Sunday, April 28, 2019

Pig Terminology

While I'm not a big livestock farmer, I do need to be aware of basic terminology so that I can correctly communicate with other livestock owners."A" asked me to explain some of the basic terms used. So here it goes...,,,,


Porcine -- scientific term pertaining to pigs
Swine -- pigs 
Herd -- the name for a group of pigs
Hog -- an older pig usually usually from about 100 lbs and up. 
Barrow -- castrated male pig
Boar -- not castrated male pig
Stag or stag hog -- a male that was castrated after he was used for breeding. Sometimes also an older boar that is castrated as a mature adult even if he hadn't been bred. 
Gilt -- young female that has not yet birthed piglets or come to birthing age. 
Sow -- female who has had piglets. Also refers to an adult female even if she has never been bred. 
Piglet -- a young pig with an age ranging from birth to normal weaning age
Shoat -- a young weaned piglet. Some people call them a weanling or weaner. 
Feeder Pig -- a pig being specifically fed for slaughter 
Butcher pig or butcher hog -- a pig ready for slaughter.
Lard pig -- a breed known to produce a high percentage of fat on the carcass. 
Heat or estrus -- the reproductive cycle of the female during which time she is receptive to a boar for breeding.
Farrow -- to give birth to piglets.
Farrow to finish -- where you raise the pig yourself from birth to slaughter. 
Finishing feed -- feed used to feed a pig that last month or so before slaughter.
Taint -- an offensive smell associated with boars which gives an unpleasant odor and flavor to the meat.
Hog ring -- a metal clip or ring placed through a pig's snout to keep it from rooting.
Wallow -- a depression or structure that holds water for the pigs to lie in. This is a means for them to cool down when overheated. Did you know that pigs cannot sweat effectively to cool down? Thus they use a wallow for cooling off. 

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