Pennywell Miniature Pigs as Pets
Britain's Original and Trusted Breeder Since 1992
The Pennywell Miniature Pigs are the stars of the show at Pennywell Farm, our award-winning tourist attraction in Devon which sees over 75k visitors every year.
Chris Murray, the founder of Pennywell Farm is Britain’s original and trusted breeder of the Pennywell Miniature Pig breed since 1992. Farmer Chris has always loved his pigs but found it expensive to keep traditional pig breeds on the farm. By breeding to reverse all that commercial farmers do to get rapid live weight gain, high food conversion ratio and high birth rates, The Pennywell Miniature Pig was born.
As we are open to the public, safe and friendly pigs are needed for children and adults to cuddle so Pennywell’s priority has always been to breed for a good temperament.
The sweet and affectionate nature of the pigs, paired with them being an immediate hit with visitors, very quickly made it apparent that this breed would make excellent pets.
Choosing to Keep Miniature Pigs as Pets
Miniature pigs are intelligent, sociable animals and make great companions for adults and children of all ages. The Pennywell Miniature is bred for a sociable temperament and their first few weeks on the farm sees them meeting lots of different people. This results in the most sweet-natured of animals of whom the keeping of is a really rewarding experience.
While Miniature pigs may be small in name and stature, there is nothing small about their personalities. Pigs are incredibly sociable with sophisticated emotional needs, enjoying attention and interactive activities. They are also very inquisitive and adventurous animals making them extremely fun to keep as pets. At Pennywell Farm, our pigs take part in racing and agility courses as part of their Piggy Enrichment Programme, but there is so much more that pigs can do. They love to be involved and will be in their element cuddling up on the sofa with you. Winston Churchill once said, “I am fond of pigs, a dog looks up to you, a cat looks down on you, but a pig treats you as an equal!”
A pig’s brain is highly developed and their intelligence ranks 3rd of all animals, just behind dolphins and apes. This makes Miniature Pigs highly trainable in a similar way to intelligent dog breeds. They will learn their names, come to call, follow instructions, learn performance tricks and be toilet trained. All pigs have the mental capacity to understand a training reward system and being exceptionally motivated by food, they are enthusiastic to learn and respond remarkably well to food rewards! Mini pigs can also be harness trained and love to be taken on walks to explore. Please be aware that a liscence is needed for this activity.
Pig’s are really chatty animals and this is what makes them such amazing companions! You will soon learn your pig’s communication system and this can make the bond between you and your pig very strong. In addition to squealing, Miniature pigs cough (like dogs bark) when feeling under threat or when detecting signs of danger, and even laugh! Most pigs will squeal when picked up because while they love being sociable, they do not usually enjoy being carried. The exception to this is the Pennywell Miniature Pig, which after many years of breeding, loves piggy cuddles! This is one of the popular activities available when visiting the farm and can only be beaten by the opportunity to cuddle your very own pet pig at home!
Very Clean Animals
Despite their stereotype, pigs are surprisingly clean and do not have an odour. They can be easily house-trained to use a litter box or go outside. They do not usually shed hair, minimising mess in your house and on your clothes. Also, the hair of a Miniature Pig is hypoallergenic so they make excellent pets for those who are allergic to fur or feathers!
Easy to Maintain
Aside from a dry, draft free place to sleep and feeding twice a day, Miniature pigs do not require much physical maintenance. All being well, they will only need to see the vet for annual vaccinations and hoof trimming, although they may need to see a vet for a preventative worm/mite injection every 6 months if you are unable to do it yourself. They can also have an MOT at the same time to check skin, weight, height etc., to make sure your pig is healthy. Not only this but they require less exercise and are a less demanding pet to keep than dogs. Another advantage to keeping Miniature Pigs is that they are less expensive to keep than other pets, especially cats or dogs. The pelleted food is inexpensive and lasts for a long time, hay and straw are also affordable especially if purchased at a Farm or Equine store, as opposed to a pet shop.
Are Miniature Pigs Right for You? - Things to Consider
They are a lovely pet to own but they do come with responsibilities that are important to consider. Owning a mini-pig means a rather long-term commitment to a not so miniature pet that can grow to the size of a medium dog, and easily live up to 15 years.
In general, Miniature pigs are still considered farm animals and require a licence to own. The licences differ depending on where you live, and are easier to acquire if you live in a rural area. A separate licence is also required to take your pet pig for a walk. (See below for further information about the legal requirements for pig keepers).
Messy & Mischievous
Despite pigs themselves being relatively clean animals, expect their outside area to be messy! This is because a pig will instinctively root around when not eating or interacting with you. Pigs need to be able to root as it is their natural way of exploring their environment, as well as searching for food and finding vitamins and minerals. Using bark will keep an area less boggy and is also good to use for drying out areas while still allowing the pig to root down to the soil below.
In terms of intelligence and curiosity, a pig is much like a toddler. If there is trouble it can get into, it will and if there is something they shouldn’t eat within reach, they will eat it!
Without adequate attention or if left alone for too long, destructive behaviour is inevitable. A bored pig will begin rooting around your home tearing up carpets and flooring, tipping up plant pots to sniff through dirt and eating drywall. If a pig is bored, it will eat absolutely anything it can find from makeup to toys! You simply need to keep things out of reach.
Aggressive Tendencies - it’s only natural and can be avoided!
Generally, Miniature pigs are very docile and friendly animals however, they need to identify a leader of their herd and that leader must be you. As with a dog, you don’t want your dog to become the alpha, you are the alpha. It is important that you establish yourself as the leader. Without your leadership and training, a pig will see themselves as the leader and may start displaying aggressive behaviours which can include charging at children and strangers, especially if food is involved. If you are buying a male, it is important that they have been castrated/neutered as a boar can potentially show more dominance. All male pigs purchased from Pennywell Farm are castrated at a young age. As with dogs, the sexual habits of a pig can be somewhat anti-social!
Pigs cannot sweat and so are susceptible to over-heating. In hot weather, they require a mud hole or paddling pool to stay cool.
Your pig will require some skin care as their skin is similar to ours, if they are out in the sun they must have shade and sun screen. You should also rub pig oil on them as necessary to keep their skin supple.
Miniature pigs also have relatively small lungs and often suffer lung infections due to their inactive lifestyle. Stress or challenging weather conditions can lead to pneumonia which can kill a pig very quickly. Pigs enjoy a calm and relaxed lifestyle with moderate weather conditions.
- Attention - They can get lonely! Due to their social nature, we would strongly recommend keeping Pennywell Miniature pigs in pairs and taming them to facilitate interaction. In their first few weeks with you, spending as much time as you can with your pigs is really important.
- Food - Our pigs are fed on Sow Nuts which you can buy from any good farm supplier. A moderate handful morning and night is all that is required and they enjoy fruit and veg as a treat. Foraging is a natural pig behaviour and should be encouraged by scattering a small quantity of their food. Please be aware that it is illegal to feed pigs any food waste or scraps. Your pig will need access to a constant supply of clean fresh drinking water and a miniature pig will drink up to 5 litres a day!
- Housing - Pigs require dry, well ventilated draught free housing and dry bedding, straw laid over concrete is best. We recommend a minimum area 6mx6m for your pig which should be securely fenced. You will need to clean housing daily but pigs are naturally clean and will usually only toilet in one area. Your pig should be free to exhibit its natural behaviour, it will need opportunities to forage and wallow in order to keep cool. Young piglets are vulnerable to the elements and other threats, so we recommend they are kept in a secure, warm space for the first few months.
- Enrichment - Pigs are highly intelligent, sociable and need to be stimulated. Enriching the life of your pig means providing a stimulating environment for them. Whilst doing this, it is useful to think of how pigs live in the wild because creating stimuli so your new pet can act out of their natural behaviour, will make them happy and fulfilled. Boredom is one of the causes of destructive behaviour.
Lots to consider, but so very worth it
As you can see, there are many considerations when choosing to keep a Miniature pig as a pet or a hobby. In the right environment with lots of attention, they really do make the most incredibly entertaining and loving pets for adults and children.
When you buy a pig from Pennywell Farm, your customer experience does not end as soon as you pick up your new pet. You can contact us any time you have questions or need some advice and a member of our dedicated team will be more than happy to help.
Legal Requirements for Pig Keepers
Although your Pennywell Miniature Pig will be a much-loved pet, in the eyes of the law pigs are farmed animals and all are subject to livestock regulations.
All the processes below are both free and simple, but crucial to consider before buying a pet pig.
You will need to call and apply for a County Parish Holding (CPH) number from the Rural Payments Agency. Please allow 3 weeks for your CPH number to be processed. All pigs need this unique number so they can be traced in the event of an outbreak of disease. There is no cost for this but it is a legal requirement for tracing purposes.
When it comes to bringing your new Miniature pig home, the seller will need to fill out a moving document (eAML2) online allowing you to move your pig to your home. eAML2 is the Electronic Pig Movement Service. They will give you a copy as you need to have this with you on the journey home. Within 30 days of bringing your pig home you need to ensure with eAML2 that your details are correct for when the move was completed. You can do this by calling 0844 335 8400 or via the website: https://www.eaml2.org.uk/ami/home.eb
If you want to take your pig for a walk outside of your property in England you are legally obliged to obtain a pig walking licence which is also issued by your local Animal Health Office.
Pig owners are legally required to keep a record of any veterinary medicines purchased or administered to your pig(s).
One Pennywell Miniature Pig £650
Two Pennywell Miniature Pigs £1300 £900 (Save £400)
A 50% deposit is required to secure your place on the pig waiting list.
All boars are sold as castrates and the price is the same regardless of colour/markings. As pigs are highly social animals we would always encourage buying two whenever possible.
6 Step Buying Process
1 - It is sensible to try and really understand these unique and fascinating animals before making a commitment. Please read this guide to Keeping Pigs as Pets and consider carefully whether a Pennywell Miniature is the right pet for you.
2 - It’s important you meet our pigs and get an understanding of the size a fully grown adult miniature pig is. We encourage you to visit Pennywell Farm, our award-winning Devon tourist attraction. Keep hold of the email confirmation of your booking and we will refund your admission (maximum of 2 Adults. Does not apply to Christmas tickets) when you buy a pig. Book tickets.
3 - Apply for a free County Parish Holding (CPH) number so you can keep a pig. It’s best to leave plenty of time for this to be processed.
4 - Complete the Pennywell pig owners application form at the bottom of this page. If your application is accepted a member of our friendly team will be in touch to take a 50% deposit (all deposits are non-refundable) which secures a place on our pig waiting list.
5 - As soon as your deposit is paid we can then arrange collection.
6 - When you collect your pigs we will provide you with a receipt, DEFRA paperwork, a small amount of feed, a care sheet and ear tag as required for livestock sales.
Checklist prior to bringing home your new pet
In order to be prepared for the arrival of your new micro-pig, it is recommended to buy:
✅ Travel crate of appropriate size and strength for travelling and also sleeping in at home. (Size required = 60 x 59 x 90cm)
✅ Metal food and water dishes with non-slip backing
✅ Chest harness for walks
✅ A standard 1.83m flat leash made of nylon or leather
✅ Brush for daily brushing
✅ Straw for bedding - Barley straw is recommended for your piggy’s comfort!
✅ Gravity drinker or small automatic drinker
✅ Shelter for outdoors
✅ Litter box
✅ Secure fencing for outside
✅ Bucket for carrying feed in
✅ A Wheelbarrow, fork and spade for mucking out
✅ Board for guiding your pig
✅ Treats. Have some high-quality pig treats for when you bring your pig home
Why buy your Miniature Pig from Pennywell?
✅ The original breeder of the Pennywell Miniature Breed and the only place where you can purchase this breed.
✅ A Licensed Breeder with a Higher Level of Welfare and Care Standards for our Miniature Pigs.
✅ We breed for good temperament, which is imperative for pet pigs, attractive colour and markings, small size, and, of course, good health.
✅ Our piglets are well handled and socialised in the first few weeks of their lives. Our award-winning farm attraction brings visitors to the farm every day for piggy cuddles meaning our piglets have the most opportunities to socialise with people.
✅ Lots of opportunities to visit your piggies before they are ready to go home! During the summer season we open 7 days a week. If you visit the farm, we will refund your ticket price when you pay your pig deposit (1x visit for 2x adults only). When the litter of piglets is born, you can come and visit and choose the perfect piggies for you while they are still very young!
✅ We take care when choosing owners for our new piglets and ensuring they are ready as it is our utmost priority that the pigs have the best lives ahead of them.
✅ Our pricing enforces our belief that pigs are much happier in pairs. A second pig will only cost you £250 with a huge saving of £400.
✅ All male piglets will be castrated by a veterinary surgeon under general anaesthetic (at no extra cost to you) before going home with you.
✅ All piglets are thoroughly Health Checked before they become yours!
✅ Continued support. We are always here if you have any questions or need some advice, no matter how long ago you bought your pig from us.
✅ Included in the price of your piglet, we will provide you with a receipt, DEFRA paperwork, a small amount of feed, a care sheet and ear tag as required for livestock sales.
Interested in buying a Pennywell Pig? Complete the application form below.
If you think that a Pennywell Miniature Pig might be your perfect pet, please complete the "pig owners application form" below.
If your application is approved then we will be in touch to take a 50% deposit which secures a place on our pig waiting list (deposits are non-refundable).
If you require any additional information send us an email with your contact details and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Email: [email protected]