What do you know about pigs? There are many misconceptions about pigs, but one thing is known for sure – they are far from ‘boaring’! Here is a list of 10 fun facts you may not know about these amazing farm animals.
1. Pigs don’t sweat
Sweat like a pig? While this is a common phrase, it is not accurate! Pigs do not have sweat glands, meaning they are unable to sweat. Instead, to cool themselves down, pigs enjoy wallowing in mud.
2. Pigs are very clean animals
Dirty as a pigsty? Pigs being dirty animals is another common misconception. When given proper space, pigs will not soil the areas where they sleep or eat. This misconception comes their their habit of wallowing in mud to keep themselves cool.
3. Pigs are smarter than dogs
Pigs are incredibly smart animals, and their high level of intelligence consistently ranks them as one of the smartest animals in the world. Research into their high cognitive ability shows that they can play complex games, use tools, recognize their own name, and learn basic commands and tricks.
4. Pigs say more than just oink!
One way pigs communicate with one another is through distinct grunts and squeals. More than 20 vocalizations have been identified, each one conveying a different message. Mothers have special calls for their piglets, and the piglets learn to recognize their mother’s call.
Exciting new research is being done to create a pig translator – which could be used to monitor how pigs are feeling, and could pave the way for better treatment of pigs on farms.
5. Pigs are social
Pigs prefer to be in groups, and become stressed when they are alone. They form strong bonds with one another, and even other animals and humans! These friendships can last their lifetime. When kept in groups, pigs can be found snuggling close to one another for comfort and warmth.
6. Pigs have powerful noses
A pig’s sense of smell is by far their strongest sense. Pigs use their snout to search for food, and for gathering information during social interactions. Their sense of smell is around 2000 times more sensitive than a human’s!
7. Pigs can’t fly, but they can run and swim!
While pigs may not look like the most agile of animals, they can reach speeds of up to 17 kilometers per hour! In some parts of the world, especially in the Bahamas, pigs have been observed swimming in the sea!
8. Pigs have excellent memories
Scientific studies have shown that pigs can remember locations of where food can be found, are able to remember directions to navigate their way home, and can even recognize and remember different humans and other pigs.
9. Pigs have personality
As with humans, each pig possesses individual behavioural traits that make up their personality. Some pigs are more rambunctious and curious, whereas others are more laid-back and shy.
10. Pigs love to play
Play is a very important part of a piglet’s development, both socially and cognitively. Even once they are adults, they enjoy playing with toys, chasing each other around, and play wrestling.
Subscribe to FarmSense!
FarmSense e-newsletter is delivered four times per year, and includes news about farm animal welfare, and updates on actions you can take to help improve the lives of farm animals.