Animal Facts: Pigs
Written by Wanda Embar
Created Wednesday, 31 July 2013
The words pig, hog and swine are all generic terms without regard to gender, size or breed. A male pig is called a boar. A female pig is called a gilt if she hasn't had piglets yet and a sow if she has.
Pigs originated from Eurasian Wild boars.
Pigs are very intelligent and learn quickly. They pick up tricks faster than dogs. Pigs rank #4 in animal intelligence behind chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. Piglets learn their names by two to three weeks of age and respond when called.
Pigs are very social animals. They form close bonds with each other and other species. Pigs enjoy close contact and will lie close together when resting. Pigs use their grunts to communicate with each other.
A sow can give birth to a litter containing 7 to 12 piglets, about twice a year. The gestation period of a sow is 114 days (3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days).
A baby pig, or piglet, weighs about 1.5 kilograms at birth and will double its weight in just 7 days.
Weaning occurs at three months of age, but young pigs continue to live with their mothers. Two or more sows usually join together in an extended family.
Pigs are very clean animals. They keep their toilets far from their living or eating area. Even piglets only a few hours old will leave the nest to relieve themselves.
Domestic pigs are rarely aggressive. The only exceptions are sows with a young litter and boars if provoked.
Pigs are much more tolerant of cold than heat. Pigs have no sweat glands, so they can't sweat. They roll around in the mud to cool their skin. The layer of dried mud protects their skin from the sun. If available, pigs, who are great swimmers, prefer water to mud.
Some pigs have straight and some have curly tails.
Pigs have a great sense of smell. Their powerful but sensitive snout is a highly developed sense organ. Pigs also have a great field of vision, because their eyes are on the sides of their heads.
Pigs have four toes on each hoof, but only walk on two toes per foot.
A mature pig has 44 teeth.
A pig can run a 7 minute mile.
Article originally published on the Veganpeace website
Wanda Emba is the Founder of Veganpeace, a website dedicated to inspire people to strive towards a more peaceful world where animal and human rights are respected and honored.
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