Kingdom – Animal
Phylum – Chordata (having backbones)
Class – Mammal (live birth, warm blooded, fur, milk for young)
Order – Artiodactyla (even toed)
Family – Suidae (four toed, simple stomach, includes warthogs, pygmy hog, bushpig, pigs)
Genus – Sus (pig)
Species – Sus domestica (domestic pig)
Almanzo had a pig. Swine go by many names depending on the gender and age:
Hog, Pig, and Swine are all used interchangeably
Piglet – baby swine
Pig and/or Shoats– young swine
Boar – adult male
Sow – adult female
Swine are cloven-hoofed animals with heavy round bodies and short legs. They have thick skin that is covered with coarse bristles. They have long, flexible snouts.
Swine were first domesticated in China c. 2900 B.C. They have been known throughout history as an economical source of meat (called pork), lard (the fat removed from the meat), hide (which is made into a soft leather called pigskin), and paint brushes (made with the hair bristles). In the Bible, swine were considered to be an unclean food. This may be in part due to the numerous diseases pigs carry that can be passed to man.
Swine are omnivores, meaning they will eat both meat and plants. A good feed consists of a balanced ration of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals. If left to roam, swine will forage for roots, insects, worms, plants, and nuts.