[Editor's note: The minimum sizes and weights mentioned in these articles are taken from the writers of the articles. In many years of working with pigs, we at CPPA have yet to see any "healthy" pigs of any variety at full growth (3 to 5 years of age) that weighed as little as 70 pounds (and then rarely). Most pigs would be considered to be small for any of these breeds if they weighed only 100 pounds.]
To my knowledge there are at least six (6)distinct types of miniature pigs:
Vietnamese Pig (also called Potbellied Pig)
Juliani Pig (also called Painted Miniature Pig)
African Pygmy Pig(also called Guinea Hogs)
Yucatan Pig (also called the Mexican Hairless)
Ossabaw Island Pig (also called 'Feral" pig)
There are "spin-offs" from some of the listed pigs. The descriptions and sizes, of these pigs, will vary with the crossing of one breed to another.
Vietnamese Pig or Potbellied Pig or Potbelly Pig
This breed of pig has long been a favorite because of its captivating appearance and tractable disposition. The general appearance of a potbellied pig is a pronounced potbelly, swayed back, small erect ears, and a straight tail.
Height: (Measured at the withers): the typical height is less than 18" with the ideal height being around 14".
Weight: from 60# and up.
Nose: short to medium length
Colors: black, white, or black and white.
Juliani Pig or Painted Miniature Pig
Juliani pig traces its ancestry back to Europe and was developed through a selective breeding program to enhance small size, temperament and intelligence. They were imported to the United States. They are reported being the result of crossing several breeds. They have small to medium ears, a slight potbelly, short hair, sway back, short, straight tail. Sometimes called "The Painted Miniature," their colors can be red, red and black, red and white, white and black, black, silver and silver and white. The legs are longer than the potbellied pig's and they are slightly smaller. They have a gentle disposition and love to play.
Height: 12" to 18"
Weight: 50# and up
African Pigmy Pig or Guinea Hog
The African Pygmy pig arrived from Africa to the Southern United States during the days of slave trade providing food for the poor in the rural United States for generations. They are documented in historic journals as huge, red, hairy pigs. What are called Guinea Hogs today have evolved as listed below. They are not dwarfs, but reportedly a true midget. They are not swayed back, or do they have a potbelly. They are shorter in forequarters than the hind quarters with a moderately short snout, slight bristling and thickening at the nape of the neck. They are active, alert, and highly intelligent. They have straight backs, a curl in their tail, medium sized ears, non-wrinkled skin, with bristly hair. They are stocky with short legs. They bond readily to humans and prefer to be close to their favorite people. Height: 14" to 22"
Weight: 60# and up
Yucatan Pig or Mexican Hairless
Yucatan Pig originated in Mexico and Central America. They have straight backs and no potbelly, short snouts, sparse hair coats and medium size ears. They are slate gray to black in color and are usually very gentle. They are often used in laboratories since their skin, cardiac and other systems resemble those of humans. The larger type have males weighing up to 210 lbs. And females up to 180 lbs. The laboratories have bred for the smaller type and produced the miniatures which weigh up to 100 lbs. and heights of 16" to 24."
Ossabaw Island Pigs
Ossabaw pigs are categorized as a feral pig. "Feral" pig is defined as stock that is "wild, untamed, uncultivated, born in the wild, and/or in a wild state after escaping from captivity." They are known to have been running wild for nearly 500 years with no introduction of domestic or other outside blood. They were brought for food by the colonists who settled in Georgia, possibly representing the primitive pariah-type village pigs of Medieval Europe. On the mainland of the United States they have been crossed with many domestic breeds. However, the strain is thought to have remained pure off the Georgia coast on Ossabaw Island.
Ossabaw pigs have long snouts, heavy coats and prick ears. They have excellent temperaments, are lively, and extremely intelligent due to their wild heritage. They are very friendly, easy to train and bond with all members of the family including other pets. It is reported that they will live up to 15+ years.
Though insular dwarfism allows the hogs on the island to stay as
small as 40-90 lbs, we are told that in captivity on the mainland they can easily get up to 200 lbs. Height: Desirable 14" to 20"
Weight: 40 lbs. to 90 lbs.
Colors: Solids including gray, blue and red. Spotted include black
and white, striped: red and black and calico, black, white, and red.
Solid white is rare.
The Kunekune pig have a short, turned up snout and have pire pire (tassels) hanging from their lower jaw (about 4 cm long) this being one of the most obvious and distinctive features of the Kunekune. Their legs are short and their bodies are short and round. The color range includes: black, black and white, white, gold, tan and brown. They are delightful, very placid and friendly.
Height: 16-24 inches
Weight: 70 lbs. and up.
Unusual Domestic Pigs
The Mangaliza Hog
This pig from Hungary has long cream colored curly hair and drooping ears. Its young are born horizontally striped like the Wild Boars. Although widely distributed in the 19th centrury in its native country, this domestic breed is practically extinct at this time.
The Grayling Striper
This unique all American pig was developed in Grant, Nebraska. Their unique color pattern is a result of 60 years of breeding hybrid crosses to produce gray striped pigs. Normally, wild pigs are born with striping and it lightens as the piggets older eventually disappearing before maturity. With the unique Grayling Stripers, the color intensifies with age, never disappearing. Subsequent matings of offspring produce darker and more distinct striping. A 100% Grayling Striper boar bred to a 100% pure red Duroc sow produces "red stripers," an interesting peek into the complexity of color genetics.
The Masked Pig
The Masked Pig, from China has large drooping ears, and thick skin folds on its face. The breed is making a comeback by being introduced into some domestice commercial American bloodlines to increase hybrid vigor and because of the breed's ease of farrowing, excellent mothering instincts and most of all, because of its large litters of 25 or more piglets.
Mule Footed Pig
The Mule-Footed Pig has a fused solid hoof instead of the split hoof. This type of foot is thought to be congenital defect in most other breeds of pigs. Color varies as does size although they tend to be a large pig. There are no standard for the Mule Footed pig at this time. There are several European breeds that have the single fused hoof. In Europe they are called "Single-Hoofed Hogs."
European Wild Boars (Russian Boars-Sus Scrofa)
Considered to be the most common wild pig. These large, heavily bristled pigs are dark brown to black in color. They have a very long nose, erect ears, and straight tail. They may easily grow to 500 lbs. and live up to a reported 30 years. Babies are born horizontally stripped in earthy tones of brown, tan, and black. They are social, travel in groups, except for the boars who are solitary. Litters are small with four being the average. The boars have especially thick shields of armored skin over their shoulders and sides. Their tusks can get quite long and are used for foraging and fighting off enemies as well as rival boars. All ages of this breed are very aggressive and should be respected.
The Regal Pig
Throughout history pigs have been held in the highest regard. It is know that in the early1800's pigs frequently were the choice for church carvings. In those times the Wild Boar ranked with lions as the choice of animal on heraldic family crests. In some cultures the pig, or its images, have been regarded as fertility and good luck symbols. And, who knows what political legends really lie behind the tales of "The Three Little Pigs," or the rhyme that goes with kid's bare toes? We only know that a lot of us grew up loving pigs.
Cats look down on you...Dogs look up to you...Pigs look you square in the eye.