A group of pigs is called a drift. At the sanctuary we have Vietnamese potbellied pigs. They were first imported as pets in the 1980s. In the wild their lifespan is about 10 years however they can live 15-20 years as pets with proper care. They are not considered fully grown until 2-3 years of age however they can start breeding as young as 4 to 6 months.
They are highly social and need community. Like dogs they have a keen sense of smell, are intelligent, and can be trained. Pigs can only sweat from the tip of their nose which means they need to be able to cool in the shade or wallow in the mud. They love the mud! Most healthy potbellied pigs grow to weigh between 100 to 180 pounds. Teacup and mini pigs don’t actually exist, they are just one species of pig. One of the largest pigs living here was a “mini pig.”
Pigs have bristles, instead of hair or fur, which they shed 1 to 2 times per year. They are opportunistic omnivores in the wild; their diet revolves around leaves, roots, berries, nuts, seeds, raw eggs, and insects. Our pigs eat specially formulated pig chow supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Reality of farm life outside the sanctuary
Although potbellied pigs can make wonderful pets for educated owners the sad reality is most are abandoned, put down, or slaughtered. Many humane societies are not set up to care for pigs. The lucky ones ending up at sanctuaries like Animal Haven. Often people underestimate the size they will grow to, local zoning, and the difficulty of pig ownership. Pigs live in hierarchical societies which can seem aggressive by human standards.