The Ear of a Sleeping Baby Pig

Baby Pig

This baby pig was enjoying a peaceful moment at the 2005 Lancaster County Fair in Lincoln, Nebraska. A special petting area was set up at the fair so children could view and touch different animals.

The following is an excerpt from Ag in the Classroom lessons.

Pigs and hogs are part of the swine family. Male swine are called “boars.” Female swine are called “sows.” Baby bigs are called “pigs” until they reach a weight of about 240 pounds. Then they are called “hogs.”

A sow gives birth to a litter of pigs about twice a year. A litter usually has eight to 12 baby pigs.

Some people think pigs are greedy because that is how baby pigs look when they are competing for food from their mothers. But pigs never overeat. Once a pig is full, it stops eating. Swine eat corn, wheat and other grains.

Did you know?

  • Pigs were among the first animals to be domesticated, probably as early as 7000 BC. Forty million years ago, hoglike animals roamed forests and swamps in what are now Europe and Asia. By 4900 BC hogs were domesticated in China. By 1500 BC they were being raised in Europe. In 1539 Hernando de Soto landed at Tampa Bay, Florida, with 13 pigs, the first in North America. By the time of deSoto’s death, three years later, his hog herd had grown to 700.

  • The heaviest hog in history was "Big Bill". Bill weighed 2,552 pounds.

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

  • A pig can run a seven-minute mile.

  • Bacon, pork sausage, pork chops and ham all come from swine. Byproducts made from swine include adhesives, plastics, shoes, paint, glue, crayons, chalk, and chewing gum. Pig heart valves are used to replace diseased or damaged human heart valves. Hog skin is used as a dressing in treating serious burns, and hog pancreas glands provide insulin to treat diabetes.

Source: Ag in the Classroom. Oklahoma State University.

More Resources:

Nebraska Pork Central

Production Agriculture - Swine

This Can You Guess It?? photo appeared in the August 2005 Nebline Newsletter.

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