Other common names: Spotted Hog
The Spotted Hogs or Spots breed is recorded to have descended from the Poland China, then known in the late 1800s as “Big China” which was white in color with black spots. They were first bred in Ohio and brought into Indiana where they were crossed with imports from England called “Gloucester Old Spots” which improved the spotted breed. Over the years, the Spotted Hog gained feed efficiency, growth rates, durability, and meat quality, making the breed popular among farmers, breeders, and commercial swine producers.
Appearance / health:
The Spots are a medium-sized breed of pigs named after their color: white with black spots. The ears are droopy, similar to its ancestral breed, the Poland China. They are known for their durability, fast growth, and good meat quality.
Despite their energy and gregarious nature, pigs are sensitive animals. They are easily stressed by travel, vaccinations, extreme temperatures, and new surroundings. Stress makes them susceptible to ailments like pneumonia and bronchitis (due also to their small lungs relative to their size). They are also susceptible to animal viruses like influenza. Pigs commonly suffer from mad itch (or pseudo rabies), dysentery, and parasites (lice, ticks, and ascarid worms).
Healthy pigs have shiny hair, bright eyes, strong appetites, and high energy. Their normal temperature is 102.5F. Deviations from the normal temperature and other signs of poor health including diarrhea and coughing should promptly be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.
Behavior / temperament:
As omnivores that love to eat, pigs can be fun to watch while they explore their surroundings in search for something to munch on. They use their snouts to smell and unearth a potential meal. They are intelligent and social animals that quickly get used to the presence and affection of humans.
Some pigs are intelligent enough to learn tricks, obey commands, and use a litter box. Because they have no sweat glands, they tend to cool themselves by rolling in water or mud. The mud that dries on their skin serves as a sunscreen and protection from parasites like ticks, lice, and flies.
Housing / diet:
Pigs are active, curious animals that require room to explore, exercise, and just be their natural energetic selves. Sufficient space, relative to their size and weight, is a primary consideration because pigs that are crowded or confined to small spaces become stressed, and healthy growth and development is hindered.
Although constantly roaming and appreciative of open yards and fresh air, pigs also require a shed or housing that will let them sleep on a dry and clean area at night. Ideal ambient temperatures are 60-70F. Warm shelters with wood chip bedding are a must during cold months; water misters are recommended for the hottest months.
Pig housing should also include a feeder and a drinking water dispenser (usually a water barrel). Access to a water source makes it convenient to clean or hose out the pig shelters (and the pigs) as needed. Chain link fencing, shade trees, and a pond are recommended for backyard habitats.
Pig owners are advised to check with local authorities for legislation regarding the ownership and keeping of pigs in their homes and backyards.
As omnivores that eat plants and animals, pigs will consume almost anything that is edible like fruits, roots, flowers, grass, insects, worms, all types of meat, and even leftover scraps from the dinner table.
Unlike ruminant animals (cattle and goats), pigs have a single stomach. For healthy and fast growth, pigs require a high-energy diet composed of grain (corn, oats, wheat, barley), plus protein and vitamin supplements. Most commercially available feed for pigs combine various farm grains and the necessary supplements to ensure rapid and efficient development.
Pigs are best allowed to self-feed or eat as much as they want during the day to enable them to grow as fast as they normally can. Feeding should always include a good supply of clean, fresh drinking water.
sausage, rewarding experience, excellent meat, healthier pigs
lard, social animals
Our friendly pigs
We bred pigs for meat, so that we could kill them for their meat when they grew up enough, as this is a habit in Romania - to kill pigs for certain celebrations, such as Christmas. We first had a batch of three pigs, then we had one batch of two pigs, so we bred 5 pigs in total. We had a wonderful experience with them, as they were very friendly and calm. Anyone could go near them and they would not do any harm to them. I was always afraid of pigs, but when we had our own pigs, I became very attached to them. Although I knew they were only bred for their meat, I used to talk to them and they used to nicely await for us to go to see them. When we went to feed them, they waited calmly for us to put the food and water in their special bowls and we could do our job without any problem. With only a few exceptions, we could clean up under them without being needed to run after them in the entire courtyard, as they stood in a corner and waited for us to finish our job. When we talked to them, they seemed to reply us by simply looking at us and pointing their noses towards us, as they waited to be nurtured. Then they slowly grew up and we needed to kill them, but everyone was happy with their meat, and they reached their purpose. Having those pigs was a really nice experience..
From evaanca Aug 21 2014 8:38PM
Hard to give up!
We recently raised 3 pigs, 2 females and 1 male. These pigs were handled a lot as piglets and fed twice a day. They were very well tempered and did not nip or bite like some pigs do. They acted a lot like dogs. They would wag their tails when we came with food and play with sticks like a dog would. Our pigs loved to be sprayed with a hose on hot days and would "dance" and play in the water as it sprayed. We also got them a large kiddie pool for use on hot days and they loved laying in it to cool off. (They also loved chewing on the edges of it and it looked pretty bad after a few months). Our pigs ate grain and all the household scraps from 2 homes. We also bought them loaves of bread and pastries from the bread outlet, which they loved. They gained weight fast and preferred junk food over the fruits and vegetable scraps we would give them (much like our kids!). Aside from feedings, they required very little maintenance. We set up a spigot with our garden hose and they learned very quickly how to use the metal nipple for their water. Their area did smell on occasion but not as bad as the chickens we once had.They also used just one area of their pen as the potty area, which was also quite smart of them. We gave them almost 2 acres with a mix of wooded, grassy and swampy areas for them to ram, play and forage in. This worked very well for them. The wooded area also provided them with shade from the sun on very hot days. Their ears sunburn very easily, so this was ideal for them. Since these were such good natured, playful, and friendly pigs, we had a hard time when it came time for them to leave us. However, we would gladly raise this type of pig again..
From aesler Oct 9 2015 3:00PM