Pig Characteristics and Traits – Understanding Their Behavior Will Help You Care for Pigs
Pigs are a great source of meat, but they also make great pets. Discovering what are the characteristics of pigs will help you take care of these intelligent animals. Although traits can vary by breed, several genetic characteristics are present among pigs.
Pigs are one of the most social and intelligent farm animals. The reason pig farmers create strong pens and fences is that pigs can escape even a relatively good fence. They are known to work in pairs, and sometimes the smarter pigs will even open other pens to let other pigs escape. They can also learn new behaviors as shown by experiments and research. They can move a screen cursor and recall drawings and doodles they already knew. Scientists believe that they are smarter than primates and even three-year-olds.
One of the distinctive features of pigs is their cleanliness. Contrary to other people’s belief, pigs are generally clean animals. This is shown by their choice of toilets away from their feeders and drinkers and their shelter. They will also not sleep or lie near the manure. They use mud to protect their sensitive skin from the sun and insect bites.
Pigs, like other animals, have sweat glands only on their snouts. This is why they love to be around water or mud, especially when it’s hot.
Pigs are myopic. They use their sense of smell and hearing to guide them where to go. They also use their snouts to forage for food. They are like dogs that sniff out the things they want to find.
Pigs can generally live for 10-15 years if they are well cared for. They will continue to grow until they are four to five years old. However, some breeds, such as the pot-bellied pig, do not share these general pig characteristics. They usually weigh only between 60 and 300 pounds, depending on the type of diet they receive. Micro-mini or teacup pigs range from 29 to 65 pounds and are specially bred to be small.
Pigs are independent animals. Unlike dogs, they don’t care much for attention. They are more like plants that just need to be fed, watered, and taken out of the sun. Of course, spending time with your pig will make him more attached to you, but unlike dogs, they will not seek loving companionship.
Pigs can jump. They jump, just a little low and only if they are reaching for something or if they are scared. They will also jump if you train them to do so.
Pigs are highly trainable animals. Because they have a good sense of smell, you can train them to retrieve or hunt something for you. Just make sure you have food treats as a source of motivation.
With these characteristics of pigs, you may be getting very excited about having a pig as a pet. However, also remember that pigs require a lot of space as they can grow very large. They also tend to be destructive when they are exploring. Some people think that pigs are too smart to keep as pets. Regardless of what people and scientists say, the decision is always up to you.