Pig Definition | Characteristics & Facts



Pig Definition

The pig, scientifically known as Sus scrofa domesticus, is a domesticated mammal that belongs to the Suidae family. Here are some complete facts about pigs:

 Pig General Characteristics & Facts

Pigs are medium-sized animals with a stout and compact body. They have a large head, a snout with a keen sense of smell, and a cylindrical-shaped body covered in bristly hair. Pigs have four short legs and a small, curly tail. They can weigh anywhere from 110 to 770 pounds (50 to 350 kilograms) depending on the breed.

Domestication and Distribution

Pigs were domesticated from wild boars around 9,000 to 10,000 years ago. Pigs have been selectively bred for various purposes, including meat production, research, and as pets.

Intelligent Animals

Pigs are highly intelligent animals and are often considered one of the most intelligent domesticated animals. They have good long-term memories, can solve problems, and can learn tricks and commands. Pigs have been trained to perform in circus acts and even to use a joystick to play video games.

Social Behavior

Pigs are social animals and live in groups called “sounders.” Sounders typically consist of several sows (females) and their offspring. They communicate through various vocalizations, including grunts, squeals, and snorts. Pigs also have a strong sense of hierarchy within their social groups.


Pigs are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet primarily consists of grains, fruits, vegetables, roots, and tubers. In the wild, pigs are known to forage for food by digging the ground with their snouts.


You can define female pigs as sows, and male pigs as boars. The female reproductive cycle is approximately 21 days long. Sows have a gestation period of around 114 days (3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days) and usually give birth to a litter of piglets. The average litter size ranges from 6 to 12 piglets.

Environmental Adaptability

: Pigs are adaptable animals that can live in various climates and environments. They have been successfully raised in different parts of the world, including farms, forests, and even semi-wild conditions. However, they are sensitive to extreme temperatures and need appropriate shelter and management.

Economic Importance

Pigs are widely raised for their meat, which is known as pork. Meat is consumed in many cultures around the world and is a significant source of animal protein. Pigs also provide other products such as skin for leather, bristles for brushes, and lard for cooking and industrial purposes.


Pigs can be susceptible to various diseases, including swine influenza, foot-and-mouth disease, and African swine fever. Proper biosecurity measures and vaccinations are crucial to prevent and control the spread of diseases among pig populations.

Symbolism and Cultural Significance

Pigs have different meanings and symbolism across various cultures. In some societies, pigs are associated with wealth, abundance, and fertility. They are also considered sacred in certain religions and are featured in folklore, myths, and idioms in many parts of the world.

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Horse Physical Characteristics

  • Size: Pigs can vary in size depending on the breed, but they are generally medium to large-sized animals. They can range from around 3 feet (0.9 meters) in height at the shoulder to over 6 feet (1.8 meters) in length.
  • Body Shape: Pigs have a stout and compact body shape. They have a rounded and muscular build with a deep chest and a thick neck. Their body is supported by short, sturdy legs.
  • Skin and Hair: The skin of pigs is covered in bristles or coarse hair. The color of their hair can vary, including shades of black, brown, white, or a combination of these colors.
  • Head and Snout: Pigs have a relatively large head with a prominent snout. The snout is long and flexible, ending in a flat, round disk called the “rostral disk.” This snout is highly specialized and helps pigs root in the ground to find food.
  • Ears and Eyes: Pigs have relatively small, rounded ears that are usually positioned on the sides of their heads. Their eyes are also small and positioned laterally, allowing them to have a wide field of vision.
  • Tail: Pigs have a long and straight tails, ending with a tuft of hair at the tip. They often use their tails to swat away insects or to communicate with other pigs.
  • Hooves: Pigs have cloven hooves, meaning their hooves are split into two parts. They have four toes on each foot, with the middle two toes bearing most of their weight.

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Scientific Classification of Pig

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Suidae

Genus: Sus

Species: Sus scrofa

Key locations of Pigs

  • China
  • United States
  • Brazil
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Vietnam
  • Mexico
  • France
  • Thailand
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Poland
  • Italy
  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Argentina
  • Ukraine
  • South Korea

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Pig FAQs

What Pig Eats the Most?

  • Grains
  • Vegetables and Fruits
  • Forage and Pasture
  • Protein Sources
  • Insects and Small Animals
  • Kitchen Scraps and Food Waste

What is the average lifespan of a pig?

The average lifespan of a pig can vary depending on the breed and living conditions. Generally, domesticated pigs live for about 10 to 15 years.

How many pig breeds are there?

There are numerous pig breeds worldwide, with estimates ranging from over 200 to nearly 800 different breeds. Some popular pig breeds include Duroc, Yorkshire, Hampshire, and Berkshire.

What is the typical diet of a pig?

Pigs are omnivorous animals and have a diverse diet. They eat a combination of grains, fruits, vegetables, and foraged items. Additionally, commercial pig feeds are formulated to provide the necessary nutrients for their growth and health.

Are pigs clean or dirty animals?

Contrary to popular belief, pigs are actually quite clean animals. They have a natural instinct to keep their living area separate from their eating and sleeping areas. However, they do enjoy wallowing in mud to regulate their body temperature and protect their skin from insects.

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