Teacup Pigs Selling Like Hotcakes

At birth, tiny teacup pigs weigh just 9 oz. and easily fit inside a small cup. The little porkers were bred down from potbelly and other small domestic breeds.

Joyce Wells is a teacup breeder in Florida who had an explosion of interest after her mini pigs were featured on the Today Show in October.

"I went from 6,000 hits a month to 37,000 hits a day on my website," Wells says.

Wells is the police chief of Bushnell, Florida. She started raising mini pigs at her rural home a couple years ago. Her breeder pigs live outside in little structures that look like dog houses. The second bathroom of her home is the piggy nursery. Wells worms, socializes, litter trains and gets the pigs on a pellet feed before sending them to their new homes at 7 to 8 weeks.

After a few weeks, the pigs graduate from the litter box to going to the door to be let outside to do their business. Wells adds that mini pigs that will be indoors pets must also be spayed or neutered to eliminate odor and other problems.

"Pigs are really smart and easily trained," Wells says. They like a lot of attention. They seem to be at a 2-year-old child's level permanently. They need something to play with and devise ways to amuse themselves. They will follow you all over the house and push their nose on your leg for attention.

The pigs are food-driven and want to eat all the time. Though full-grown pigs are smaller than a cocker spaniel, they will easily gain too much weight if they're fed too much. To keep them less than 55 lbs., Wells feeds babies 1/4 cup of pellet food twice a day. Adults receive one cup twice a day. She feeds them vegetables and some fruit snacks in between.

"Exercise is key. They like to go on a leash for daily walks. Because of their short legs -- 6 in. or less -- a ramp may be needed if there are steps. Check for zoning requirements also," Wells says. Some communities consider them to be livestock and don't allow them as pets.

"I just caution people to be absolutely sure they want a pig," Wells emphasizes. It's a commitment for about 18 years. They are mischievous. So many end up going to rescue shelters.

Wells sells her mini pigs. Customers usually prefer spots and color instead of plain black pigs. She is currently sold out, but purchased more breeding animals so she will have more litters in the near future.