Micro Pig Mum ‘Tipex’ and Her 11 Piglets

By Joanne Rowe / February 18, 2013
Micro piglets feeding

Our black and white sow ‘Tippex’ gave birth to eleven piglets just over 3 weeks ago. We have been really impressed with the piglets that she has produced in this litter, all 11 micro piglets are fit, healthy and strong. I personally do not believe there is a runt in this litter, even now-3 weeks later-all the piglets are of equal size, height, and health.

How we did this

Firstly, you need a decent set of parent to produce good quality micro piglets like our own. Secondly, you need to prepare the sow a few weeks before she is due to give birth. Lastly, you need to make sure the birth goes well by providing the pig with the correct and best environment when she gives birth.

The parents

All our parent stock come fromĀ Rob Rose in Cumbria. We are trusted breeder who works closely with Rob to maintain his quality and stockmanship. Robs been breeding miniature pigs and pet pigs for over 15 years and has some of the oldest bloodlines in world for these types of pig. The longer the bloodlines of the animal the better chance you have in producing good quality litters and piglets. Both parents of this litter were bought from Rob Rose within the last three years. Tippex the sow is around 2 years of age, and our boar Murphy is approx 4 years old. Both parent are fully grown so we have a good clear idea of the size that these piglets are going to reach when they are fully mature. They both adorable and friendly pigs, and have lovely placid nature, which we believe they pass onto their young.

The Preparation

Preparation for a litter of micro pigs on our farm begins a few week before they sow is due to give birth. We bring the sow inside and isolate her to a room in our barn. Due to the pig not having access to grass we double her daily food ration. We also provide her with a secret mix of natural additives and ingredients that we mix into her food. Our secret diet has a fantastic effect on the pig, by the time she is ready to give birth, the sow is in superb shape, and their coat shines with a healthy look. Doing all this means that the sow is in the best shape possible to give birth.

Before the birth

Our sows are left to farrow naturally, we do not use farrowing crates as we believe these to be cruel and unnatural. The sow usually starts farrowing 24-48 hours before giving birth. There is usually a change in their behaviour and they will start move there bedding straw into a particular place to build a nest. Tippex was no exception, she started farrowing approx 24 hours before she started to give birth. This meant that it was now time to install our heat lamps, and also the time to isolate her nest with a small 100mm high fence. The small fence is provided to prevent any new born piglets from crawling onto the cold concrete floor beyond her nest. If the piglets crawl onto the concrete floor there is a good chance that they will catch hypothermia and die, so we have eliminate and reduce this risk. Once this is done its then up to nature to take its coarse and the waiting game begins.

The Birth

Tippex started giving birth around 3pm in the afternoon. All the piglets were born by 7pm. We couldn’t believe how quickly she had spat them out. Pigs can be in labour anything up to 24 hours, so our girl Tippex performed exceptionally well giving birth to all 11 piglets in just over 4 hours. It was a very easy birth for her.

Post-Birth

The first 48 hours of piglets life is the most critical. During this period we regularly inspect the piglets to make sure there are no weak or sick animals, and also to make sure that none of them are suffering from scour. None of these piglets became ill or started to scour, in fact by the 48 hour mark they were starting to stomp around and all looked really healthy.

Videos

We shot the following two videos of this litter one week after they were born.

About the author

Joanne Rowe

Joanne and her family live on a 140 acre farm in Lancashire. Joanne's family have been in farming over 120 years - they breed a wide range animals including pigs, cows, sheep, and chickens.

4 comments
lisa hardy - November 12, 2014

Hi my husband and i would love to have a pig as a house pet we are in all day , live on a farm and we dont go on holiday .Weve pondered for a few years about keeping a pet pig , and now we have no dogs in the house its become empty , we farmed beef cattle years ago and i have two PET kade lambs which are now outdoors , so we are looking at possibility of parenting a piglett.We really want the smallest breed of piggy (small as in full grown ) as even though were not “old”we would hope our piggy to have a good longivity and as we age be able to handle him or her comfortably .Could you let me know roughly how old do they live and what breed (smallest) would suit us , also useful tips .I have read up on looking after a piggy but i would appreciate more tips.I know they have to be registered as being farmers were aware of the channels to go through one thing ive heard was you need to have a walking licence or are you covered with DEFRA registration many thanks yours lisa hardy

Reply
    Joanne Rowe - February 7, 2015

    If you want the smallest pig go for the black pigs. Colored and spotted pigs tend to be bigger. You are only talking a few inches difference in height anyway. I highly recommend that if you have the room buy a pair and make sure any males have been castrated. Boredom is your main ememy when keeping any pet pigs: bored pigs and problem animals and can cause damage to property. If you buy a pair and they have plenty of outdoor space they will keep each other entertained and you’ll minimize any boredom, and reduce the possibility of problems.
    Im sorry to say that we do not breed pigs any more so we cannot provide any. This site is being kept online to provide info and help.

    Reply
Janice campbell - January 2, 2015

Hi I’m looking to buy a micro pig later on in the year and I found your webpage. I have first hand experience from owning a number of pigs in the past of different types. I would like some more information regarding the micro pigs available please. Hope to hear from you soon. Kind regards Janice

Reply
    Joanne Rowe - February 7, 2015

    Hi

    Im sorry to say we don’t breed micro pigs any more. And we cannot recommend anyone out there.

    You might want to try a rescue center first before buying one. See Pig placement network for more details

    Reply
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