The Pot Belly Pig, better known as the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, is a breed of domestic pig with short legs and a low-hanging belly. As the name suggests, this breed originated in Vietnam. In that region, people refer to the breed as the “Lon I” or simply “I.” Read on to learn about the Pot Belly Pig.
Description of the Pot Belly Pig
One of the smaller domestic breeds, this pig typically measures about 14 in. tall and weighs around 100 lbs. or so. They have thick, black skin, coarse black hair on their bodies, and heavy jowls on their faces. Like all pigs, they have a round disc on the ends of their snouts.
This pig’s most prominent feature is its “potbelly” which hangs nearly to the ground. Additionally, this weighted belly gives it an arched, swayback as well.
Interesting Facts About the Pot Belly Pig
These pigs have a number of interesting traits and characteristics. Learn more about what makes them unique, below.
- “Mini-Pig” Craze – In recent years, some people have marketed these creatures as “mini pigs.” Though they don’t reach nearly the size of other breeds, they still grow much larger than most people assume. Some can reach up to 300 lbs.
- The Not-So-Small Problem – Unfortunately, people buy these pigs while they are young, and they continue to grow, and grow, and grow. This can lead to abandonment when people realize how large of a pet they now have.
- Long Growth – Though they reach sexual maturity at less than a year old, these pigs keep growing for quite some time. Researchers don’t consider them “fully grown” until they reach six years old.
- Wealth and Happiness – People of the Bac Ninh Province in Vietnam depict these creatures as symbols of wealth and happiness in their traditional Dong Ho paintings.
Habitat of the Pot Belly Pig
Because people developed this breed, they have no “natural” habitat. The people of Vietnam raised these creatures on farms and pastures, as well as rice terraces. Across the globe, these creatures thrive on similar farms in a range of different types of biomes and temperatures.
Distribution of the Pot Belly Pig
People originally developed this breed in the Nam Dinh Province in Vietnam. From their original domestication, they spread throughout the region. The people of the area then exported them throughout the globe. You can now find this breed worldwide.
Diet of the Pot Belly Pig
Like all pigs, this breed has omnivorous feeding habits. It forages by using its sensitive sense of smell to find and unearth food buried beneath the ground, in a behavior known as rooting. They feed on roots, nuts, berries, fruits, seeds, insects, and more. People have also formulated pelleted diets to feed these creatures.
Pot Belly Pig and Human Interaction
Humans primarily raise these animals for food and as pets. As a food source, their slow growth makes them less desirable than other breeds. As pets, their smaller size makes them more desirable, as does their intelligence and personality.
The people of Asia began domesticating pigs about 8,000 years ago. This breed originated in Vietnam, and people eventually exported it to other regions and countries. Their popularity as pets spiked in North America in the 1980s. In some regions, feral individuals cause damage to the local ecosystems.
Does the Pot Belly Pig Make a Good Pet
In some instances, this breed can make a good pet. However, you should understand that these pigs reach significant sizes and live for 10 – 15 years. Though you might be able to keep one as a pet, it likely would not be the best choice for most families.
Pot Belly Pig Care
As is the case with all pigs, you must provide ample water and appropriate food, as well as shelter and room to explore. Though some people house train these pigs and keep them inside, in most cases you should keep them in an agricultural setting. You can feed them commercially produced pelleted feed.
Behavior of the Pot Belly Pig
Like all pigs, these creatures have social natures and high intelligence. They prefer living in small groups. You can find them rooting around in search of food, sleeping, or wallowing in mud to cool themselves down in hot weather. When properly socialized, they have friendly dispositions and make good pets.
Reproduction of the Pot Belly Pig
This breed reaches sexual maturity at as young as 3 months of age. After mating, the female undergoes a 115-day gestation period. Litters contain between 1 and 15 young, known as piglets. The young nurse about once every hour. Weaning occurs when the piglets reach between 6 and 8 weeks of age.