People use teacup and miniature pigs for medical research and pets rather than for pork production. Pork producers use Yorkshire, Duroc, Hampshire, Berkshire and Chester White pig breeds to produce meat for the pork industry.
European scientists developed teacup and miniature pigs for research on toxicology, aging and pharmacology in the 1960s. Scientists also used the pigs to produce organs for organ transplants. The smaller-sized pigs range in size from 150 to 200 pounds and area easier to work with than full-sized pigs weighing 300 to 500 pounds.
Miniature and teacup pigs arrived in the United States in the 1980s and became popular companion animals after several wealthy people adopted the animals as pets. Some people kept pigs as pets in city apartments until city ordinances banned farm animals in city limits. Paris Hilton attempted to purchase a teacup pig as a pet in 2009, increasing the animal's popularity.
Owners can house train a miniature or teacup pig, and the animals do not shed. The pigs bond to their owners and need regular attention. Minature and teacup pigs, which can become aggressive if not properly trained while they are young, have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Buyers should view the pig's parents and grandparents to determine the size that a pig may reach since sellers do not guarantee that a pig stays small.