Miniature Swine Come With Big Benefits
In many respects, pigs are extraordinarily similar to humans. The pig’s physiology and anatomy are very much like that of a human. For example, a pig’s heart, circulatory system, digestive tract, diet, skin and teeth are all quite similar to those of a human. In fact, humans and pigs have DNA that is 90-percent identical. It is also a medical fact that piglets and infants possess many noteworthy similarities, including the manner in which they regulate temperature. For these reasons, pigs have consistently been favored over laboratory mice as the preferred research model.
Domesticated miniature pigs have become recognized as a useful research animal for several decades now – and LoneStar Laboratory Swine is recognized as a leader in its field. The first Yucatan miniature pigs were developed in the Frontera area of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Several different strains have been developed since the 1960s, including one strain developed from a wild breed found in the swamps of Florida.
Miniature swine can be raised using the same general methods as standard domesticated swine herds. LoneStar Laboratory Swine are provided with the highest quality treatment, including ample quarters and provisions, they are protected from airborne illnesses and receive greater individual attention than domestic production livestock.
One of the primary reasons that the Yucatan miniature swine has become an extraordinary model for medical research is because of its temperament; Colorado State University researchers developed a line of Yucatan miniature pigs in the 1970s that were more comfortable being handled than most pigs. The breakthrough reduced the number of situations where animals require sedation. LoneStar Laboratory Swine are socialized, docile and ease to handle.
While it possesses essentially the same biological characteristics as domestic pigs, the Yucatan Miniature Swine’s significant advantage comes from its weight at maturity. Most breeds of pigs reach 225 pounds in less than six months and achieve weights between 550 to 675 pounds when full grown. This significantly increases feed and care costs while reducing research potential. On the other hand, Yucatan miniature pigs weigh roughly the same as the average human male – 150 to 200 pounds at maturity.