Fun Facts about Pigs – via @TheAGguy #ontag

Melanie ConsCanadian Farm News

We all have eaten many products from our friend the pig. Bacon, pork chops, spare ribs, pork roast and so many other food items. But what do we really know about the pig? Today, let’s find our more.

Despite their reputation, pigs are not dirty animals. They’re actually quite clean. The pig’s reputation as a filthy animal comes from its habit of rolling in mud to cool off. Pigs that live in cool, covered environments stay very clean.

If you’ve ever suggested that someone was ‘sweating like a pig’, then you’d be wrong. Pigs have hardly any sweat glands, and one of the best ways for them to cool down is to wallow in the mud.

Pigs constantly communicate with each other. They have a range of different oinks, grunts and squeals which have distinct meanings.

Pigs are extraordinarily intelligent. They are curious and insightful animals who are widely accepted as being smarter than young children of at least three years of age, dogs, and even some primates.

Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers’ voices, and can recognize their own names by the time they’re two weeks old.

Pigs are thought to be the fourth most intelligent animal, after chimps, dolphins and elephants. A group of pigs is called a sounder. Pigs can also run 11 miles per hour, which is faster than a six-minute mile.

Pigs are extremely social animals. They form close bonds with other individuals and love close contact and lying down together.

Pigs are very clean, keeping their toilet area far away from where they lie down and eat. Even newborn piglets will leave the nest to go to the toilet within hours of birth.

A pig’s squeal can be as loud as 115 decibels – that’s three decibels higher than the sound of a supersonic airliner.

Pigs are very peaceful animals, rarely showing aggression. The exception, as with many animals, is when a mother (sow) with her young offspring is provoked or threatened.

Wild pigs, or boars, play an important role in managing ecosystems and maintaining biodiversity. By rooting, and thus disturbing the soil, they create areas for new plant growth. They also spread fruit plants by dispersing their seeds.

Pigs have a tremendous sense of smell. The large round disk of cartilage at the tip of the snout is connected to muscle that gives it extra flexibility and strength for rooting in the ground.

Winston Churchill famously said that “Dogs look up to man. Cats look down to man. Pigs look us straight in the eye and see an equal.”

The pig is the last of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. The pig is seen to represent fortune, honesty, happiness and virility.

There are around two billion pigs in the world. That’s a lot of bacon!

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Thoughts for the week – Our greatest hope comes from trusting God.


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Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at:

You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy