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Breeding Program

Our Breeding Program

 

When it comes down to it….. SIZE really does matter!

 

We are the proud breeder of the famous “Priscilla the Mini Pig”! Follow our celebrity mini pig Prissy on her daily piggy adventures on Instagram: @Prissy_Pig. Twitter: @Prissy_Pig. Facebook: Priscilla the Mini Pig. She is sure to bring a big smile to your face!!!

 

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Our exceptional breeding herd’s bloodlines include a variety of miniature breeds, resulting in the optimal offspring. The “estimated” mature size of our piglets is based on past litter results and pairing of specific breeder pigs. Our mature breeding herd’s height ranges from 11″-16″ tall (11″ being a rare exception).

Our entire breeding herd receives an annual health check by an accredited USDA licensed veterinarian. The examination includes a full health assessment of each individual breeder pig, body conditioning evaluation & scoring. Furthermore, a verification of each pig’s measurements is also conducted, including, height, length, circumference, girth and weight. A signed & dated veterinarian record of certification documenting the results of the health checks are kept on file at our facility.

We have selected size categories such as Mini Oink 1/2/3/4 as “language” to describe the size classification of our herd’s offspring. As miniature pig breeders it is necessary to identify breeding pig sizes in order to be honest with our clients and not mislead them about the expected adult size of their prospective miniature pig.

BEWARE, don’t be fooled by deceitful marketing tactics used by some pig breeders… labels such as nano, micro, pocket, dandie, pixie, teacup and toy are often used to make buyers believe that the piggy they are purchasing will remain that piglet size forever! NONE of those names represent a particular pig breed, nor will any mini pig fit in a teacup, purse or pocket once fully mature!!! It is nearly impossible for any breeder to guarantee the precise size that a piglet will have once they reach adulthood (3-5 years old).

At Oink, Oink, Mini Pigs we do NOT guarantee weight, height or size of any piglet/pig at maturity. What determines the weight and size of a mini pig at maturity is not based solely on genetics. A healthy and well balanced diet, lifestyle and daily exercise regimen play a major part in the development and mature size of miniature pigs. These determining factors are impossible for us to enforce once they leave our care, therefore guaranteeing mature size inconceivable.

Our advice to any prospective mini pig owner is to do their homework and as much research as possible regarding miniature pigs in general  before committing to any adoption. Always deal with an experienced licensed reputable breeder.

We are convinced that our exceptional breeding program is a result of the passion and dedication for our miniature pigs and commitment to our adopting piggy parents.

It is with heartfelt loyalty that we join our piggies with favorable homes, ensuring them and their new families’ endless years of happiness!

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What Is The American Mini Pig?

Author: Jonathan Randall

There are many who say the American Mini Pig is the same as a Pot Belly Pig.  We find that many who say this lack an understanding of the swine world outside of what they have been told or from their own limited experiences.  By taking what we know from research books/documents on biomedical research pigs in the U.S. along with breeder information/knowledge of breeding practices, and a general knowledge of the different build features of many different breeds/breed types of swine, we get a better understanding of what an American Mini Pig truly is.

From the links found on the “History of the American Mini” page you can see that PBP’s were used in the development of most biomedical research pigs. However the American Mini also has many other breeds “mixed in”, including Landrace, Duroc, and a variety of feral hogs. The truth of the matter is, not to many people in the country can say with 100% certainty what their mini pigs really are. There is no genetic test to determine exactly what the genetic makeup of a pig actually is. Currently there is only a parentage test with just a few breeds already on file out of the 100+ recognized breeds/breed types of swine.

Aside from just the documentation regarding biomedical research pigs we also have information on other imported breeds that played a role in the development of the modern American Mini. Such as the Pot Belly Pig breed types imported in the 80’s, the Gottingen from Germany (who’s lineage for the most part actually lies with some of the biomedical research pigs developed here in the states), and the KuneKune.

The first thing you should know about Pot Belly pigs is that they are not a single specific breed.  The Pot-Bellied pig, also known as the Chinese, Asian, or Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig, is a domesticated “breed” of pig that originates from the Southeast Eurasian continent.  There are at least 15 local “breed types” that make up the Pot Bellied Pig “breed”. They can only be found in the mountainous regions of Vietnam, China, and Thailand. Many of these “local breed type” pot-bellies can now be found all around the world.  While these local types do share some significant build characteristics it has been shown that they are not all that closely related genetically.

Pot-bellied Pigs in the U.S. today can be traced back to a few different imported breed types or “lines”.  The Con line, Lea line and Royal line represent most of the foundation stock for pot-bellies in America today.

Keith Connell imported some Pot Bellied Pigs to the U.S. from Canada  in 1982 for zoological purposes.  Keith named them the “Con” line.  At least two other local breed types of Pot Bellied Pig were brought into the U.S. shortly after Keith Connell’s “Con line”.  The “Lea Line” imported by Leavitt (white and black markings) and the “Royal Line”, imported by Espberger (mostly white, somewhat larger than the “Lea Line”).  By American and European standards all local types of Pot Bellied Pig are relatively small, ranging in weight from 80-300 pounds and 16-32 inches tall.  The different imported lines provided a larger gene pool to work with.  Giving us a healthier breed type that enables breeders to develop more desirable characteristics such as size, disposition, conformation.

From what is known and what can be seen in the American Mini Pigs of today, they are vastly different from their Asiatic descended cousins/ancestors.  Off the bat the first indicator is the variation in coloration.  The Asiatic breeds/breed types brought to the U.S. are black, white, or black and white with varying patterns. Only through the introduction of European, American, and various feral types can we account for the wide variations in color that we see in the American Mini Pig. Next we look at build features. Most PBP breed types have a pronounced pot belly and a very visible swayed back. Their hair is also much thinner than the American Mini Pig leaving the skin easily visible through the hair.  The majority of the American Mini Pigs have a much thicker coat, little to no pot belly and/or swayed back. They also come in every color and pattern possible in swine.

Through cross breeding and selective breeding we were able to get to what we have now.  Due to the varied history of these animals we find that build and coloration can vary widely depending on the individual breeders “standards”, as well as the genetic makeup of the individual pig.  We can see key build features in our modern American Mini Pigs that also help to link them to both their recorded and unrecorded history. From ear shape and set, coloration, facial structure, and over all build it is possible to make an educated guess as to what the dominant genes could possibly be linked back to. They can share any number of characteristics from their lineage depending on how the genes line up on that individual.  That being said these animals do stand apart from any one of the individual breeds/breed types that went into their development.

When the use for biomedical research pigs began to decline the majority of facilities eliminated their programs all together while some continue on to this day.  Some of these pigs made it in to the hands of the general public.  They were bred and cross bred with any number of available breeds in the US, unchecked for decades. The American Mini Pig could potentially be one of the most genetically diverse breed types of swine in the world.  We can see elements of different island feral hogs, Asiatic hogs, European swine, Australian, Russian, and American breeds in our modern American Mini Pigs. Some can very closely resemble any number of other breeds of swine. It all depends on the ratio of the genetics on that individual.

Ultimately, the majority of miniature breeds in the United States are linked to each other in one way or another. We know that Pot Bellied Pigs were used in the development of biomedical research pigs.  One of those research breeds known as the Minnesota Mini Pig was shipped to Germany to be used in research facilities. While there, they were crossed with local breeds ultimately resulting in the development of the Gottingen.  The Gottingen was then brought to the US and used to help create the Juliana.  It is now a fairly common practice to cross Juliana’s and American Mini Pigs.  Things have gone full circle with these amazing creatures.

We as an organization recognize that there can be vast similarities between some Pot Bellied Pig breed types, Julianas, Gottengens, as well as many other breeds, with some modern American Mini Pigs. We do not deny that. That being said, as a whole they are now their own unique hybrid that does not fit in to any one of those single breed types “standards”.

Many common labels or nicknames for the American Mini Pig of today include: Teacup, Micro, Super Micro, Nano, Pixie, and Pocket Pig.  These nicknames are not considered breeds, but selling or market tools and labels individual breeders place to describe size. These labels or nicknames can be defined differently from breeder to breeder. The American Mini Pig Association hopes that our registry classifications will one day replace the labels and allow breeders to have a universal system of size definitions.

 

 

June 2016

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