What Are the Characteristics of Pigs?

youngthousands/CC-BY 2.0

Pigs are a type of mammal and as such have body hair, give live birth and nurse their young. They belong to the family Suidae and usually inhabit grasslands and farmland. Pigs can grow to weigh between 300 and 700 pounds.

Pigs are omnivores, meaning that they eat almost anything edible, including both plants and other animals. Food items on a pig’s menu may include corn, leaves, fruit and even small reptiles and rodents. Many pigs have tusks that they use to defend themselves and to dig for food. Pig owners often remove the tusks.

Pigs are incredibly intelligent animals, even more so than dogs. Their eyesight is poor, but they compensate by possessing an exceptional sense of smell. Their noses are also sensitive to touch, and they often move about with their noses plowing into the ground as they feel around and sniff out food within the soil.

Feral pigs are one-time domestic pigs that have escaped captivity to make their living in the wild. They forage around woodlands and grasslands for food, and may also construct simple nests on the ground for sleeping. Many people consider feral pigs to be a nuisance for both people and native wildlife.