topic 5 Raising pigs

Discussion in 'Barnyard Basics' started by dilligaf, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. dilligaf

    dilligaf Banned

    Facts about pigs

    A male pig is called a boar. a castrated male is called a barrow.

    A female is called a sow.

    Baby pigs are called piglets.

    A sow can give birth to about about 8-12 piglets in a litter and can have more than one litter per year.

    The average weight for a newborn piglet is about 3 pounds.

    A group of pigs is called a herd.

    Young first time mothers are called gilts.

    A full grown pig can drink up to 14 gallons of water a day!

    It only takes about 190 days to raise a pig to a market weight of 240-250 pounds.

    It takes 950 about pounds of feed to raise one pig to market weight.

    Pigs can live up to 15 years they have an acute sense of smell, excellent hearing and eyesight.

    Pig manure is a valuable fertilizer and compost additive for the veggie patch, vines and fruit trees.

    Pigs are the fourth smartest animal group in the world, following humans, apes, chimps, whales and dolphins.Some say pigs are easier to train than both dogs and cats.

    Pigs do not have any sweat glands, on hot days they must be allowed to wallow in mud or shallow water to cool down. People think that because of this, pigs are dirty animals but in fact pigs are very clean, intelligent creatures and learn very quickly.

    Pigs are covered with coarse hairs to a greater or lesser extent depending on the breed and whether they are kept indoors or outdoors.

    The skin in all pigs should be shiny and free from loose, dead skin, scabbiness or wrinkles.

    The tail is generally curled (though some healthy pigs hang them straight down intermittently when feeding)

    All pigs have 34-44 teeth. Adult males often have two sharp tusks, which they use as digging tools and as weapons. Because these tusks can be dangerous, farmers usually clip them off.

    Pigs investigate with their mouths like human babies. Anything strange is often explored and possibly tasted, nibbled or bitten.

    A pig’s nose is called a snout. In farm pigs, the snout may be either long and
    narrow, or short and broad. The snout should be moist, clean and shinning, it is highly mobile as well as being extremely strong. Pigs have been used to hunt truffles ans by police in drug searches in remote areas.

    A pig’s foot has four toes, which end in hooves. The middle hooves are often webbed. The other two toes do not touch the ground while the pig is standing.

    Many anatomical and physiological features of the pig are identical to humans. For example, insulin from the pancreas of the pig is used to control diabetes in humans. Ligaments are used in knee replacements. Pigs are a source of nearly 40 drugs and pharmaceuticals such as insulin. Pig heart valves are surgically implanted in humans to replace diseased valves. Bones & skin are used for glue, pigskin garments, gloves, shoes and footballs. Hair is used for artist's brushes, insulation, upholstery. Dried bones are used for buttons, bone china. Fatty acids and glycerine are used for insecticides, floor waxes,
    weed killers, water-proofing agents, cement, rubber, crayons, cosmetics, chalk, antifreeze, plastics,putty, cellophane.

    Pigs are monogastric, which means they have a simple single chambered stomach.

    Pigs belong to the pig family Suidae. Suidae belong to the Artiodactyl family, a
    subgroup of the Ungulates. Ungulates are hoofed (mostly) herbivorous mammals.

    Pigs are Omnivorous - that is, they eat both meat and plants in the wild, most farm pigs eat a mixture fruit, veggies & grain. Corn is the grain that makes the best pig food.

    The largest pig on record was a Poland-China hog named "Big Bill." He weighed a portly 2,552 lbs and was so large that he dragged his belly on the ground. He had a shoulder height of 5 feet and a length of 9 feet.

    The smallest breed of pig is the Mini Maialino. Pigs of this breed average only 20 lbs at maturity.

    The largest litter of piglets ever farrowed was 37 by Sow #570 on a farm in
    Australia. 36 piglets were born alive and 33 total survived.

    The largest piglet ever farrowed was a stillborn 5 lb 4 0z male. Average weight for a piglet is 3 lbs.

    Swine were among the first of all animals to be domesticated around 6,000 years ago. The Chinese were the first to raise wild pigs for food.

    A pig's squeal can range from 110-115 decibels. Compare that to the Concorde jet, which is usually under 112 decibels.

    Baby pigs appear very greedy when they are competing for food from their mothers. For this reason the words “pig” and “hog” have come to be associated with greedy behavior.

    Pigs are weaned when they are two to four weeks old. They are called “nursery pigs” until they reach 50 pounds and “growing/finishing pigs” from then until they reach about 240 pounds. After that they are called hogs. Hogs are usually taken to market when they weigh 240-280 pounds.

    In the past hogs were fed table scraps and had a reputation for eating just about anything. The meat from hogs fed that way was very high in fat. The hogs would eat corn, grass, clover or even table scraps that would have otherwise have become garbage. The word “hogwash,” meaning something that is worthless, came from this practice.

    In some areas hogs would be turned out to find their own food. Hogs would roam freely, eating what they could find— acorns from the ground or roots, which they dug from the ground with their snouts. On Manhattan Island, New York, the hogs rampaged through grain fields until farmers were forced to build a wall to keep them out. The street running along this wall became Wall Street.

    Pork provides protein, B-vitamins and thiamin to our diets. Pork has three times as much thiamin as any other food. Thiamin changes carbohydrates into energy and promotes a healthy appetite.

    A pig can run a seven-minute mile.

    Hogs do not overeat. They eat until they are full.

    In the colonial US, hogs were driven to market in large droves over trails that later became routes used by the railroads.

    Colonists in Pennsylvania developed the practice of "finishing" hogs on corn (feeding them nothing but corn in the few weeks before butchering them). This practice improved the quality of the pork and laid the foundation for the modern pork industry.

    Hog raising became an important commercial enterprise during the 1800s when the Midwest farm regions were settled. The new Erie Canal system gave farmers a way to get their hogs to the cities back east. Farmers started calling their hogs “Mortgage Lifters” because the profits from their sales helped pay for the new homesteads.

    Soldier pigs have gone to war. They have served as mine sniffers in battlefields.

    When fully grown, boars (male hogs) may weigh more than 500 pounds, and sows (female hogs) may weigh from 300-500 pounds.

    Hogs have small eyes and poor eyesight.

    During the War of 1812, a New York pork packer named Uncle Sam Wilson shipped a boatload of several hundred barrels of pork to U.S. troops. Each barrel was stamped "U.S." on the docks, and it was quickly said that the "U.S." stood for "Uncle Sam," whose large shipment seemed to be enough to feed the entire army. This is how "Uncle Sam" came to represent the U.S. Government.

    The saying "living high on the hog" started among enlisted men in the U.S. Army, who received shoulder and leg cuts of pork while officers received the top loin cuts. So "living high on the hog" came to mean living well.

    What's the origin of the saying "a pig in the poke?" It was a common trick in 17th century England of trying to give away a cat to an unsuspecting "shopper" for a suckling pig (a young pig). When he opened the poke (sack), he "let the cat out of the bag," and the trick was revealed.

    The phrase "pork barrel" politics?" is derived from the pre-Civil War practice of distributing salt pork to the slaves from huge barrels. By the 1870's, congressmen were referring to regularly dipping into the "pork barrel" to obtaining funds for popular projects in their home districts.

    The highest known price ever paid for a hog was $56,000 - paid for a crossbred hog named "Bud," on March 5, 1985.
  2. shameless_heifer

    shameless_heifer Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Hi Dilli, was wonderin' if you had any knowledge on wild ferrel hogs.. redish in color.. not the ridgebacks with slanted forehead, but the local type or round kind as I calls em'.. My inquiery is; Hubby trapped a wild sow and her piglets.. 5 of em'.. we ate the mama, but the piglets were to small so we put them in a hog pen.. this was back in the spring.. Lynn has been feeding them but they are not growing.. they should be weighing in around 160 by now and I doupt if the weigh 30.. they are not sick their eyes r clear nor are they starved.. they just aint growin'.. I was thinkin' that they were stunted bc of being taken from the wild.. but they were only a few weeks old then, maybe 6 weeks old.. they should be big enough to butcher by now.. 6 or 7 months old.. do you think bc they are 'contained' they stoped growing to meet their new enviroment, they live in a 60X30 pen?? Our domestic pigs were ready at that age and had no problem gainning weight.. we had 1 boar, for instance.. yorkshire he was.. what they call a Bacon Hog.. longest pig I've seen up close.. weighed in at 986 lbs.. he was a big fat baby.. he would roll over on his back for you to scratch his belly and squeel when you did.. he was the one the kids would ride.. I have a pic somewhere..I have some wonderful shots of our animals here.. were you going to make a place for pics.. I have been wanting to put them up someplace but my forums are not exactly the place for them.. (Herbs and Aroma Therapy).. I thought here would be an exelent place to post them, when you make a place for pic.. I think you mentioned doing that in one of your threads. Thx for any info on the wild hogs you may offer.
  3. Audrey_Hunt

    Audrey_Hunt Member

    is it legal to have a pig as a pet? are they nice animals? No, I don't own a farm or live in the country. I just want a pet pig. People ask me if i'm kidding when i say that, and no i'm not.
  4. FireflyInTheDark

    FireflyInTheDark Sell-out with a Heart of Gold

    I think it's legal... I've known a few people who have had pigs for pets. They count as livestock in most areas, though, so you have to know what the zoning laws are and whether or not you'll need a permit, etc. I don't think you can just have them running around an apartment, though, know what I mean?

    I've been reading these forums all day, and I have to say, this was an amazing idea. Last year, I decided I wanted to farm for a living, and while I may not ever get the whole shebang, I hope some day to raise some meat and have some crops. Pigs are the one thing I'm not sure if I want to deal with. Not sure why. Hopefully this topic hasn't been abandoned. I'd like to check it out anyway.

    OT: Is there going to be a bovine topic? Anything exotic like ostriches or emus? Just wondering for fun. :p
  5. Fingermouse

    Fingermouse Helicase

    I was wondering which of these is true?
  6. 60sChickee

    60sChickee Member

    on your hogs, what are you feeding them? have you ever wormed them ? also, type of breed will affect growth rate too... a well fed butcher pig should only require about one or two coffee cans of feed a day... of course lots of water... over crowding a pen will restrict growth as well...
  7. 60sChickee

    60sChickee Member

    Pigs can live up to 15 years they have an acute sense of smell, excellent hearing and eyesight
    Hogs have poor eyesight
    I was wondering which of these is true?
    lol... good eye there...
    just from experience, I could say both...
    if the pig got out of the pen and you are yelling at it to come here and get back in the pen, it cant see you...
    if you walk away from the apple tree WAY DOWN across the yard, they all will line up at the fence begging for one...

    amazing animals...

    my boar Boris use to help raise the babies... gentle giants...
  8. 60sChickee

    60sChickee Member

    just a tip here too...
    when designing pens for your pigs, make sure that you think ahead about ease of moving your boar from pen to pen for breeding...

    pigs are very social & live communally... they all share in raising the piglets IF you breed & cull responsibly right off... I had daughters raising and nursing new baby sisters before!

    a mean tempered pig can ruin an entire breeding program... seems to be a very dominate gene... you want pigs you can get into the pen with in case of emergencies, without fear of being harmed...

    we had multiple pens... pigs are hard on pens... they root up everything and kill all plants inside the pen... during the summer we let them root deep in the middle to make a swimming hole that we fill every few days, (ideally you could have it feed from a spring)

    as far as pig manure being good in the garden, I personally found it too *hot* for my garden and it takes forever to compost... very sulfur-like...

    pigs are very fragile... they can catch colds, over heat & sunstroke, and can get foot rot very easy from unclean pens... rotate the pigs into another pen to allow old pens to grow over again is best...

    baby goats are adorable (yeah I had some of those baaaad boys jumping on my couch one day!), but I love to watch baby pigs play... the wrestling we call pig tusslin'
  9. tikoo

    tikoo Senior Member

    i sure do love a happy pig . eating the lsd helped me know
    how to help them . it began with singing to them . hmm ...
    if i try a bit i might remember that sort of singing . itsa been
    awhile ago since i was hog boy .

    if you write out hog boy and
    look at it upside down what do you see ?
  10. FireflyInTheDark

    FireflyInTheDark Sell-out with a Heart of Gold

    Whoa. :eek:
  11. ChronicTom

    ChronicTom Banned

    I should have noticed the first time I read this thread... oh well....

    something that dilli missed that is extremely important about pigs...

    If you can grab something with your fingertips, a pig can grab it with his snout.

    Years back when I was running the pig farm, we had the inside of the barn lined with sheets of tin so they couldn't wear there way through the wood. If so much as 1/4 inch of a corner got pulled off the wall (from them rubbing it) they would grab it and rip the tin off the wall...

    They can also break 2x6 boards sideways (across the 6 inch part) simply by putting their nose under it and lifting...
  12. tikoo

    tikoo Senior Member

    wow mom
  13. Salty. Leathery. The skin dried so hard, it can take a band saw to cut through it. Before cooking, you have to heft it into a sink and scrub off the mold. The length of curing time, when hams develop deeper, more unique flavors, can vary from 75 days to 18 months or longer. I cook it the traditional way, soaking it in water overnight and simmering it in a big pot all day. Then I cut away the skin, score the fat and bake it until it is sizzling. A little salty, a little chewy, and a taste all it's own.
  14. ChronicTom

    ChronicTom Banned

    and lasts damn near forever in storage...
  15. FireflyInTheDark

    FireflyInTheDark Sell-out with a Heart of Gold

    GAWD that sounds good...
  16. ChronicTom

    ChronicTom Banned

    Think of free range pigs, that are treated well as they grow, killed without scaring them, cured and aged. Then after being cleaned up and soaked for a while, cooked for two days in a pot of homemade pea soup...

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