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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Pig

PIGS IN HISTORY

Domestic pigs probably descended from one species--the Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa), which can still be found in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Domestication of the pig coincided with the formation of the first permanent human settlements. The oldest known sites of pig domestication were established as early as 9,000 years ago in Iraq, Jordan, and Turkestan, with some evidence for domestication even earlier in China.


The first domestic pigs in Great Britain existed as early as 2,800 years ago.

In ancient Egypt their flesh was not eaten. Pigs were instead kept as scavengers. They loosened the soil by their rooting and so prepared it for planting. They were also used to trample down the seeds after sowing and to thresh the grain at harvest time.

War pigs (herds of pigs lit on fire) were useful anti-elephant weapons in ancient warfare.

In the Middle Ages a rabbit was worth sixpence but a pig only fourpence.

On January 9, 1386, a sow was convicted by an ecclesiastical court of murdering a young child and hanged in Faliase, France. The executioner was paid ten sous and ten deniers for his efforts in dragging and then hanging the pig.

Illustration from Chambers Book of Days depicting a sow being tried for the murder of a child

Christopher Columbus introduced the pig to America from Europe.

Yorkshire pigs are the world's most popular breed. They originated in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th century.

The first pig to fly was taken up in a wicker basket attached to a Voisin biplane belonging to Claude Moore (later Lord) Brabazon in 1909.

In 2001, councillors took the place of pigs in the traditional pig race in Arklow, Co Wicklow, Ireland because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

There is a Guinness World Record for the longest dive by a pig. Miss Piggy, owned by Australian Tom Vandeleur, leapt 10ft 10in, (3.31m) measured from the end of the board to where the snout enters the water) into a 34in deep pool in Darwin on July 22, 2005.


BEHAVIOR

Pigs are split in to two main types, lop-eared and prick-eared- the former are more docile and the latter more alert.

The pig is rated the fourth most intelligent animal. Only apes, dolphins and elephants are smarter.

In the old days, sea captains kept pigs on board because they believed, should they be shipwrecked, pigs always swam toward the nearest shore.

Pigs are often thought to be dirty, but actually keep themselves cleaner than most pets. They are seen laying in mud because they do not have sweat glands and constantly need water or mud to cool off.

Pigs may oink in English but in French they go "groin, groin", in Polish they go "chrum, chrum", and in Mandarin Chinese, they go "Hu-lu, hu-lu".

DISTRIBUTION AND REPRODUCTION 

There are more than 180 species of pigs, found on every continent except Antarctica.

They come in just about any size and color, have an average lifespan of 20 years and litters from two to 12 piglets.

Domesticated Pig and piglets

Around 60 per cent of the world’s two billion pigs live in China.

In Denmark, there are twice as many pigs as people.

DIET

A growing pig will munch its way through 2.2 to 3.3 lb of pig nuts a day, plus any extras sent its way.

By the time they are six months old pigs will have increased their birth weight by 7000%.

Pigs suffer from anorexia.

RELATIONSHIP WITH HUMANS 

No other animal gives us more by-products than the pig.

Domesticated pigs, called swine, are raised commercially for meat. A 130lb pig will yield up to 110lb of food providing sausages, bacon, joints and fillet as well as liver, kidneys, tongue, cheek and trotter.

The ears are a popular treat for dogs.

Their bristly hairs are also used for brushes.

In 1997, it was reported that farmers in Laos had successfully completed trials using pig manure as a snail repellent on rice crops.


For those who wish to treat pigs as pets, they can learn around 150 tricks- double the number of the average dog.

George Clooney had a pet pot-bellied pig called Max, which he looked after for 18 years before it died on December 1, 2006.

Horror film star Boris Karloff had a pet pig called Violet.

Approximately 40 people are a year are killed by pigs in North America.

FUN PIG FACTS

Pigs can run a 7.5 minute mile.

Piggy banks get their name from a clay called pygg from which jars were made for saving money.


Fluorescent green pigs were first bred by Chinese scientists in 2006.

Sources Daily Express, Daily Mail, Comptons Encyclopedia, Didyouknow

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