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Description and Physical Characteristics of Potbellied Pigs

By D. Bruce Lawhorn, DVM, MS, Relief Veterinarian; Veterinary Information Network Swine Consultant

Potbellied pigs have a short to medium wrinkled snout, small erect ears, large jowls in proportion to the head, a short neck, a pronounced potbelly, a swayed back, and a straight tail with a switch at the end. Most are black with occasional white on the snout, head, feet, or tail, but some are gray or completely white. Adult potbellied pigs should not exceed 18 inches at the shoulder (ideal height is about 14 inches at the shoulder). Newborns typically weigh from several ounces to a pound or more, and mature animals in trim condition weigh 50 to 95 pounds. Many adult potbellied pigs exceed this weight, and animals weighing over 150 pounds are common. Most potbellied pigs above 100 pounds are obese. They may live from 8 to 25 years, with a life span of 10 to 15 years common in healthy pigs. Obese or unusually small pigs may have shortened life spans.