We have four pigs at Alligator Attraction. Wilbur and Sweet Pea (Juliana Teacup Pigs) and Brutus and Barley (Vietnamese Pot Belly pigs). Pigs make wonderful pets but they’re not for everyone. At Alligator Attraction, we help visitors gain a new appreciation for the animals they come in contact with. But it’s also our job as educators and conservationists to ensure that everyone understands these types of precious animal friends are often adopted without a full understanding of what life with a pig entails.
We’d like to share a few things about pigs as pets and tell you more about our piggies. We also want to encourage you to see these adorable pigs up close at Alligator Attraction. They are so much more than “cute.”
5 Myths About Pigs as Pets
At Alligator Attraction, you can come interact with Wilbur, Sweet Pea, Brutus, and Barley. And even though we hear a lot of begging and pleading about taking our sweet pigs home or getting “one of our own,” there are a few things we want you to know and myths we want to dispel before you decide to add one to your family.
1. Teacup Pigs Are Tiny
Just like humans, they are small as babies. But Teacup piglets grow. They’ll get up to about 40 pounds. Some breeders sell piglets as “teacups” but they’re really only the runts of the litters. When they grow to normal size, some owners don’t find them nearly as adorable, which is sad because they are so much more than a pretty face and a tiny body.
Instagram has made this breed famous as people take pictures of their baby piglets in actual teacups. When you come to see our Wilbur and Sweet Pea, you’ll quickly realize at over a year old they won’t even fit in a Big Gulp-sized cup, let alone a teacup.
2. Pigs Are Just Like Dogs…or Cats
A pig is a pig. Not a dog or a cat. Yes, they can be litterbox trained and yes, they can learn tricks. That’s why a lot of people think they’re just like any other common domesticated pet.
But what many people don’t realize is that teacup pigs can live up to 20 years and pot bellies can live up to 30 years. So if you’re considering buying a pig for your 10-year-old, know that their companion will be with them (or you) until your child is around thirty (or even 40!). That’s a lot of life changes and there probably aren’t many college dorms that take pigs. Make sure you’re ready for the commitment of these fine swine.
3. Pigs Are Dirty
Many people think pigs are dirty because they assume they roll around in mud all day. Some pigs do but it’s to help protect their skin from the sun. They don’t enjoy getting dirty on purpose. It’s simply hard for them to apply sunscreen. It gets stuck in their hooves and they’re not flexible enough to reach their own backs.
Our pigs don’t have any kind of mud in their area. They love to snuggle in a pet bed.
4. Pigs Are Dumb
In the animal kingdom, pigs rate the fifth smartest behind only:
Because of this, they are easily trained.
Our sweet pigs will soon be giving guided tours of the alligator area. Just kidding. They prefer trying to talk our Pink-Toed Tarantula, Henrietta, into spinning a web like Charlotte did for Wilbur. We’ll let you know if she agrees. Right now they’re trying to work on the language barrier.
5. Pigs Are Good Just Hanging Out
Many people have heard that pigs are intelligent but they probably don’t consider what that means past the fact that they learn and retain tricks quickly. Some breeds of pig are highly social so they need company. If they’re left home alone, they could get destructive.
Just like us, they get bored. They’re looking for things to do. If they have no friends to play with, and they can’t turn on the video games, they’ll find a way to entertain themselves and you might not like that way. Your teddy bear or your couch might not either.
At Alligator Attraction, our piggies get lots of interaction and sometimes they get to walk around the area. It’s important to keep intelligent animals stimulated.
Pigs can be amazing pets for the right person and situation. But they’re not for everyone. What is for everyone is coming down to say hello to our famous four.
Need an additional reason to come visit Alligator Attraction?
Brutus and Barley will be a year old June 10th. We will be celebrating their birthday with a rager like none other. (Just kidding. Pigs aren’t really party animals.) But they can be social.
Won’t you stop by and say hello? They would love to see you. They’d also love some apples or carrots! Pigs love that crunch and burst of sweetness. Don’t you?
So come on by on or around June 10th and wish them a happy birthday and many more.
Bonus: Fun Pig Activity
Brutus and Barley will be one on June 10. Please draw them a picture showing them celebrating their special day with the kind of food you think they’d eat. Bring it with you when you come to see them.