old times, hogs ran wild in the woods and ate acorns and whatever
else they found. They were skinnier and tougher and were
called razorbacks. After that, hogs were put in pens and they
used to lay around in mud and garbage. This is the reason that
people used to think of pigs as being dirty.
Today, farmers raise hogs on livestock farms. The animals are
kept on clean pastureland or in clean buildings.
Hogs are raised almost everywhere. Hogs are
sometimes called pigs or swine. The meat that comes from hogs
is called pork.
The body of a hog is fat and strong. They have short, bristly
hair on their bodies. This animal doesn't have sweat glands so
it likes to roll around in mud to keep cool. Hogs have a nose
called a snout. They have small eyes and don't see too
well. They have a really good sense of smell. They have
curly tails and squeal if they are hurt. They are smart
When a hog is about 8 months old, it can start to have babies.
The sow [female hog] is pregnant for about four months before giving
birth. Usually a sow will have about 8 to 12 pigs at a time
but they might have 27 or more. The sow gives birth in a
pen. The pen has a curved rail that makes her lay down so that
she won't crush her babies.
The babies stay on the floor that is warmed by heat lamps so that
they can stay warm and be by the mother. A sow can have 2
litters a year.
A hog is full grown when it is 1-1/2 to 2 years
old. They live from 9 to 15 years. They are sent to
market when they are about 6 to 7 months old.
Hogs eat corn, barley, wheat, rye and oats.
The farmer will combine soybeans, linseed, cottonseed, nuts, meat
scraps and protein. Farmers make sure that the animals get
everything they need to stay healthy.
Hogs are either kept in buildings or in open
yards or pastures. A lot of
farmers who are raising hogs for meat will keep the animals in
buildings. In buildings, cleaning is done with automatic
pressure washers that wash out the manure.
Farmers sometimes sell the hogs to
meat-processing plants. Some others will take the hogs to a
market where they are sold later. We get pork, ham, bacon,
pork chops, pigs' feet, pigskin, and hog bristles from hogs.
There are hog farms all over the world.
China has the largest amount of them. Most of the hog farms in
the United States are in the Midwest. These states are:
Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska.
to Livestock page