breeding potbellies

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Chinclub, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I just bought a female potbelly pig to add to our little farm and she carried on so after we brought her home that I sent my husband back to get another to keep her company. He got the last one available which turned out to be a male. They are from different mothers and the same father. The man told my husband that in pigs that is an acceptable breeding mate.

    The female is 6 weeks and the male is 8 weeks old. I'm thinking it might be neat to let them have a litter or two, but I'm worried that they will breed before its healthy for the female. At what age can they breed and what age is safe to breed? Once I put them back together will they get along or do pigs have some sort of territorial issues?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,750
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    Here is the link to the North American Potbellied pig Association which as helpful links:

    http://www.petpigs.com/

    However, please consider having them both fixed and not breeding them. There are sooo many abandoned pigs that are being taken care of by potbellied pig shelters which are full to the brim. People get them because they think they'd be a cute little pet. I even know of one girl who had one in her apartment. But they get really big very quickly and they are not just like a dog (even though I think they are smarter). It's hard to find a vet who will care for one, they are super heavy and hard to transport (try getting a 150lb screaming pig somewhere it doesn't want to be like the back of a trailer or truck), some people have problems with them rooting up the yard (which I've never had a problem with). the male pigs grow tusks which some people need to maintain for the safety of their other animals or children (which I've never had a problem with). The female pigs can become very agressive with the male pig when ready to breed.

    All this considered, another factor is there is only a certain amount of time that you have to have a female fixed. After she gets her pot belly, it's pretty much too late. I took in a full grown female pig and couldn't find a vet that would fix her. They say it's a dangerous and major surgery for them to cut through all that tissue to get to her reproductive organs.

    Also, the male potbellied pigs when they aren't fixed can get quite gross.
     

  3. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,750
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
  4. John_in_Houston

    John_in_Houston Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    311
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    I hear they can be good eating if you limit their diet to what they can free range in a pasture so they don't put on too much fat...
     
  5. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Thanks for the links but I still couldn't find anything on breeding such as when she is able to get pregnant and when is it safe. I have found articles on gestation, pregnancy, and delivery, but nothing on safe breeding.

    I do understand the pro and cons of having them fixed and the lack of being a good family pet, but as farm animals its not a huge issue. I live in a farming community and the demand for them is rather high. The place I got these two from sold 2 litters in a weekend! We were lucky to get the last one so our little girl wouldn't be lonely. Unfortunatly the people I got them from aren't the best for getting animal care info as I saw a lot of poor feeding and housing practices with animals I do know how to raise & breed. They said to just throw them together and they will be fine but I don't think that sounds right.

    Any other suggestions on where to look?
     
  6. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,750
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    how about this?

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0812013565/ref=nosim/homebasedbusi-20/104-1186596-7032726

    BREEDER CODE OF ETHICS
    http://www.petpigs.com/nabredco.htm

    Also, if you know of someone that wants potbellied pigs right now, have them do a search for potbellied pig shelters. There are far too many to list here and they are all over the country. Many shelters with a little screening will be happy to give you a pig for free.

    Here is some adoption information:
    http://www.pigs4ever.com/PotBelliedPigInfo/adoption.htm

    And for the person who talking about eating a potbellied pig, they are not for eating they are pets.
     
  7. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,910
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    tn
    i keep two pb pigs as pets. however, in learning to take care of them i have come to agree that they make better farm animals than pets. i would appreciate it if you wouldn't stir up the anti-meat pig argument here. you gain nothing by it, and only alienate the people who have the information we are looking for. we all have the same goal of healthy, well-cared for animals, and this forum is an excellent place to fiind that information.

    thanks.
     
  8. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,750
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    I'm not trying to stir anything up and I'm not a vegetarian. Every potbellied pig care site that I've seen shows that they are not for meat, they are pets. I am simply passing along information which I feel I have the right to do in a forum that shares information. They are mostly fat and at the most can be used for grease. I didn't say ANYTHING about not eating pork. I didn't say anything hostle about people that eat them. I made one very simple comment. I've done years of research on them and I was trying to help you. You want to eat a greasy pig that's bred as a pet, knock yourself out.
     
  9. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

    Messages:
    2,479
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Lynnwood, Washington
    OK, I'll bite. The Vietnamese Potbelly Pig is descended from the I-pig of Vietnam and a Mong Cai type from China, both meat pigs in their native lands. About the I-pig, it is written:
    -----------------------
    In contrast to the majority of conservation programmes in other countries most of the conservation programmes implemented by NIAH are conducted on farm with intensive farmer participation. One of these programmes aims at the conservation of the I-pig. This programme intends to combine the conservation of the I-pig with the improvement of the economic situation of the target group, i.e. resource-poor farmers keeping this pig-breed. . . .

    The I-pig-programme is not economically viable. To reach viability it is necessary to compensate the low performance of I-pig by a high price for their pork that can be regarded as a special product due to its superior smell, taste and tenderness (this characterisation of quality was widely acknowledged among farmers and key-persons asked).
    -----------------------
    A couple of interesting links:
    http://www.vcn.vnn.vn/qg/tienganh/Mong cai pig.htm - re Mong Cai pig - another potbelly ancestor - main uses, in order of importance: meat and fat.

    http://www.vcn.vnn.vn/qg/tienganh/mong_cai_pig_is_pet_pig_in_north.htm#mc

    So I guess they probably are fairly edible - something the pet pig folks would rather we didn't know, eh?
     
  10. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,025
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    North East
    "They are mostly fat and at the most can be used for grease"

    they're only mostly fat when abused(kept indoors and not allowed to forage.. and over fed) a pasture PB is a lean hog and I hear they are very tastey, you should read more before giving out info, I hate it when people give out wrongful advise, it usually just leads to more abuse.
     
  11. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,910
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    tn
    q- as you may or may not shortly find out, some people are here who are pretty touchy on the topic. it was an attempt at fair warning. take it how you will. as i said, we are here to share info, to keep our animals as well-cared for as possible.
     
  12. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Gosh,
    I didn't mean to stir up problems. Quntmphscs, If you have done years of research on them would please tell me at what age my little girl is capable of getting pregnant and at what age she is safe to get pregnant. That is all I need to know.
     
  13. thorngirl

    thorngirl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Location:
    Wedgefield SC former Vermonter

    From what I have been told the female can get pregnant as young as 2 months old and the male can be fertile at 52 days old.I had 2 females get pregnant at just over 2 months old,they both aborted their litters which I'm glad of because they are still very tiny now(10-15 lbs) at 9 months old and I can't imagine them trying to give birth that young.They are both pregnant again now and are due in late April/early May.I can keep you up dated on their progress and delivery if you'd like?.
     
  14. John_in_Houston

    John_in_Houston Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    311
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Rouen, how much space do they need for forage?

    I'm interested in raising my own pork, but what I've read about the fencing needed to keep commercial breeds as well as the amount of feed and the way they can tear up a pasture make commercial breeds sound impractical for the amount of space I'm likely to have available.

    Also, I don't really need 100+ pounds of pork at a whack!
     
  15. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,750
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    I didn't mean to stir it up either, but I didnt' bring it up. someone else said they are good to eat and I had a right to respond. I'm new to this board and thought I had the right to disagree. Some people eat horse and dog too and if someone here said that they are good for eating, then I should be able to disagree without the disagreeing becoming the topic of conversation. My intention was to pass along some links about breeding - that was it!

    From what I've read a small or lean PPB is an underfed PPB. they are intended to have a pot belly. I do care for my animals and I have read everything I can. they are on a perfect diet and they do have a pot belly. They have full access to 2 acres of fenced property and play and sleep to their hearts content. The one that can see runs and plays, his eyes are clear without the fat eyelids that indicate an overfed PPB, they both have a small indention from their back to where the belly starts for their waist and are at their preferred body weight. There is a difference between overfed PPB's and a PPB that is allowed to achieve their predesposed body weight. I'm not going to respond to anymore posts on this thread or even check it anymore. So say whatever you want.

    to answer the question:

    Female PPB's can start cycling as early as three months of age. They come into heat every 21 days.
     
  16. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,025
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    North East
  17. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    thorngirl, thanks for your reply. I would love to here how it goes with your girl! I guess I'm going to have to separate my two for a little while. I hate that because they have a fit when they are apart. My girl is a little young yet so I think I'll wait another few weeks till we end our frosts so they can keep each other warm.
     
  18. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,910
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    tn
    i came back to apologize for derailing this thread, and to see if she got an answer to her question. sorry about the drift, folks. i just like the free flow of information here, as there just isn't all that much accurate info out there about pb pigs.

    my understanding is that they mature very early, enough so that often the baby boars breed back to their mother before they are even weaned. this leads to some very narrowly bred lines and some problems. chances are fair to good that your girl may already have been bred, likely by one of her brothers in the litter. every day you leave them together increases that chance.

    if you intend them for meat, i'm not sure it matters much unless you are trying to preserve an line. there are some on here that do that, kind of like an heirloom pb pig. in viet nam, their rapid breeding cycle is an asset, as the pig is kept for meat there. if for pets, i strongly urge you to have them neutered.
     
  19. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    No need to apologize. I have trouble staying on topic myself half the time! :haha:

    I don't mind if they breed as long as it is safe. I know with other animals if the female gets pregant too soon there could be complications with delivery resulting in death of the mother. That is my only concern.
     
  20. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    To those who claim potbellies don't have good meat...how many have you eaten? How many have you butchered? My guess is ZERO, and, this is something your read somewhere and is propaganda from the PETA terrorists, OR you tried to butcher a severely obese animal that was sick. They make a wonderful smallscale organic pork livestock source for the homesteader with minimal investment. They can get pregnant as early as 2 months, but generally you'd be better off if your sow is at least 6 months old before the first pregnancy. Best butchering age for feed to meat ratio is 9 months when they are about 60 pounds (about 30 pounds of meat if you skin it and only save the skeletal meat). A good sow will raise 3-6 piglets, if you have no intention of bottle feeding. To get to their HEALTHY NATURAL adult weight of 120-150 pounds for boars and 70-100 pounds for sows it can take up to 4 years. Their meat is a gourmet treat, and very lean. Sunday my kids and I made a big feast of potbelly oriental meatballs, and potbelly fried wontons.