The Many Names For Pigs


Before owning a pig, I had no idea they had so many names! A pig was just a pig. But then I started hearing people calling them different things, and I hadn’t a clue what they meant. I’ve done my homework though. This is for all of you city slickers…

Q: What is a swine?

A: The term “swine” is used to refer to any member of the pig family.

Q: What’s the difference between a Hog and a Pig?

A: A hog is an older swine, weighing over 120 lbs. A pig is a younger swine, weighing less than 120 lbs.

Q: What are baby pigs called?

A: (Aw, com’mon! I know you know that much!) Piglets, of course!

Q: What is a female pig called?

A: A female pig is called a “gilt” until she has her first litter of piglets, and then she is called a “sow”, no matter her age.

Q: What is a male pig called?

A: A male pig is called a “boar”, until he is castrated (neutered), and then he is called a “barrow”.

Q: What is a feeder pig?

A: A feeder pig is a gilt or barrow which has been weaned, and is sold to be raised for slaughter. It is between 6-8 weeks old, and should weigh between 40-80 pounds.

Q: What is a grower pig?

A: A grower pig is a swine weighing between 40-125 pounds.

Q: What is a finisher pig?

A: A finisher pig is a swine which has reached market weight, 125 pounds to about 230 pounds.

There. Don’t you feel smarter now?!

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14 thoughts on “The Many Names For Pigs”

  1. Now can’t leave out a favorite term of mine for a buddies dog that has a weight problem at times :

    Shoat is a young hog (not sexually mature) that has been weaned and is ready for market weighing 150-260 pounds

    • Maybe “no help” to anyone with negative perspective, but interesting and edifying to those with alert minds, who welcome opportunities to learn new things.

  2. I have heard a pig referred to as a. Sau or sou not sure how you spell it. But that is my question. How do you spell the word? I’m not a farmer I’m just a Marine. And some of us were talking the other day, I am usually pretty good at spelling. But could not figure this one out to save my life. Haha no pun intended there.
    SSgt S.M. Hersey

  3. Also, there is a show pig. Yes they are different. Show pigs are born and bred for the finest quality. I don’t know if you are familiar with 4-H or FFA but these are 2 national organizations that show not only pigs but just about every other kind of animal you can think of. Pigs can usually only be shown up to a year in there life. After show season these are either eaten or bred. I show pigs myself and its the best thing I’ve ever done. It has taught me so much.


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