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  • Writer's picture~Jacqueline

The Things I Didn't Know About Pigs

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

I essentially live by the motto; 'you don't know what you don't know,' and there were a lot of things I never knew about pigs!

Have you ever seen a pig? Not on TV or in a social media post but have you gotten to see one in person?

Growing up my only exposure to pigs was through movies, commercials, and the very occasional crime show.

The first pig I remember having seen in person was a tiny one that was dressed up and in a race for an Oreo at the County fair.

The second was a ‘pet’ at the ranch I went to for horse camp. Her name was Gloria, and was HUGE, seemed to have red eyes, and I was told she would eat aaaanything 😳

I was 20 years old when I saw my first pig at a small scale swine production operation and it looked very different than anything I’d ever seen!

Here are some thing I didn’t know about swine until visiting that operation :

  • Pigs are not dirty and don’t spend their entire day looking for the closest mud puddle to roll in like in some cartoons. What is true about this though is that, because pigs have no sweat glands, they will seal out cool places (i.e., a puddle or cool area of mud) to lay in and lower their temperatures.

  • Not only do pigs provide a good product, but they also provide various key products to the medical field (click here to learn more about this).

  • They can get BIG. I had no idea how big some breeds of pig could get… I assumed they all stayed around knee-height or below.

  • As of 2020, pork is the second most consumed meat globally.

  • The swine industry largely uses artificial insemination to breed sows (female pig). The reason for this is because it is more efficient and can guarantee ideal genetics.

  • Pigs are omnivores and eat pellets or mash that are mainly made up of corn or soybeans largely.

  • Pork can be cooked and eaten similarly to beef, meaning you can safely order pork rare, medium rare, and so on.

This is only the briefest glimpse into swine production and pigs! If you’re interested in more information please visit the links embedded above or listen to this podcast interview all about swine; click here to listen to the episode!

Didn’t get your question answered in the blog post or podcast episode? Submit them via the contact tab and hear it answered on a future episode of the From Urban to Agriculture podcast.

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