Ever think of buying a pig as a pet? How about a teacup pig? Have you ever seen one for sale? It seems that among celebrities and on the island nation of Great Britain, teacup pig breeder Jane Croft told the “Today” show Wednesday, teacup pigs have become all the rage. They are small, cute, and, most important, they never get to be the size of Arnold on “Green Acres.” Teacup pigs get to be about as big as “Babe” (about 12 – 16 inches in height) and stay just as adorable.
Jane Croft told Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry on “Today” that the teacup pig fad is the biggest thing to hit the British Isles in years. The “Today” hosts conducted the interview while Jane Croft sat in a straw-filled stall with a litter of little teacup pigs all around. Croft said that part of the appeal of the teacup pigs were their cleanliness, their intelligence (pigs are smarter than dogs), and their loving manner.
Jane Croft gave up her full-time job just to breed the tiny piggies, which are also called micro pigs, she told the “Today” hosts. That was just five months ago, and since she put the tiny pigs up for sale she has attracted plenty of attention on her Little Pig Farm, especially after actor Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the “Harry Potter” series of films) bought two teacup pigs from her. She said that now that breeders have been able to create a line that is more manageable, pigs have become more popular as pets.
Of course, if one is of a mind to join Rupert Grint in owning a teacup pig, one has to be ready to part with some serious money. Teacup pigs do not come cheap. Jane Croft sells her teacup pigs for $1,100 and only in pairs. She also retains the right to not sell to a potential customer. The potential owner has to be licensed. She said that the tiny pigs’ intelligence make them easily bored, so she refuses to sell to anyone who will leave them alone.
Croft said that teacup pigs also fit a niche market for those who are allergic to dogs and cats (pigs have hair, not fur) and still want a pet.
Teacup animals have become somewhat of a novelty. Several breeds of dogs and cats are now bred and offered for sale. Among dogs bred as teacup animals are yorkies, chihuahuas, poodles, and Pomeranians. Cat breeds that are offered are Persians and Himalayans. There are other created cat breeds, according to Wendy Pan at Ezine Articles, like the Napoleon (a Munchkin and Persian cross) and the Lambkin (a Munchkin and Selkirk Rex cross) as well.
And how do breeders get the animals to “teacup” size? They simply breed small animals with small animals until the genes controlling the size of the animal reach their desired dimensions.
And the demand for teacup pigs is great. Jane Croft told “Today” that she was averaging nearly ten teacup pig orders a week but woke up Wednesday morning to find she had over 500 inquiries on her website.
Unfortunately, teacup pigs aren’t available for sale in the United States, but that is simply because there are as yet no breeders in the U. S. That will undoubtedly change after Jane Croft’s appearance on “Today.”
For more information about Jane Croft and her Little Pig Farm, go to LittlePigFarm.co.uk.
“Today Show”, NBC Television