25 Facts About Pigs


It’s easy to assume that pigs are dirty animals who love to rummage around in the mud. But that’s actually not true. Pigs don’t have sweat glands so they roll in the mud to cool off, did you know this? They’re also very intelligent animals, did you know about this? Keep on reading to learn 25 oinking facts about Pigs.

Fact 1: A pig is a domesticated large, even-toed, hooved mammal.

  • It’s sometimes considered a subspecies of the Eurasian boar. 

Fact 2: Pigs typically weigh between 50-350 kg and have a body length ranging from 0.9-1.8 meters.

  • Well-fed individuals often exceed this weight range.

Fact 3: Pigs are usually farmed because humans want to eat pork.

  • The animal’s bones, hide, and bristles are also used in commercial products. Domestic pigs, especially miniature breeds, are kept as pets.

Fact 4: Pigs cool off by wallowing in mud or water, which is a process called evaporative cooling.

  • Rolling in mud also protects them from sunburn, ectoparasites, and aids in scent-marking. 

Fact 5: Pigs are one of four known mammalian species which possess mutations that protect against snake venom.

  • Like Mongooses, honey badgers, and hedgehogs they have a modified nicotinic acetylcholine receptor that protects them from poisonous snake venom.

Fact 6: They have small lungs.

  • This makes pigs more susceptible than any other domesticated animal to fatal bronchitis/pneumonia.

Fact 7: By the time piglets are 2 weeks old, they can recognise their own names and their mother’s voice.

  • Interestingly, sows, or mother pigs, are known to sing to their young while nursing. 

Fact 8: Pigs aren’t slow animals at all. They can run up to a speed of 11 mph when they want to!

  • They can’t do this for ages though, they have to slow down after a while. 

Fact 9: A pig’s squeal is louder than a supersonic airliner!

  • Pigs can squeal as loud as 115 decibels, which is 3 decibels higher than an airliner. 

Fact 10: Pigs love to chit-chat with each other.

  • In fact, they have 20 different types of vocalizations. 

Fact 11: Pigs are indiscriminate eaters and will eat almost anything even human bones.

  • In 2012, a farmer in Oregon died after suffering a major heart attack while feeding his pigs. He fell into his pig enclosure, and the swines started devouring his remains until only his dentures were left. 

Fact 12: Pigs are smarter than man’s best friend.

  • They’ve even smarter than young human children and some primates.

Fact 13: Pigs aren’t filthy animals.

  • In fact, when in their natural habitat, pigs tend to keep their toilets far from their feeding/living areas. 

Fact 14: Males are called ‘boars’ while female pigs are called ‘sows’. 

  • These animals are found and raised all over the world for their meat and lard. They were also used to make leather, glue, fertilizers and medicines at one time. 

Fact 15: Pigs in the United States produce more lean meat than lard.

  • They’ve been classified as ‘meat-type pigs’.

Fact 16: In the wild, pigs eat everything including roots, leaves, fruits, rodents and even small reptiles.

  • Domesticated pigs or farm-raised pigs often eat commercially made feeds made from corn. 

Fact 17: Pigs compensate for their poor eyesight with their keen sense of smell.

  • A pig’s nostrils are located on its leathery snout, which is very sensitive to touch. The pig uses the snout to search, or “root” for food.

Fact 18: Pigs display a behaviour called “Rooting” by nudging their snouts into an object.

  • Much like a cat’s kneading, rooting is very comforting to pigs and is often first observed in piglets trying to get their mother’s milk.  

Fact 19: Dominance in pigs can be seen from a very young age.

  • When piglets are born they have sharp teeth which they use in combat to develop a ‘teat order’ at mealtime, as the anterior teats produce a greater quantity of milk. Once established, this ‘teat order’ remains in place until the piglets no longer need to feed on the teats.

Fact 20: Pigs are perfect pets for people who have the ‘usual’ animal allergies.

  • This is because pigs are considered to be hypoallergenic. 

Fact 21: They were the first animals to be domesticated.

  • The first book on pig farming was written by Chinese Emperor Fo Hi in 3468 BC, but historians theorize that pigs were domesticated about 6000 years ago. The first pigs came to America in 1539 with the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. 

Fact 22: Bacon has been around for a very long time.

  • As early as 1500 BC, bacon was already a favourite meal. Moreover, the phrase “bring home the bacon” originated during the 12th Century when a church in England offered a side of bacon to any man who could swear before the church that he had not had a fight with his wife in a year.

Fact 23: Dinosaur pigs once existed!

  • They were called Enteledonts, these pig-like creatures roamed the earth during the early Miocene period, 16.3 million years ago. These were quite hefty creatures that weighed around 1,000 pounds, stood at a height of 7 feet, and had multiple sets of teeth.  

Fact 24: Pig heart valves are often used as replacement heart valves for humans that need them.

  • Humans can use these replacement heart valves for a solid 15 years.

Fact 25: Pork is the most eaten meat in the world.

  • Pork accounts for over 36% of the world meat intake. It’s followed by poultry and beef with about 35% and 22% respectively. Currently, China is the world’s largest pork consumer, pork consumption totalled 53 million tons here in 2012.

References:

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