Pot-Bellied Pig

Category: Farm

People are sometimes accused of 'sweating like a hog'. That would be quite a feat since pigs are incapable of sweating. There is also a tendency of accusing people who are dirty of being pig-like. This is also an unfair accusation, since a healthy and happy pig is also a clean pig who has access to mud for cooling off.

Pot-Bellied Pig

Pot-Bellied Pig

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Artiodactyla

Family - Suidae

Genus – Sus

Species – S. scrofa

Common Names – Pot-bellied pig

Characteristics

Pigs are highly intelligent, ranked behind only apes, whales, and dolphins in the animal world. They are also highly social and form large family groups with a distinct hierarchy. Pot bellied pigs originated in Vietnam but are able to freely interbreed with domesticated pigs as well as other wild species. They can reach sizes of up to 300 pounds with the average size below 200 pounds, but there are miniature varieties that can be considerably smaller.

Breeding

The gestation lasts an average of 113 days and they have large litters cared for by attentive mothers called sows. The piglets have a hierarchy they establish soon after being born as to which individual get to feed on the best teats and they will use the same nursing area until they are weaned at 4-6 weeks. Boars have no relationship with the young and tend to live solitary lives in the wild.

Behavior

Pigs are inquisitive and friendly. They can also be stubborn and some people have described them as manipulative with indulgent owners. Pigs see very poorly but they have excellent senses of smell and hearing. Their sense of smell is so acute they have long been used to hunt for truffles and law enforcement has used them as drug sniffing animals. They can easily be trained to use a litter box and are a common household pet, despite their size. The misunderstanding many people have about their size has led to many house pets being abandoned after they top a few hundred pounds.

History

Pigs have been domesticated since around 13,000 BC. Due to their general hardiness and omnivorous diets, they made ideal farm animals. The genus Sus contains several species of pig, including pot bellied pigs and wild boars. The genus shared a common ancestor about five million years ago and then they split.

Present Status

Pot bellied pigs are a common domesticated animal all around the world, In the US, they are mostly kept as pets but they are raised as food animals in many other areas.

References

  1. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
  2. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  3. Pot-Bellied Pigs: A Complete Authoritative Guide by Dennis Kelsey-Wood
  4. The Complete Guide for the Care and Training of Pet Potbellied Pigs by Kathleen Myers
  5. Potbellied Pig Behavior and Training: A Complete Guide for Solving Behavioral Problems in Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs by Priscilla Valentine