Continuing Education

Health and management of hobby pigs: a review

  • A. Amalraj
  • A. Matthijs
  • A. Schoos
  • W. Neirynck
  • E. De Coensel
  • E. Bernaerdt
  • A. Van Soom
  • D. Maes


Miniature pigs, like the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and the Kunekune, are the most popular hobby pig breeds. Despite their popularity, the knowledge of their health and management is still scarce. They have an exemplary sense of smell and hearing, possess good adaptability and are easy to handle. A well-ventilated shelter space with an area for recreation, and incorporation of straw for manipulation prevents boredom. Drinking water must be provided at all times. Restricted feeding ones or twice a day is preferred to prevent obesity. Unexpected aggressive behavior may occur and lead to abandonment of pet pigs. Overgrowth of claws, mange and sunburns are common skin problems. Diarrhea due to Escherichia coli is a common problem in piglets. Neutering is recommended to prevent aggressive behavior and pungent smell in males and to avoid the risk of neoplasms. It is preferably done at a young age to avoid surgical complications. Prophylaxis against erysipelas and parasites are recommended biannually. Other periodical health care practices include tusk and hoof trimming.

How to Cite:

Amalraj, A. & Matthijs, A. & Schoos, A. & Neirynck, W. & De Coensel, E. & Bernaerdt, E. & Van Soom, A. & Maes, D., (2018) “Health and management of hobby pigs: a review”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 87(6), 347-358. doi:

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Published on
27 Dec 2018
Peer Reviewed