Pigs are a great source of meat, but they are also great pets. Finding out what pig characteristics are will help you to take care of these intelligent animals. Although traits may vary according to breed, several genetic characteristics are present among pigs.
Pigs are one of the most social and intelligent farm animals. The reason why pig farmers create strong pens and fences is that pigs can escape from even a relatively good fence. They are known to work in pairs and sometimes, smarter swine even open other pens to let other pigs escape. They can also learn new behaviors as proven by experiments and research. They can move a screen cursor and remember drawings and scribbles they already knew. Scientists believe they are smarter than primates and even three-year old children.
One of the distinct pig characteristics is their cleanliness. Contrary to other people's belief, pigs are generally clean animals. This is shown by their choice of toilet far away from their food and water troughs and their shelter. They will also not sleep or lay near the manure. They use mud to block their sensitive skin from the sun and insect bites.
Pigs, like other animals, have sweat glands only on their snouts. That is why they love to be near the water or mud especially in hot weather.
Pigs are near-sighted. They use their sense of smell and hearing to guide them where to go. They also use their snouts to look for food. They are like dogs that sniff things they want to find.
Pigs generally can live for 10-15 years if well cared for. They will keep on growing until they are four to five years old. However, some breeds, like the potbelly pig, do not share these general pig characteristics. They usually weigh only 60 to 300 pounds, depending on what type of diet they are fed. Micro-mini pigs or teacup pigs weigh 29 to 65 pounds, and are specially bred to be small.
Pigs are independent animals. Unlike dogs, they do not care for much attention. They are more like plants that only need to be fed, watered, and taken out of the sun. Of course, spending time with your pig will make it more attached to you, but not like dogs, they will not seek loving companionship.
Pigs can jump. They do jump, only slightly low and only if they are trying to reach for something or are startled. They will also jump if you train them to.
Pigs are highly trainable animals. Because they have good sense of smell, you can train them to retrieve or hunt something for you. Just make sure you have treats of food as a source of motivation.
With these pig characteristics, maybe you are getting really excited about getting a pig as a pet. However, also remember that pigs require a lot of space since they can grow really big. They also tend to be destructive when they are exploring. Some people think that pigs are too smart to be kept as pets. Whatever people and scientists say, the decision is always up to you.