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(We need to develop a species template to go on the right side for each species mentioned in this wiki)

Swine is the general term for animals of the porcine type including the domestic pig scientific name Sus scrofa domesticus


In modern english, many of the distinctions between the different words for different types of swine have been lost, being frequently used interchangeably. Some of the following terms have overlap and, to make it more confusing, there are regional differences in usage. Here is a rough guide to swine terminology:

Piglet refers to a young animal that is still nursing, in Modern, agro-industrial, swine rearing piglets are weaned as young as 5-10 days of age (segregated early weaning - SEW or Medicated early weaning - MEW) or in some facilities at 3-4 weeks of age. In Traditional swine rearing piglets are weaned at 5-6 weeks old.

Runt a small or weak piglet, often a runt is present in each litter due to dominance dynamics

Suckling pig or suckler is a piglet that is still nursing - sometimes harvested for their tender meat and frequently cooked whole.

Pig refers to a young animal, prior to sexual maturity, but casually can refer to all swine.

Weaner or shoat refers to a pig which has been weaned - occasionally pigs are harvested at this stage for a party or special meal.

Feeder refers to a weaned pig which is being fed for slaughter

Market pig refers to an animal that is nearing market weight - today commonly 220-240 lbs live weight, traditionally 300-350 lbs or more.

Barrow refers to a castrated male pig.

Gilt refers to a young female that has not given birth.

Sow refers to a breeding female.

Boar refers to a breeding male.

Hog refers to breeding swine regardless of gender but casually can refer to any swine.

Physical and Behavioral Characteristics


Production Methods

Jacob Springs pork production

modern methods of swine rearing

traditional methods of swine rearing