Various breeds of small pigs are put in the category of teacup pigs. Teacup pigs are often classified as domestic pigs. Pot-bellied pigs, Göttingen mini pigs, Juliana pigs, Choctaw hogs, Pennywell miniature or kunekunes are the breeds that come under this category.
Use of Teacup Pigs in Medical Research
The primary fields where teacup pigs have been used are toxicology, experimental surgery, pulmonology, pharmacology, xenotransplantation, cardiology, and aging studies. Pigs are highly intelligent and can be easily settled in a laboratory. They are used to study human diseases. Scientists are working out the possibility of utilizing pigs’ hearts in human heart organ transplant surgeries. For this, they are working to genetically mutate the tissues of these pigs so that the human immune system can accept them. This research has been going on since the 1960s.
Creation of New Breeds of Teacup Pigs
Crossbreeding has also been performed on these pigs such as the Vietnamese Potbelly pig, the Minnesota mini pig, and the German Landrace pig were crossbred to develop the mini-sized version of domestic pig in the world named Göttingen mini pig in scientific terms. This development was done at the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics at the University of Göttingen, Germany in the late 1960s.
Why are Miniature Pigs Kept as Pets?
Owing to their small size and intelligent nature, they are often kept as pets. The mini pigs that are domesticated can vary in weight from 50 lbs. to 200 lbs. To have a better idea about how large a fully-grown pig would be, a person could try to have a look at the parent or grandparent of the pig if possible. This is due to the fact that pigs take a very long time period to fully mature and, in many cases, even the parent pigs have not been fully grown. Pigs that are kept as pets are usually taught to urinate and defecate in trash containers. These animals bond well with humans and show their love and affection towards them.
In the US, different areas have different laws enforced as to whether pigs can be domesticated or not. Some areas only allow pigs to be domesticated as livestock and not as a pet. Ordinances of a few towns and cities do not permit the farm animals within the limits of the city. This varies from location to location.
What do These Pigs Eat?
There is a misconception that pigs can feed upon the leftover food. Like other pets, even pigs require nutritious food that contains all the vitamins and minerals. Pigs have a tendency to eat everything. They should be made to eat proteins and fibers which constitute of grains and green leaves. The owner must take care that fish, milk, bones, seeds, bananas and dog food should not be eaten by the pig. For a long and healthy life of these pigs, the consumption of wholesome food is essential. However, it is hard to find pig food in commercial stores. You can get it with the help of any vet expert in your city.
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