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Pig in the house: is it worth getting a mini-pig, even if you really want to


In St. Petersburg, a new fashion - for small pigs, or mini-pigs, as they are also called

07/11/2016 at 17:35, views: 7220

For a lot of money, townspeople buy piglets, believing the breeders that these artificially bred pigs grow only to the size of a cat. But in fact, new-fangled pigs are eating fat no worse than collective-farm pigs, some weigh more than 100 kilograms. “Overfed,” the breeders say to the enraged Petersburgers and send them home. Some city dwellers, having not sustained life in a small apartment side by side with a pig, throw a pet out into the street.

Mini-Schwein Fedor Sumkin

Four years ago, St. Petersburg Alexei Zakharov was presented with a mini-pig for his birthday. The first thing Fyodor Sumkin (the so-called piglet) gnawed all the skirtings in the apartment, gobbled up linoleum with shoes, and tore the wallpaper.

“Almost everything was eaten, I even had to make repairs,” recalls Alexei Zakharov. - But this is not so bad. When Fedor was about four months old, he jumped up at five in the morning every night and, like a madman, screamed at the whole apartment, demanding that he eat. Did you hear the squealing piglets? This is not a pleasant grunt, this is hell.

And then Sumkin also began to plump rapidly.

- Breeders said that in adulthood Fedor will weigh about 4-5 kilograms, - says Alex. - Now he is about 75 kilograms. Well, what has grown has grown.

Petersburgers should thank Germany for Fedor Sumkin and similar mini-pigs. It was the Germans, big lovers of pigs, having decided to domesticate them, that began breeding work. For the initial material, they took the usual dwarf Vietnamese collapsible pig and tried to reduce it by crossing with other dwarf breeds. So it turns out that all the mini-pigs now are the mestizos of the Vietnamese vis-bellied. And all kinds of breeds written in veterinary passports of piglets from Moscow and St. Petersburg nurseries are just a fantasy of breeders.

“But even a real mini-pig is small not compared to humans, but compared to other pigs,” explains 38-year-old Elizaveta Rodina, the founder of the mini-pig club “Khavrosha”, holder of the title “Mrs. Grandmother of Russia”. Two pigs live at her house: Josephine and Napoleon. - An ordinary industrial pig reaches about 300 kilograms by the age of 3-4 years, and a dwarf one from 40 to 120. This is how lucky. For example, George Clooney had a 136 kilogram mini-pig. Of course, they don’t tell customers about this. Indeed, the price of one mini-pig varies from 25 to 80 thousand rubles. People are willing to pay that kind of money for tiny pretty pigs, but not for 100 kilogram wild boars.

To be misleading, the breeders show small piglets to Petersburgers and pass them off as adults. This is very easy to do, given that pigs can have “children” as early as seven months. Naive townspeople are shown a pink daddy pig, who is still growing and growing, surrounded by newborn babies and claim that this is an adult mature dwarf boar.

The pig cycle in nature

Petersburgers are not told that the pig-boys grow sharp tusks 15 centimeters long, with which they can easily cut the leg of their master in a bad mood.

“Mini-pigs, unfortunately, are prone to aggression,” explains Elizabeth Rodina. - Even a 50-pound wild boar can be a pretty serious rival to the owners. Especially if they weigh about the same as a pet. And the pigs bite pretty well. It often happens that they, accepting and loving their masters, begin to terrorize their parents. Feeling the weakness of older people, they can rush at them, bite, and not let them go to the refrigerator. There are problems with the piggy girls. From time to time they want a hog and, as a result, write.

For many owners of pigs, these shortcomings more than pay off the quickness of the pigs. Boars not only easily learn to execute dog commands like "to me", "sit", "lie", but also willingly serve a paw.

“For example, Napoleon appeared with us at the age of 7 months,” says Elizabeth Rodina. - Before that, he was of a shed, that is, a country boy who lived with his fellow tribesmen, walked in a pen and did not know city life at all. Nevertheless, he quickly learned to ride in a car, take a shower. Lenya is fully adapted to the urban environment, even walks around the city without a leash, communicates with children and adults. And he plays catch-up with me. First, I run away from the 80-pound Leni, and then he from me. In general, charming swag.

But not everyone is as lucky as Napoleon. The owners are trying to get rid of many other charming pigtails. For example, they bring it back to the breeders, demanding a refund. Naturally, they get nothing.

“Together with piglets, breeders give out a piece of paper with a diet on how to feed a pet,” Elizabeth explains. - I saw completely utopian advice to feed a pig kiwi a day. Such diets are the path to dystrophy and disease, but breeders say that if you stick to them, the pig will not get fat. When my first mini-pig Khavrosh began to recover, they told me: “You overfed her!” And they offered to exchange her for a new one. In theory, I could get a new pig every six months. This is also beneficial for the breeder: I feed him a pig, which he then sells for meat. But it happens that the owners themselves, who are not allowed to eat a fat pet by conscience, take him to a meat farm. The fact is that mini-pigs and farm dwarf pigs are essentially the same thing! People have a misconception that pigs are not eaten. This, unfortunately, is not the case. Most of the grown pigs from contact zoos go back to the farms, and from there to the meat. And in their place they take new kids to wonder visitors. As a result, people, due to the constant change of animals, have the opinion that mini-pigs do not grow.

Misadventures of Nyusha

Often, the owners simply throw the pig out into the street. A similar incident occurred a few weeks ago. On Prague Street, a young piglet was thrown either from the fourth or the fifth floor. Apparently, he constantly squeaked, asked for food, called his mother. The owners could not stand the nerves, so they threw him out of the window. The dead animal lay on the sidewalk until members of the Havrosh group arrived and buried it. And in Moscow there was a big story with 5-year-old pig Nyusha. She was so tired of the owners that they left her in the nearest forest park, and they returned home, quickly packed their things and moved to a new rented apartment.

“Nyusha somehow found her way home, knocked on the door, but they didn’t open it,” says Elizabeth Rodina. - As a result, she fell exhausted on the site. Nyusha was in terrible stress that she was abandoned. Now she, along with other refuseniks, lives in a shelter near Moscow. Another piglet was found in the forest. People walked and saw that there was a carrying in the clearing. Opened - and there is a piglet. We regularly attach such pets, give them to new owners for free.

- Breeders say that the pig does not require much care and is able to live in a city apartment, - adds Alexey Zakharov. - But after the experience with Fedor, I understand that a pig can only be brought up if you have a country house. But in this case too, you need to take care of the pig. For example, I regularly wash my pig, lubricate her skin with cosmetic oil. This is not easy given its weight and size. But I can’t get rid of Fedor either. Pigs are not hamsters that can live with any owners. These animals really become attached to the person, and then, parting with him, they suffer very much.

Where did they come from

Dwarf pigs began to be bred in the second half of the 20th century as donors for organ transplantation to humans: experiments were conducted both in the USSR and in the West. Scientists sought to reduce the weight of an ordinary pig (300-500 kilograms) to the weight of a person. In the 1980s, the United States noticed that the resulting miniature piglets can be kept at home, - there was a fashion for mini-pigs, which eventually spread to Europe.

The first dwarf pigs appeared in Russia 12-15 years ago. The head of the Russian mini-pig club, Elizaveta Rodina, says that one of their discoverers in the country was the daughter of Edita Pieha, artist Ilona Bronevitskaya. Then the pigs passed the category of “glamorous overseas animals” - we can say a more radical version of the Yorkshire Terrier, whose ponytails in the 2000s already did not surprise anyone. When her Pumbaa grew to 100 kg and he had sharp long fangs, they didn’t get rid of him, they didn’t send him to a farm or a zoo, but they built a cozy kennel at a country house. “Not so long ago we met with Stas Piekha,” says Rodina, “and he informed us that Pumbaa was gone. He was 16 years old, this is a Russian pig farmer. "

Who buys mini-pigs and why

According to the breeders, miniature pigs are taken by completely different people - most often they are representatives of creative professions. Although a mini-pig can be kept in an apartment, those who make a purchase consciously purchase a pig in a private house, where he can find enough space. However, often people, looking at cute photographs of piglets in a cup, acquire this, expecting that it will not grow. The animal, on the contrary, grows up to 50–80 kilograms, bites, spoils the repair, and the pig is exiled to the refusenik or mini-zoo, where it is difficult to live apart from the owner. And yes, often dies.

What are decorative pigs

Although breeders distinguish between different species, a clear classification of breeds of mini-pigs does not exist. This name includes animals weighing both 30 kilograms and 120. The only exception is the so-called micropig - the smallest representatives in the family. “Mini-pigs weigh an average of 40 to 80 kilograms, while they can grow up to 100 if they are well fed. Microprigs grow up to 25-30 kg, ”explains Valeria Nesterova, administrator of the community“ Mini-pigs - friends of man ”.

The cause of fierce debate is the mini-mayyalino - a variety bred in Italy of completely microscopic pigs, whose weight supposedly does not exceed 10-15 kilograms. On the Internet you can find many ads for the sale of these pocket pigs, sellers claim that they give a guarantee on the size of an adult pig - they say it will not outgrow. However, Nesterova claims that such a breed does not exist. As a rule, these are either sick individuals of micropig who do not live long or simply underfed: often breeders deliberately observe and recommend to the owners a diet that will not allow the animal to grow to normal sizes.

How to choose a mini-pig

The first thing that pig farmers advise is to evaluate whether you are able to shelter such a specific pet at home. Mini-pigs can cause allergies, so it is best to consult your doctor in advance. A test for the so-called allergen E83, the epithelium of a pig, costs in Moscow from 500 to 1000 rubles. According to a survey of the community of owners of mini-pigs, 5-10 thousand rubles are spent per month on maintenance. In addition, you need to evaluate whether you can adjust your life to the needs of a home pig.

“Ask yourself: are you ready to devote 15–20 years of your life to such an animal? Many owners of mini-pigs over time radically change their lives: they move to a country house, buy a car to transport the animal, cancel vacations if there is no one to leave the pig with. “The pig will not adapt to you: dogs look at us from the bottom up, cats look at us from top to bottom, and pigs look at us as equals.”

As a rule, the price of a domestic pig varies from 3 to 45 thousand rubles. You can buy a mini-pig both at Avito and in special nurseries. The second option is preferable: this way you can see different animals, talk with the owner and carefully consider the future pet. In Russia there are about 5 large nurseries and many small breeders who breed animals right at home.

Owners of dwarf pigs advise before buying in a particular place to talk with those who have already taken the animal there. You can also see an album with photographs of other adult piglets raised in this nursery to assess prospects.

“When buying, be sure to pay attention to the skin: it should not be too dry, it should not be plaque. A healthy mini-pig is moderately well-fed - if the hip sticks out, this is an indicator of rickets. Pay attention to the behavior: the mini-pig should be mobile, fun, active. ”

The average life span of a pig is 10–15 years. As a rule, buyers take a pet at an early age. “The piglet sucks milk for the first two weeks, and then switches to self-feeding,” says Moscow breeder Ksenia Remizova. - On the one hand, the sooner you take the pig into the house, the faster the mini-pig will attach to you. On the other hand, in three months he will definitely not have any problems with nutrition and stomach, which are peculiar to very small piglets. ”

It is also worth deciding on the floor of your mini-pig. Gender does not affect size, but males grow to fangs by 4 years old - they can hurt you or the walls. Solution: either file the fangs, or remove them completely.

The pedigree is not important: it does not give any guarantees and ideas about who you will grow up. “Dogs from the breed have some characteristics - for example, if a shepherd, then she will be a guard dog. The pig does not have such things: behavior does not depend on heredity, but on the upbringing of the owner, ”Ksenia explains.

Slipped pig problem

From time to time, scary stories appear in social networks about how a person bought a dwarf pig, and an unscrupulous seller slipped him a newborn pig, which grew up and began to weigh 300 kilograms. In fact, it is difficult to confuse a mini-pig with its large relative, since they vary greatly in size, being still young: dwarf ones are noticeably smaller. In addition, they can be distinguished by a large head, thin legs and small ears.

How to keep a mini-pig at home

Fans of mini-pigs insist that it is better to start them in a private house, where there will be no problems with neighbors and where the piglet will be able to freely spend time outdoors in winter and summer. However, this does not stop many pig farmers from buying a mini-pig living in an apartment building.

We must be prepared for the fact that the new tenant will spoil the repairs just made. “Piglets are curious animals, they like to watch and pick everything,” says Valeria Nesterova. - I recommend to many people to buy locked enclosures, where the animal can be left while you are not at home. This way you can avoid the situation when a person returns home after work, and the baseboards are torn off, parquet is opened and the curtains are torn. ”

Before buying, the question often arises of how hygienic it is to keep a pig at home. According to the owners, the mini-pigs are very clean. It is enough to wash them 1-2 times a week, pluck the wool, as they molt, and wipe the paws after a walk.

Homeland: “Any animal has its own specific smell, it is nature. For example, I can hardly stand the smell of dogs, but I really like the smell of my pigs.My Josephine smells of tart cinnamon and nuts, and Napoleon smells of clean skin, especially when it warms up in the sun. That usually smells in the leather and suede departments of the malls. ”

What to feed

As a rule, mini-pigs living in an apartment eat cereals, vegetables, fruits and dairy products. Roasted, stewed, sweet and salted piglets are prohibited. There is a special feed for dwarf pigs that can be ordered on Amazon, but Russian pig farmers prefer to feed their pets with natural products.

Are mini-pigs aggressive

In pigs of both sexes, sooner or later, a transitional period occurs when the animal tries to find out who is the boss in the house. To make the mini-pig more compliant, it is advised to be neutered or sterilized. However, you can agree with the breeder and buy a pig, which has already passed all the necessary procedures.

From time to time, you can read the owners' complaints that the mini-pig did not get along with the child, considering himself more important than him. It comes to the fact that the owners of the animal have to abandon it. In this case, experts recommend either to wait until the child is older, or to explain to him that this is an animal and that he does not need to be offended, and convey to the pet who is in charge of the house.

Do I need to walk with mini-pigs

At first, the mini-pig can use the tray, but when it grows up, it needs to be walked twice a day, including in winter. Some owners buy clothes for dwarf pigs so that they do not freeze in winter and do not burn in the sun in summer. Moreover, in the hot season, sunscreens are used. As for the leash, according to the owners, the piglets have no desire to run away from the owner, so they can walk freely.

Usually the policy of cafes and restaurants regarding guests with animals extends to piglets, although some establishments object to visitors with mini-pigs. In October 2016, Muscovite Roman Ogarev sued Burger King due to the fact that he was expelled from the restaurant. The owner of the pig tried to feed the pet with potatoes, which the administration did not like. Elizabeth Rodina, who leads the community of mini-pig lovers, advises in such cases: “If someone objects to the pig, I ask the question: is it possible to be a pig in a killed and dismembered form in your restaurant, but not a living and healthy animal? Most often it works. ”

Do mini pigs get sick

According to the owners, dwarf pigs, who are looked after and well fed, are practically not ill. If the animal receives the necessary complex of vitamins, walks in the fresh air, then most likely there will be no problems. Mini-pigs are vaccinated: you can register the animal at the place of residence in the veterinary clinic, where you are required to do them every year. You will have to get registered if you plan to travel with a pet. “I often go to Belarus with my mini-pig, and for this I have to get the consent of the Veterinary Committee,” says Nesterova. - The fact is that there is ASF - the so-called African swine fever, which is not treated. When the epidemic begins, animals in a certain radius are simply destroyed. To prevent such situations, the dwarf pig must be registered. ”

Mini Pig Training

A piglet, like a dog, needs to be trained in teams so that he is well-mannered, knows his place and comes up when his name is. Mini-pigs lend themselves well to training, but they need to be motivated by food. The owner himself can cope with this task, however, it is common practice when dwarf pigs are taken to dog courses.

Ksenia Remizova, who runs her own mini-pig show, claims that dwarf pigs have developed intelligence: “It has been scientifically established that a pig can learn how to use a computer faster than a five-year-old child,” she says. - A pig can gather information and draw its own conclusions. In addition, mini-pigs ride a skateboard and are able to master logic games that are designed for children. "

So is it worth it to get yourself a pig?

“I loved pigs, and especially piglets, for a long time and dearly. If not from childhood, then from some early youth. A pig is a soul. My friends knew about this, many sentimental stories were associated with this love. But it is one thing to want a pig, and another to get it. And so all the talk about mini-pigs usually ended with something like “Well, sometime, when we will have a big house ...”, “Well, by the way! But come on a little later. ”

One day my phone rang and the mysterious voice of my friend from Petersburg said: “Elena Alexandrovna, meet us.” This "we" included my friend and actually a young pig, whom he decided to bring to me as a gift. At that moment, film critic Roman Volobuev and I were at the cottage of the director Solovyov — we interviewed him and drank a bottle of cognac in the process. So another friend of ours, the then editor-in-chief of the Poster Ilya Krasilshchik, had to meet the present. So after some time, the Dyer calls and almost yells into the phone: “Elena Alexandrovna, this is not a little pig. This is a real pig. ” At home, we found my shocked sister Katya - she did not wait for the pig and did not even say that this love would be shared - a friend and a drunk pig. The piglet had to be drunk in order to be taken from Petersburg to Moscow - if he grunted, they would both be driven off the train.

Well, that's how we started living with him. They named it after Lars von Trier: it seemed to us that it was funny. I, in fact, was happy: Lars was affectionate, smart and playful. And when I was at home or he was in front of my eyes - he was perfect. He was lying under his leg, demanding that his stomach be scratched. But here my sister Katya was much more critical to him - and accused Lars of treachery. Allegedly, when I was not there, he behaved badly, quickly trained the cat to throw off all sorts of edible things from the shelves. Well, in general, he produced a different kind of destroy. I still think well of him. Although about the cat - this is definitely true. It was evident that in this spike the main one is still a pig. We fed him porridge with an apple. But he ate everything he managed to get to. He was very cunning. That is, not even that: he was extremely cunning. He knew how to pretend. And he also hated men. Maybe jealous. But if male friends came to us, Lars bit them on the heels. I was ready to live with it. The only problem was that it turned out to be really no mini-pig, but a dwarf pig. And at some point, he began to grow rapidly. I left for New York, and Katya was preparing for the exam at home.

And then my phone rings: evening, New York, I'm having dinner with friends. And Katya yells: “All-eee. All-eee. Your pig got me! ”In general, Lars knocked over a bottle of oil. I drank it whole. Then his stomach was upset. And then, in general, you probably can’t explain. Katya really had a hard time. I had to take him to a country house to my friends, because in the apartment it was impossible to keep him further. But in general, love has not disappeared - you cannot imagine a creature more tender than a pig. ”