When I was asked to join the HHF family by becoming an Adoption Coordinator, I was overjoyed to be a part of helping many of the pigs I’ve grown to know and love, find their forever homes. Over the past year, I have learned that a big part of this role is educating prospective pig adopters on the ins and outs of pig parenting. We tend to get a lot of requests for baby pigs, and we don’t see many babies because that’s the age they are the smallest. Usually, it’s not until pigs start to grow that people try to rehome their family pet. Not only is this very difficult on the pig, but it’s hard for us to watch, as well, knowing it only gets better! I’d love to share some of the benefits of adopting an adult pig and the joys that go along with being a pig parent.
Size. Along with people often wanting to adopt a piglet, they also want a small pig. Those 2 requests cannot definitively be fulfilled together. Pigs grow until they are about 5 years old; while a baby may be small initially, there is no guarantee what their actual size will be once they reach adulthood. Even when you see the parents, that is not always a great indicator of the adult size of their offspring. When breeders show their breeding pigs off, they aren’t always truthful about age, or have inhumanely stunted their growth by not feeding them correctly. When you adopt an older pig, there won’t be the surprise of having a much larger pig than anticipated. This is especially important in certain areas due to some ordinances having a weight limit on pet pigs. It’s important to note that mini pigs grow anywhere from 70 lbs at the low end, to 300 lbs at the high end, with most falling between 100-180 lbs at adulthood.
Personalities. Pigs are very intelligent and have big personalities to match. Just like with a human baby, we learn what type of personality they have as they mature. Adopting an older pig allows us to match you up with the type of pig that works best with your family! Some are shy, some are sassy, but they all have their little quirks. We know you’ll love getting to know them, just like you would with a baby!
Training. Adopting an older pig often allows you to sidestep some difficult piggy phases. Most of our grown pigs are already well-mannered and trained. While you can always teach an old pig new tricks, it’s kind of nice to bypass some of the piglet moments that lead to new pig parents surrendering their younger pig to a new home.
Companionship. Pigs make excellent companion animals. When they are young, they can be very needy or demanding, which can sometimes feel like more work than what you’re getting from the relationship. That’s why we usually will only adopt babies to experienced pig owners. If you are new to pig ownership, an older pig is likely going to give you more of that companion feeling that we often associate with dogs or cats. Mature pigs just want to Netflix and chill!
No matter the age, pigs do not make good gifts. During our adoption process, we like to have the entire family out to meet any potential adoptees, as we firmly believe that the pig picks their people. There is always an adjustment period for any new pet, but I’m confident that if you allow yourself the opportunity, you will fall in love with your pre-loved piggy. If you have any questions about pig adoptions, feel free to email me at [email protected]. If you think you’re ready to start the adoption process, I invite you to fill out an application on our website. –Chelsea