Pig, Pot Bellied

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Physical Characteristics

The potbellied pig is a very sturdy animal with short legs, a slightly swayed back, a pendulous belly, a short tail ending with a flowing switch, short, erect ears, and a snout that varies from short and stubby to long and elegant. A potbellied pig continues to grow for at least two to three years. A typical potbellied pig can weigh anywhere from 100 to 250 lbs., with an average height of 20” to 24” at the shoulder. They have very bristly, coarse hair and very dry skin. Because they do not have sweat glands, it is important that they have plenty of fresh water available at all times to prevent overheating. The potbellied pig has a keen sense of smell. Reports are that a pig can smell odors that are twenty-five feet under the ground. They are used to unearth such culinary delicacies as truffles for our eating pleasure, as well as sniff out drugs for law enforcement purposes. While pigs have excellent hearing capability, they do not see very well.

Habitat & Diet

They are domesticated, and their diet consists of vegetables, fruit and pig chow. Pig chow is important because it has protein, pigs cannot create their own protein so it is a very important part of their diet.

Social Behavior

Pigs are social by nature. In their natural habitat they live in a group and a pecking order is established and maintained by body and verbal pig language. If a pig is irritated, they may throw their head in a side swiping motion, or may scream loudly. Because pigs are social creatures, they may become bored and restless when they are expected to spend inordinate amounts of time alone without either human or other animal interactions. You need to stay one step ahead of your pig or she will train you to do exactly what suits her fancy. Pigs are much like children.

Sources

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Fascinating Facts

    • Pigs are the fifth smartest animal group on the planet, following only humans, apes, whales and dolphins.
    • The term “sweat like a pig” is a misnomer because pigs do not actually have sweat glands, and therefore do not sweat!
    • Potbellied pigs came to the U.S. in 1986 from Vietnam.

Status In The Wild

Potbellied pigs are domesticated and do not live in the wild.

Waystation Residents

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