Mini Pigs Taking Over as Household Pets

By Alphonso Van Marsh

TOTNES, England (KHNL) - Chihuahuas are out - mini pigs are in.

A farmer in Southern England spent nine years cross breeding to create what he considers the perfect pig.

At this petting farm the animals that answer to "here piggy, piggy" are getting a lot smaller.

These miniature pigs, or pig-mies, were little bigger than a tea cup when they were born. Farmer Christopher Murray says they'll grow to be a fifth the size of an ordinary hog. He says he spent nine years crossbreeding the animals down to size.

We operate a tourist attraction and the commercial pigs, the old english breeds, were just a bit too big for children to hop in and cuddle and play with," said Murray.

But not these pint sized pokers. They've been a hit with visitors big and small.

"They are really cute and piggies are my favorite animals."

And apparently even tempered even when dropped.

"I said to my husband, I've got to see them," said visitor Susan Wakeham. "I mean that is half the size of what you'd expect a piglet to be. Or even a quarter."

The piglets may be cute and small now, but when they get older, they'll growup to be about this big. And one thing is for certain - if that's too big for you - you can always eat them.

Not at Katie Mason's house. She bought Rupert and Penny from Murray for about $300 each. She's taught them tricks, and says she's the one in hog heaven.

"If you have the space, then they are as good as or better than a dog," said Mason.

Back on the farm, Murray says he's shrunk the pigs as small as he thinks is safe for their health. He says he'll keep selling the mini-pigs to the public, but only as pets. Not for breakfast.