We have published quite a few articles about raising and taking care of pigs on your farm or homestead. This post tries to answer some of the most common questions and myths about pigs. I’ll try to answer questions such as: ‘why do pigs have curly tails’; ‘why do pigs wag their tails’; ‘why do pigs like mud’ & more.
What You'll Learn Today
- Fun Facts, Questions & Answers About Pigs
- 1. Why do pigs have curly tails?
- 2. Why do pigs wag their tails?
- 3. Stressed pigs may hold their tails close.
- 4. Why do pigs like mud?
- 5. Why do pigs smell bad?
- 6. Pigs need lots of fresh clean drinking water.
- 7. Can pigs do without mud?
- 8. Pigs are smart!
- 9. Pigs are community-oriented.
- 10. Pig Latin isn’t what you think!
- 11. Do pigs have good memories?
- 12. Pigs are ancient!
Fun Facts, Questions & Answers About Pigs
1. Why do pigs have curly tails?
Wild pigs do not have curly tails. Their tails are straight, but many breeds of pigs have curly tails thanks to Chinese breeders who bred them in centuries ago. There are advantages to curly tails in pigs.
For example, if pigs fight, it is more difficult for an aggressive pig to bite and grasp a curly tail than a straight win. This results in fewer injuries.
2. Why do pigs wag their tails?
Pigs may wag their tails when they are frustrated or excited, or they may wag them when content and happy. Wagging is not necessarily an indication of happiness, anger or sadness. It simply means the animal is engaged in one way or another.
A pig at rest may have a “switched off” tail that simply hangs in a relaxed manner. In some cases, a pig that has a damaged or injured tail may wag it more.
3. Stressed pigs may hold their tails close.
A pig that has had its tail docked (surgically removed) will hold the stump close to its body in a protective posture caused by stress. Likewise, bullied pigs will hold their tails close to prevent having them bitten.
4. Why do pigs like mud?
Pigs are not able to control their body temperature by sweating or panting. Instead, they must cool off by lying in water or mud and by coating their bodies with mud to prevent sunburn. If pigs are kept in a pasture setting with fresh, clean running water available they are more likely to romp in clean water than roll in mud.
5. Why do pigs smell bad?
Pigs, themselves, do not really smell bad. They are actually quite clean. If they are kept in a large and open setting, they tend to relieve themselves in a small area which may smell bad, but generally speaking they stay out of this area and keep themselves clean.
Their living quarters only smell bad when they are kept in an area that is too small for them to be able to stay out of their “bathroom area”.
6. Pigs need lots of fresh clean drinking water.
Although pigs like to roll in mud, they cannot drink mud. They need to have plenty of fresh clean water to drink at all times. Because pigs are very smart, they can even learn how to turn their water source off and on so that fresh water is available to them on demand.
7. Can pigs do without mud?
Although pigs like to have mud to keep cool, some farmers have done away with this by giving them a sprinkling system for cooling instead.
This arrangement does a pretty good job of keeping them cool if they live inside, but if pigs are out in the sun very much, mud is better for preventing sunburn. Mud also blocks insects from biting.
8. Pigs are smart!
Tests have shown that pigs are about as smart as a toddler. In fact, they are considered to be the fifth most intelligent mammal. They have been found to be smarter than dogs and more easily trained. A pig can learn its name quickly and easily and will come when called.
9. Pigs are community-oriented.
Pigs are very sociable animals, and they enjoy rubbing and scratching one another and getting pets and scratches from the people who care for them.
Although they may be aggressive sometimes, they like to stay in close contact with one another and form friendships and bonds with each other and with their human caregivers.
10. Pig Latin isn’t what you think!
Researchers have discovered that pigs communicate with one another in over twenty different types of squeals and grunts. They comfort and call for one another and use their vocalizations to express their needs.
11. Do pigs have good memories?
Pigs are able to find their way home due to a good memory and strong sense of direction. They are able to learn how to play video games and remember even after long period of time has passed.
12. Pigs are ancient!
Pigs have been domesticated for more than nine thousand years and are present on every continent with the exception of Antarctica.
Do you want to learn more about these beautiful creatures? Here is our guide to their hooves trimming.