Pig, hog, boar, sow, swine...

   The pig family includes both wild and domestic hogs. The word pig, or piglet, is usually used to refer to a baby hog. The mother hog is called a sow and the father, a boar. Hogs are also called swine. Farmers raise large quantities of hogs mainly for their tasty meat.
   Pigs have a round, heavy body, short legs, and a short tail. Their feet have an even number of hoofed toes. Short bristles grow from their thick skin. Their tough snouts are used for lifting, pushing and digging. Wild pigs are especially strong and fierce. Pigs, or their relative, the peccary, are found in almost all temperate areas except Australia. Pigs will eat almost anything.
   Hogs were lamed by man as early as the stone age. They may be found on farms in all parts of the world. Man has learned to use almost every part of the hog's body. He eats its flesh (bacon, ham, pork, sausage, spareribs) as well as its stomach, kidneys, liver, ears, brain, skin, snout and jowls. Its fat is rendered (extracting by melting) for lard, skin is tanned for leather, and bristles are used for brushes.
   There are many different breeds of hogs. Selective breeding has developed one that produces a maximum of lean meat and a minimum of fat (lard).
   Pigs are good breeders. A sow may have two or three litters a year. Each litter may include eight to 25 or more little pigs. A sow may have as many as 28 nipples, more than any other animal. A piglet grows to marketable size, about 200 pounds, in about six months.