Pig Names: Basic Terminology and Tips for Raising Pigs

Pig Names: Basic Terminology and Tips for Raising Pigs

Pig Names: Basic Terminology You Should Know

If you’re considering raising pigs, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some basic pig terminology. Understanding the different names for pigs and their various stages of development will give you a better understanding of how to care for them and communicate with other pig farmers. In this article, we’ll explore some common pig names and provide you with some tips on raising pigs. So let’s dive right in!

Sow and Boar

When it comes to pigs, the term “sow” refers to a female pig that has given birth to piglets, while a “boar” is a mature, intact male pig used for breeding purposes. Sows are generally larger than boars and are capable of having litters multiple times a year. Boars, on the other hand, are typically more aggressive and may require special handling techniques.

Gilt and Barrow

A “gilt” is a young female pig that has not yet given birth, usually under one year old. Gilt is the term used for a pig before she has become a sow. On the other hand, a “barrow” is a castrated male pig. Barrows are castrated to prevent unwanted behaviors and to improve the taste and quality of the meat. In general, barrows tend to grow larger and have leaner meat compared to boars.

Piglet, Weanling, and Feeder Pig

When pigs are born, they are called “piglets.” Piglets are usually weaned from their mother’s milk around 6 to 8 weeks of age. At this stage, they are referred to as “weanlings.” After being weaned, the piglets are often sold as “feeder pigs.” These feeder pigs are then raised by other farmers until they reach market weight.

Grower and Finisher

Once the piglets have been weaned, they enter the “grower” stage. During this phase, the pigs are typically fed a diet that promotes growth and development. The grower stage lasts until the pigs reach around 100 pounds. After the grower stage, the pigs enter the “finisher” stage. The finisher stage focuses on adding bulk and weight to the pigs in preparation for market.

Slaughter Weight

The “slaughter weight” refers to the weight at which a pig is ready for processing and consumption. The ideal slaughter weight can vary depending on factors such as breed, market demand, and personal preference. In general, most pigs are ready for slaughter when they reach a weight between 220 and 280 pounds.

Tips for Raising Pigs

Now that you’re familiar with some basic pig terminology, let’s discuss some tips for raising pigs:

  • Provide a spacious and secure environment for your pigs to roam and root around. Pigs are naturally curious and enjoy exploring their surroundings.
  • Ensure your pigs have access to clean water and a balanced diet. A well-balanced diet will help promote healthy growth and development.
  • Provide your pigs with shade and shelter. Pigs are sensitive to extreme temperatures and need protection from both heat and cold.
  • Regularly check your pigs for signs of illness or injury. Early detection can help prevent the spread of diseases and ensure prompt treatment.
  • Keep your pig’s living area clean to minimize the risk of infection and disease. Regularly remove manure and provide fresh bedding.
  • Consider getting your pigs vaccinated to protect them against common pig diseases.

My 2 Cents

Raising pigs can be a rewarding experience, but it requires knowledge and careful management. Understanding the different names for pigs and their various stages of development is crucial for effective communication with other pig farmers and proper care of your animals. Remember to provide a spacious and secure environment, a balanced diet, and regular health checks to ensure the well-being of your pigs. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to successful pig farming!