Whether you’re a seasoned homesteader or new to the concept, raising animals can be a ton of fun and keep your family busy for years.
It’s a great way to teach kids discipline, and you get a lot of fulfillment out of seeing your pets or farm animals grow and thrive.
It doesn’t matter if you are raising chickens for eggs or taking care of a pet dog, you want them to grow up healthy and strong and stick around for as long as possible.
Having animals that you can bond with is well worth all of the effort.
One animal that’s been getting a lot of attention as a fun pet lately is pigs.
More and more people are buying and raising pigs at home. These are smart animals that can be an excellent addition to any home or farm.
If you’re ready to go beyond your typical cat and dog mix, pigs, in addition to things like goats, can be a terrific choice.
Here are 9 pig breeds that are the best for pets.
Raising pigs isn’t always easy, and you need to put in a lot of effort to keep them safe, but it’s never boring!
Let’s take a look at some of the best pig breeds and what you can expect from them as a pet.
1. The Spotted Pig
This pig has become very popular recently because of its distinct spotted design.
These pigs can grow to be around 500 pounds, though, so make sure you have the space available before buying one!
They’ll go great in a pasture and that’s why so many people on homesteads choose this type of pig.
They’re relatively low maintenance. Spotted pigs are also good mothers. They’ll watch over any piglets they have and your odds of raising more pigs goes up with this breed.
Fun fact, the spotted pig is also the British royal family’s pig of choice for high-quality pork.
2. The Pot Bellied Pig
People love raising pot bellied pigs because their size is more manageable.
Some of the farm pigs will essentially take over your house because they grow so large. A pot bellied pig, on the other hand, stays relatively small and they learn things quickly.
You can train your pet pig on things like where to go to the bathroom and to come in response to calls.
They love a good amount of affection and can be pretty active. You won’t find them just laying around on the floor all day.
When it comes to size expectations, these guys usually grow as big as a medium-sized dog.
3. The Mini Pig
You’ve seen mini poodles and mini schnauzers, but have you heard of miniature pigs yet?
These are also sometimes called teacup pigs like their dog counterparts, and they can be amazing pets.
You have to give them a lot of time and attention, but they can be well-trained animals great for families with small kids.
If you can, keep other animals around them because they need companions. If possible, get two mini pigs to keep them happier.
4. The Kune Kune Pig
The Kune Kune pig is another breed of pig that works well as a household pet because they are friendly and small.
These pigs range in colors from gold and white to brown and mixed colors and will grow a lot of hair, but they do very well indoors and around smaller children.
They can live up to 18 years, so you need to be committed before you buy a Kune Kune.
Again, these pigs need a lot of attention to keep them groomed and in a good mood, so they’re best suited for families who want to spend a lot of time with their animals.
5. The Chester White Pig
If you’re looking for an easy-going pig that will live a long life, then consider the Chester White breed.
These pigs, as their name indicates, usually come in all white with some spots. They have adorable floppy ears as opposed to most pigs that have erect ears.
They’re recognized widely for being good mothers and can do well in a range of climates which is important for some property owners to consider.
6. The Hereford Pig
Hereford Pigs consistently rank as one of the top 4H pigs in the country because they look great and are gentle around humans.
They’re also easy to find. If you’re looking for a unique pig breed, it can take months to find what you’re looking for and it can cost you.
Herefords, on the other hand, are relatively easy to buy depending on the pedigree of the pigs you’re looking at.
These pigs are typically raised for their meat, but they are also very active pigs. They’re a lot of fun to play with, and won’t be found lounging around in their pens all day.
They do get rather large, though, so beware before you buy. You’re gonna need a lot of space.
7. The American Yorkshire Pig
This breed of pig originated in England, but their popularity in the U.S. has made them a staple in this country.
They are so popular because they are a low-maintenance breed that is great for meat production.
If you’ve ever eaten bacon, chances are it came from an American Yorkshire pig.
These pigs farrow big litters, something you should know if you ever want to try raising baby pigs at home.
8. The Tamworth Pig
The Tamworth pig is harder to find because it’s on a lot of livestock conservancy listings.
People enjoy raising them on homesteads because this breed doesn’t grow as large as some of the other types of pigs out there.
The color of Tamworth pigs is also interesting.
They tend to come in reddish or darker colors without many spots. I
f you’re looking for something smaller to start with for your first pig but don’t want a mini pig, the Tamworth is a good choice.
9. The Hampshire Pig
The Hampshire breed is another type of pig that came over from England a long time ago.
People like these pigs because, again, they don’t grow to be massive adult pigs. You can handle raising them on smaller plots without too much trouble.
You’ll recognize a Hampshire pig from the black and white belt stripe around their shoulders.
What You Need to Raise Pigs
Keeping a pig as a pet isn’t exactly like having a dog or a cat around the house.
All but teacup pigs (for the most part) are going to need special enclosures where they can eat and live. You need to give them shelter and food, along with a good supply of clean water every day.
Finally, pigs need room.
They will want to roam around your yard or a field grazing to feel most comfortable. Another thing you have to pay attention to is the heat.
Pigs need to cool off and don’t love feeling hot.
Many owners will do things like fill up a small inflatable pool where the pigs can jump in and cool off during the warmer summer months.
Above all, pigs can get dirty, and most of the time they will love rolling around in the mud.
For many people like farmers, that’s just fine.
However, if you’re keeping a pig as a pet, you’ll need to keep up with cleaning their bedding and bathing them regularly to keep them in good condition.