Ten Fun Facts About Pigs
10 Fun Facts about Pigs
In anticipation of the addition of pig races to our Barnyard this season, we’ve been doing more research about pigs! These fascinating creatures have delighted children for years, with their pink color and curly tails and high-pitched squeals. You can feed them in our Petting Zoo or cheer them on as they run around the track at our Hillbilly Pig Races (coming this summer)!
1. There are ten different species of pigs, including the Bearded Pig, domestic pigs, wild boars, and the Philippine Warty Pig. The scientific name for a domestic pig, like the ones on our farm, is sus scrofa domesticus, and there are hundreds of different breeds.
2. There are around one billion domestic pigs alive at any given time, making it one of the most populous large mammals on the planet. That’s approximately one pig for every six people!
3. Pigs are omnivores, which means they consume both plants and animals. In the wild, pigs typically consume leaves, grasses, roots, fruits, and flowers; in confinement, they are generally fed corn and soybean meal. They aren't typically aggressive or carnivorous, but may eat meat if the opportunity presents itself.
4. Adult pigs can weigh over 700 pounds. That’s about 1/3 of a ton. The world’s biggest pig ever recorded was called Big Bill. He was owned by Elias Butler of Jacksonville, Tennessee, and weighed a whopping 2,552 pounds! Big Bill was at least five feet high and nine feet long, and although he set the record back in 1933, no other pig has even come close to breaking it.
5. Miniature pigs, also called micro or teacup pigs, are bred to be smaller, often only weighing 25-60 pounds. This may still sound like a heavy pet, but when you consider the weight of a normal adult pig, it seems like no big deal! These tiny pigs have recently gained popularity as household pets, after many entertainment magazines claimed in 2009 that teacup pigs were a favorite pet of various well-known celebrities.
6. Famous pigs include Miss Piggy (from the Muppets), Babe the Sheep-Pig, Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, Piglet from A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” stories, Porky Pig (from Looney Tunes) and Napoleon from George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
7. The pig is the last sign of the Chinese Zodiac. The last time we had a Year of the Pig was in 2007, though the Chinese calendar year ran from February 18, 2007-February 6, 2008. The natural element of the Pig is water, and is commonly associated with intuition and emotions.
8. Pigs are extremely social and intelligent. They can easily be trained to do basic tasks and tricks. We find it’s very easy to motivate our pigs with the promise of an Oreo at the end of the race!
9. Pigs have 44 teeth and 15,000 taste buds! In comparison, humans have just 32 teeth and an average of 8,000 taste buds.
10. The term “sweating like a pig” is actually a misnomer—pigs don’t sweat at all! They roll in the mud or bathe in the water to keep cool. And they’re very clean—they don’t like to go to the bathroom or soil the same area where they eat or sleep.