rare colors and markings.
This year will be the best time to get a great pet at a really good price. The last litter we had was superb and they flew out of here like piggies with wings!
I hope you can come and visit soon and learn about Wee Pigs! More... visit: www.weepig.com