A new record has been confirmed for the oldest pig in captivity ever with an age of 23 years 77 days (as verified on 19 April 2021).
Baby Jane (b. 1 February 1998) was raised by owners Patrick Cunningham and Stan Coffman (both USA) and still lives with them today in Mundelein, Illinois, USA.
One of Patrick's friends facilitated his adoption of Baby Jane from a rescue in Virginia, and he brought her home when she was 8 weeks old.
Patrick and Stan have two sons, Justin (12) and Marchese (11). Another pot-bellied pig, named Lucy, completes the family.
"Lucy was added to the mix in 2004. It took Baby Jane a long, long time to warm up to another female pig. At least for the last few years they seem to want to be around each other all the time."
Lucy is also an older pig and will be celebrating her 17th birthday this September.
But it’s not just pigs that the couple have owned over the years.
"We previously had two dogs during Baby Jane’s lifespan, but they have passed away in the last 3 years."
"At one point, we were two dads with two boys, two dogs and two pigs. Quite the handful," Stan and Patrick said.
Baby Jane is an indoor pig that prefers the creature comforts of home as opposed to the outdoors.
"Although she goes outside to potty and play, she resides inside our home," the couple said.
"When outside, she’s never left unattended. When inside, Baby Jane can be found in our bed or on the couch."
"In our bed, she rests her head on our pillows and sprawls out, leaving little space for us. She’s literally a bed hog."
Sometimes, caring for a pig can be a test of wills – and your bedding!
"In Baby Jane’s younger years, we were in another room and noticed it had gotten suspiciously quiet. When we went to check on her, we found Baby Jane laying on the comforter in a pile of loose down feathers. Some floating throughout the room while others were sticking to her snout. She loved to shred blankets."
Baby Jane is usually very well behaved now, but sometimes still throws tantrums.
"When Baby Jane doesn’t get her way, she occasionally acts out. Her tantrums would include knocking something over, screaming, or in one case, going to the bathroom in her sister’s bed."
Baby Jane has a certain routine, which all the family pitch in to help with.
"Taking care of Baby Jane is a family affair. She gets up in the morning, potties, eats and goes back to sleep until lunchtime. At lunch time, same routine, potty, eat, sleep. Same routine with dinner. In the evening or on weekends we spend more time with her outside."
Over the years Baby Jane’s vitality has decreased, but Patrick and Stan say her mind is still very sharp.
"When she was younger, she was more active and wanted to be outside to eat grass and enjoy the sun. As she’s aged, we keep her active."
"She walks well but sometimes needs a little assistance on stairs, but she can do them herself. Her ears still perk up when she hears a food wrapper or someone is in the kitchen making noise."
As well as help managing the stairs, there are other things to consider when you have the world’s oldest pig.
"As Baby Jane has gotten older, we’re less comfortable boarding her when we go on vacation."
The solution? Buying an RV so that all the family (pigs included) can go on trips together!
"Baby Jane is a well-traveled pig. Her favorite place is Key West. She loves the beach and having her pictures taken at the southernmost point. She loves to travel and does well in our RV."
After over two decades and many celebrations together, the couple and Baby Jane have an incredibly strong bond and many wonderful memories.
Baby Jane has met Santa, travelled around the country in an RV, and even starred in a drag show alongside drag queen Mary Ann Brandt. Quite a lot for one pig to achieve in her lifetime!
"Like most pigs, Baby Jane isn’t just intelligent, she is extremely affectionate and empathetic. She loves being with us and we love having her with us. She knows if we are upset or angry. All she wants to do is be loved and love us. Our two children have grown up with her and it’s obvious she loves them as well."
When the couple started to think about how old Baby Jane was compared to other pigs, they decided to apply for the record for oldest pig in captivity ever.
They were delighted when the record was confirmed.
"It’s awesome to tell people we have the world’s oldest pig. We’re just thankful for every day we have with her. Every day we get to have her and show her we love her and take care of her is so special to us."
Having the record also gives Patrick and Stan the opportunity to educate others about pot-bellied pigs. They want to spread awareness that micro or teacup pigs are a myth, and that they will eventually grow into full-sized pigs.
This leads to many pigs being given to rescues and sanctuaries once they outgrow the desired "teacup" size.
"Our advice to people is to do your own research when it comes to getting a pot-belly pig for a pet," the couple said.
"When you get to the point of talking to someone at a rescue or sanctuary, ask all the questions you want to really know if this is the right pet for you."
"We never would have dreamed we would have a pet living to 23+ years. It’s really a long commitment and they depend on you for everything. You have to be willing to commit the time to them."
Header image credit: JPM Photography