Did you know that pigs are extremely smart? In fact they are smarter than dogs! Not only are pigs smart but they are clean animals and can even be pets! Find out more with these amazing pig facts for kids
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What is a Pig?
A pig is a short legged, wide bodied mammal. Pigs can be wild or domesticated and are sometimes referred to as swine or hog. There are about 300 different species of pig. Some of the common breeds of pigs include Landrace pig, Duroc Pig, Berkshire Pig, Gloucester Old Spot Pig, Tamworth Pig, Chester White Pig, Hampshire Pig, Poland China Pig.
Are Pigs Smart?
Sometimes pigs get a bad wrap. People think they are lazy, dirty animals but this isn’t true at all. Pigs are very smart and clean animals. In fact, they are smarter than dogs! In fact, pigs are very intelligent animals. They are the fourth smartest animal on the planet. Pigs can even be taught tricks such as how to roll over, fetch and pull a cart. They can even be taught how to use a litter box and walk on a leash.
Here is a list of the smartest animals/mammals on the planet
Like humans pigs are mammals. Mammals are warm-blooded animals that have hair or fur and give birth to their babies. Female mammals are able to produce milk to feed their babies after they are born.
Are Pigs Clean Animals?
Pigs are often referred to as dirty animals. Sometimes when kids don’t clean their rooms, parents will often say look at this pigsty.
Pigs are actually very clean. They do not like to use the bathroom where they sleep or eat.
Pigs like to sleep on clean dry straw.
You may be asking yourself if pigs are so clean then why are they always full of mud?
Pigs roll around in the mud not to get dirty but to keep cool. Pigs do not have sweat glands. Rolling around in the mud is a way for pigs to cool off.
Did you know that pigs can get sunburned? Yes, it’s true. Rolling around in the mud also helps protect the pig’s skin for the harsh rays of the sun.
What do Pigs Look Like?
They all have heavy bodies with short tails and a snout. A snout is consists of the pig’s nose, mouth, and jaw. A pig’s snout is very important to them. A pig uses its snout to find food, dig holes, and sense what is around them. A pig’s snout is very flexible which is helpful when looking for food.
Pigs also have four short legs. They have four toes on each foot. Pigs have a hoof at the end of each toe. Even though pigs have four toes, they only walk on two of them.
Pigs have small lungs. They have an excellent sense of smell. Pigs do not have good eyesight. They have small eyes however some have very long eyelashes.
They have 44 teeth. Pigs have 15,000 taste buds! Humans have 9,000. A pig is not going to win an award for the fasted animal, an adult can run 11 hours per hour.
Pigs drink up to 14 gallons of water every day. Like humans pigs are omnivores meaning they eat plants and meat. Most domesticated pigs living on farms eat corn.
How do pigs communicate?
Pigs communicate with other pigs with different sounds such as squealing or grunting. They may squeal or grunt as a sign of happiness or to warn others that they are not happy.
When pigs feel like they are in harm’s way or in distress they make shrill squeals.
Pigs also communicate with their babies. A mother pig sings to her piglet while nursing.
Male pigs are called a boars. Female pigs before she has given birth is called a gilt. After she has given birth a female pig is called a sow. A baby pig is called a piglet.
A boar can weigh up to 900 pounds a sow can weigh up to 400 pounds.
Male and female pigs can mate after they turn 6 months old. Mother pigs give birth to a litter of piglets. Baby pigs are called piglets. A litter on average has six to fifteen piglets. Piglets are around 2.5 pounds at birth.
Piglets have two little sharp teeth called wolf teeth or needle teeth. Their teeth are cut so they don’t injure each other their mother when feeding.
Piglets start drinking milk from their mother right after birth. For the first few weeks of life, they will live solely on their mother’s milk.
Piglets are social and playful animals. They love to play with their sisters and brothers. Piglets communicate with a series of noisy squeals.
After a few weeks, piglets will start to eat the same things as their mother. Piglets will grow very quickly. After about a month and a half after birth a piglet will weigh about 35 pounds. By the time they turn six months they can weigh up to 200 pounds!
Life of a Pig
Some pigs are raised on a farm and spend their lives there. They may be part of a farm petting zoo or compete in large pig contests.
Other pigs are sold as pets. Pigs are great pets because they are easily trained. They are also great pets for people with allergies. Pigs have hair not fur and they do not shed.
Some pigs live in the wild. These pigs are called wild pigs, wild hogs, or feral pigs. A wild pig can be a problem for farmers as they often destroy crops by stomping on them, destroying the roots, or eating them. They have also been known to eat livestock.
Other pigs are sold to market. They are raised to be food. Pork comes from pigs. Some types of pork products include bacon, ham, spareribs, pork shoulder
Pigs are also used to make products like leather, glue, lard, fertilizer and some medicines.
Amazing Pig Facts for Kids
They can live on average up to the age of 15.
A group of pigs is called a herd. In the wild, a herd is about 20 pigs.
There are about 2 billion pigs on earth!
Pigs live on every continent except for Antarctica
China has the most domesticated pigs in the world! The United States is 2nd.
Pigs aren’t native to the United States. They were brought to America in 1493 by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world (America).
The first book written on raising pigs was in 3468 BC by Emperor Fo Hi in China.
In Ancient Egypt, pigs were used to help plant crops. The pig’s hoof left just the right size hold to plant seeds.
In Denmark there twice as many pigs as people!
It is physically impossible for a pig to look up into the sky because their eyes are on the side of their head.
Pigs make great pets, it’s true. They may even be trained to use the bathroom and do tricks.
In the Bahamas, you can actually go swimming with wild pigs. Pig Beach also known as Major Cay is located in the Bahamas. It is a beach inhabited by wild pigs. No one exactly knows for sure how they got there. Some say they were brought by sailors. Anyway, many people who visit the Bahamas look forward to taking a tour to Pig Island to swim with these adorable creatures.
Pigs By Gail Gibbons
Farm Animals Pigs by Cecilia Minden
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