The pot-bellied pig, also known as the Chinese or Asian pot-bellied pig, is a domesticated breed of pig originating from Vietnam. It has 14 sub-species, that can only be found in the wild in the mountainous regions of Vietnam and Thailand. However, it can now be found all around the world.
It is thought that the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is actually a sub-species of pig whose ancestor originated from China. It is smaller than a standard European or American farm pig and they are about the size of a large or medium breed dog. Their bodies weigh between 27kg – 136kg (60 – 300lb).
Oops, this little pot-bellied piggy has got sand on its face!
It is quite easy to identify this pig from other pigs because of its appearance. This is because it is smaller, has a straight tail, and upright ears. It is easy to tell whether the pot-bellied pig is overweight because when it rolls over the ground, fat covers their eyes. It is either completely black in color, completely white in color, or a mix of both. The skin is also lightly covered with black hair. As their skin has minimal hair, they get sunburnt easily so when they are in the wild, they stay in the mud to protect and cool their skin.
They are a docile creature who do not prey on any animals. However, they are preyed upon by animals that are carnivores and by humans for food consumption. In the wild, they eat insects, roots, shrubs, and leafy greens. However, in captivity they eat pig chow, apples, carrots, and leafy vegetables.
A young pot bellied pig
Pot-bellied pigs can interbread with other farm pigs and wild boars as they are the same species as each other. At the beginning of the mating season, lone males will fight other males for females. The male pig that wins gets between 1 – 3 female mates. However, some pigs have been observed to win up to a whopping 8 females. After mating, males depart from the family unit.
Pigs live up to 20 years of age, and reach puberty about 6 to 7 months old before fully maturing when they are 5 years old. Female pigs have a 21 day heat cycle that lasts for approximately 3 days. Pregnancy periods last for about 114 days, but the litter size actually depends on the age and size of the female pig. A regular litter is between 4 – 12 piglets, however the largest piglet litter recorded in 1961 where a pig gave birth to 34 piglets!