In the United States, we raise pigs for pork and other consumer goods. There are more than 60,000 pig farms in the US.
Here are some pig facts!
- A female pig is called a sow.
- A male pig is called a boar.
- A baby pig is called a piglet.
What do pigs eat? Sometimes, in books or movies, you see pigs being fed “slop.” Pigs are omnivores and can eat food scraps humans don’t usually eat, like watermelon rinds, stale bread, banana peels, etc. But this wouldn’t provide a pig with the best possible nutrition, and some foods like celery or sweet potatoes are dangerous to pigs.
Today, a pig’s nutrition is monitored by a farmer and/or a veterinarian. In most commercial farms, pigs are fed a mixture of corn, soybean, and sometimes sorghum or wheat. Farmers can also add other nutrients to their feed if needed. *
Are pigs dirty? No, pigs are usually very clean and don’t like to soil where they eat or rest. You might see pigs covered in mud in books or movies. This is because pigs don’t sweat, so they like to roll in mud to keep cool. Watch our Kids Questions about Agriculture video “Why do pigs play in mud?”
Pork products can include hot dogs, pepperoni, pork chops, pork loin, pork shoulder, bacon, and ham. Other products you might not think of include paintbrushes, leather, gelatin, medicines or medical uses, crayons, and more.
Top ten pig-raising states: Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
Learn more about pigs with these resources:
Pork Ag Mag
Pigs Lesson from Ag in the Classroom