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From questions on the website: Pork4Kids.com

Q: In cold climates, does the hair on pigs thicken to provide warmth?
A: Pigs will grow more hair when it’s cold outside; it may not be thicker, but there is more of it.

Q: Where does the ham come from on the pig?
A: Ham is a cured product from the hind leg of the pig.

Q: How long have people been curing bacon?
A: People have been curing meat as far back as the Roman times.

Q: What part of the hog is bacon from?
A: Bacon comes from the side of a hog. It is often cured and then smoked.

Q: How much do baby pigs weigh when they are first born?
A: The average weight of a piglet is 3 pounds.

Q: What is the scientific name for a pig?
A: The scientific name for a domestic pig is Sus scrofa domesticus, though scientists often just use the term S. domesticus.

Q: What are the four main primal cuts of pork?
A: The primal/retail cuts are Loin, Side, Leg (which is the hind leg), and Shoulder (which is the front leg).

Q: Can pigs swim?
A: Yes, pigs can swim quite well by dog paddling!

Q: Are Chiterlins safe for a person to eat?
A: Chiterlins, also known as Chitterlings or Chitlings, are popular in Southern cooking. Chiterlings must be soaked and cleaned very well, and then they must simmer for several hours until tender. They can be served with sauce, fried, added to soups, or used for sausage casting. As long as the chiterlins are cleaned properly and cooked until tender, they are safe to eat.

Q: What do farmers feed their pigs?
A: It is important for pigs to have a healthy diet, just like it is important for kids to eat healthy foods. Most farmers feed their pigs grains like ground up corn, soybeans, wheat, and/or grain sorghum. These plants are grown by farmers in their fields. The grains are harvested, dried and ground up, so that they provide crunchy food for pigs. It would be similar to granola that humans eat. This helps the farmer give the pigs a healthy diet every day.

Q: How long do pigs usually live?
A: Sows and boars usually live about 4 to 5 years, and some may live longer than that. In fact, some pigs have lived as long as 15 years!

Q: Why do pigs like mud?
A: Pigs don’t have sweat glands, so they will wallow in mud to keep cool. In hot weather, pigs that are raised outdoors will try to stay cool in the mud. Today, most pigs are raised in barns, and farmers use modern technology like water sprinklers in the barns to keep the pigs cool. The pigs are also cleaner in barns because they are protected from bad weather, like rain and snow.

Q: How many piglets are usually in one litter?
A: A female pig will have her first litter of piglets when she is about one year old. The sow is pregnant for about 4 months, and usually a sow will give birth to around 8 to 12 pigs at a time. A sow can have 2 litters each year. That means that a mother pig can give birth to over 20 piglets each year!

Q: What are the 8 major swine breeds?
A: * Yorkshire (also called Large White) * Duroc * Hampshire * Landrace * Berkshire * Spotted * Chester White * Poland China. Most market hogs are crossbreeds of two or more of these main purebred stock to take advantage of different characteristics.

Q: Do you have a chart that shows the parts of a pig and where the different cuts of pork come from?
A: A cut chart can be found on at www.otherwhitemeat.com/aspx/all_about_pork/chops.aspx

Q: Where does the name "Boston Butt" come from, especially considering that the cut comes from the shoulder of the animal?
A: In pre-revolutionary New England and into the Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those of high value, like the loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels for storage and shipment. These barrels were known as "butts." In the Boston area, the cut from the hog’s shoulder became known in other regions as the Boston Butt. The name stuck, and today it is still referred to as the Boston Butt almost everywhere in the U.S., except in Boston!

Q: Why don’t we drink pig milk?
A: That is a very good question. Sow milk is very nutritious and high in fat content. Sows produce a large amount of milk, providing a volume that is very similar to the production from cows. The reason that we do not milk pigs is because they are more difficult to restrain and they have several more teats than cows, making it difficult to milk them.

Q: Where do the different breed names of pigs come from?
A: Most of our pig breeds were originated in England, so they were named after a particular region of the country, such as Yorkshire, Bershire and Hampshire.

Q: Is it normal to have a litter of piglets all with different hair color (pink, black, and spotted) while coming from a same mother?
A: Yes, it is normal to have multi-colored pigs from the same mother. Most sows (mother pigs) are crossbreds so they do not have a true breed color. Therefore, their pigs may be red, black, white, spotted, belted or any combination of these color patterns.

Q: About how much pork is produced in a day?
A: Roughly 60 million pounds of retail pork is produced every day.

Q: About how many pigs are there in the world? 4th grade
A: At any time, there are probably about 850 million pigs in the world.

Q: Is the hair on pigs all the same color, or do they have different color hair like humans? Mrs. Freyenhagen’s 2nd grade class
A: Pigs have different color hair, but it is mostly related to the breed of the pig. There are several white breeds with completely white hair. There are some dark breeds with hair that is either bright or dark red, black, black with a white belt, or spotted. The Berkshire breed is black but appears to be wearing white stockings. And, the pig’s hair is sometimes very coarse, while other pigs have somewhat finer hair, just like humans.

Q: How do pigs survive in the wild?
A: Wild pigs, also known as feral swine, face many challenges in the wild, including finding something to eat. Feral swine eat anything they can find, including nuts, plants and other animals. Pigs living in the wild also have to protect themselves from predator animals and extreme temperatures. Because of these obstacles, modern day pork production provides an environment where pigs are well cared for with proper nutrition, protection from other wild animals and comfort from extreme temperatures.

Q: I know that bacon comes from a pig, but where did bacon originate?
A: Up until the 16th century, bacon (bacoun) was a Middle English term used to refer to all pork in general. Bacon is the smoked and cured product that comes from the side of the pig (or the belly primal cut). Before refrigeration was available, the ham and the belly were cured and smoked to preserve them for a longer period of time. Historically, bacon was primarily a breakfast item, but people now use bacon as an ingredient in all types of meals, such as pizzas, tacos, hamburgers, and salads.

Q: How do pigs stay cool and comfortable in hot weather?
A: Most pigs are raised in barns, and the barns protect the pigs from bad weather, such as rain or snow. The barns also protect the pigs from extreme temperatures with heaters for cold weather and fans for hot weather. Many farmers also have sprinkler systems in the barns to keep the pigs cool.

Q: How much food does a pig eat in a day, and how much does the food cost?
A: Pigs usually consume about eight pounds of feed in a day. Farmers usually spend around $55 – $60 on feed for one pig. The total cost to raise a pig is about $100. That means that the cost to feed the pig is about 55% – 60% of the total cost to raise it!

Q: Can pigs jump?
A: Yes, pigs can jump, but not very high. Pigs might try to jump over something if they are either scared or guided by someone.

Q: Where is a pig’s heart located?
A: A pig’s heart is located in the pig’s chest cavity. If a pig were to stand up tall on its hind two legs, its heart would be in the same place that your heart is when you stand up tall. Did you know that a pig’s heart is very similar to a human’s heart? The heart valves in a pig’s heart can be used to replace damaged or diseased heart valves in humans.

Q: When are the baby pigs weaned?
A: Like other mammals, baby pigs drink their mother’s milk for the first few weeks after they are born. Just like puppies and other animals are weaned (which means they stop drinking their mother’s milk), piglets are weaned from the sow. Pigs are generally weaned at 3 – 4 weeks of age when they weigh 10 – 15 pounds. They are moved to the nursery where they begin a grain diet. As pigs get older, they eat more food. When pigs are 8 – 10 weeks of age and 40 – 60 pounds, they will move to a finishing barn where they live with other pigs their size.
By woodleywonderworks on 2008-10-17 10:20:57

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