Pigs Fact Sheet
How much do you know about these smart, playful and social animals?
Pigs are intelligent animals.
Pigs use their snouts as an important tool for finding food in the ground and sensing the world around them.
Pigs have an excellent sense of smell. Their powerful and sensitive snout is a highly developed sense organ. Pigs also have a great field of vision because their eyes are on the sides of their heads.
There are around 2 billion pigs in the world.
Humans farm pigs for meat such as pork, bacon and ham.
Some people enjoy keeping pigs as pets. They’re affectionate and clever, just like dogs!
Wild pigs (boar) are often hunted in the wild. In Australia, pig-dogging is a controversial and highly aggressive form of hunting wild pigs.
Pigs have four toes on each hoof, but only walk on two toes per foot.
A mature pig has 44 teeth.
Pigs are highly intelligent and are even smarter than dogs! They are the regarded as the fourth smartest animal on the planet after humans, primates and dolphins.
Like humans, pigs are mammals.
A pig on average can live up to the age of 15.
Pigs are very clean animals. They do not like to use the bathroom where they sleep or eat.
A male pig is called a boar.
A female pig is called a sow.
A baby pig is called a piglet.
A group of pigs is called a herd.
Pigs roll around in the mud to keep cool because they do not have sweat glands.
Piglet’s are about 2.5 pounds when they are born.
An adult pig on average weighs 300-700 pounds!
Pigs have 44 teeth.
Pigs communicate with other pigs with different sounds such as squealing or grunting.
A mother pig sings to her piglet while nursing.
Pigs have 15,000 taste buds! Humans have 9,000.
Pigs live on every continent except for Antarctica.
Pigs have 4 toes on each foot but they only walk on 2.
Pigs are easily trained to walk on a leash, use a litter box and do tricks.
Leather, lard, glue, fertilizer and medicines are some products that derive from pigs.
Pigs wag their tail when they’re excited.
Some important points to consider:
In Australia, around 5 million pigs are killed every year for their flesh. Before being killed the majority of these animals undergo surgical procedures without pain relief and are imprisoned in overcrowded factory farms.
Soon after birth, piglets endure painful surgical procedures without pain relief, such as having their tails cut off and being castrated. They are soon taken from their mothers and locked up in crowded enclosures with hundreds of other pigs. When they are just 4-6 months old, they are forced into trucks and sent off to be killed.
Pregnant pigs (sows) can spend up to 16 weeks at a time locked in tiny metal cages, so small that it’s impossible for them to even turn around. Without any stimulation, they can suffer from boredom and depression. Right before giving birth they are moved to an even smaller cell, called a farrowing crate.
Most mother pigs don’t survive more than 2 years on a factory farm. One in ten sows die every year at piggeries, but many more are killed because of lameness, injury or inability to get pregnant. Almost two thirds of mother pigs are replaced every year on factory farms.