Pigs are known as one of the most intelligent and social animals in the world. So, how long can a pig live? How long can this animal be your companion? Are there any ways to increase their lifespan? Well, you have the answers in this article.
How long can a pig live?
A well-cared pig can have an average life expectancy of 15 to 18 years, estimates range to more than 20 years whereas the lifespan of a wild pig is only 4 to 8 years on average.
Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs
They were the first domesticated pets in Southeast Asia and have gained popularity in the U.S for a long time. If it receives proper nutrition and medical care, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig can live for 20 years or beyond.
Oscar was crown by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest pig. He died in 2010 when he was 21 years and 13 days old.
Wild pigs originated in Eurasia and were brought across the Atlantic to North America by Spanish explorers more than 400 years ago. Wild pigs that have bred and hybridized with domestic pigs are termed “feral.”
A wild pig can expect to live up to 20 years. Due to high mortality rates from predation, their average life expectancy ranges only from 4 to 8 years.
If a pig is intended as food animal, it is raised from 6 to 7 months to reach the market weight of 250 pounds. If for breeding, pigs will stay on the farm around 1.5 years longer.
If you release farmed pigs, they can have a tendency to live to their full lifespan of 20 years.
Furthermore, they will likely double or triple in size over the next several years. Most full-grown sows reach a weight of over 500 pounds while mature boars may easily weigh in excess of 1,000.
Caring pigs for longer life
Below are some essential ways to help you taking care of your pigs effectively.
There is no need to raise pigs indoor. An environmentally controlled area with heat, cooling, and adequate air exchange hourly is the perfect environment to raise them.
Remember to provide your pigs with a shelter system that can give them shade in the summer and protect them from rain or snow.
The space requirement depends on the number and the age of pigs. A pregnant sow should have a farrowing crate to avoid lying on her newborn pigs. For growing pigs, provide them with a minimum space of 3 square feet per 30-40 pounds piglets while it is recommended that the pigpen should increase to 4 square feet for those weight 40-100 pounds. Pigs of over 150 pounds weight should have at least 6 square feet of space.
Nutrition feeding and rations also vary with the stages of growth. The dietary vitamin level for starter, grower, finisher and gestation or lactation is 20%, 16%, 14%, and 12-15% respectively. If constipation happens during lactation, add magnesium sulfate or potassium chloride to the sow’s diet.
According to some studies, in feeding growing pigs, a ration with pellets or a coarsely ground diet will have a better gain and fewer stomach ulcers compared to a finely ground feed.
Portable water must always be available to your pigs. If the water runs out, slowly add small amounts of water every 30 minutes until the pigs fulfill their needs. It normally takes 4 to 6 hours for them to rehydrates but regular testing of the water helps to minimize diseases and health-related issues.
It is suggested to clip the needle (canine) and give them an iron injection at 1 – 3 days of age. When the piglets are 2 weeks old, they can be fed a pre-starter diet containing milk products before weaning.
In general, pigs are castrated at about one week old. Castration should be done at an early age, preferably at a week before weaning and no later than 1 month of age. Moreover, ear notching and tail docking should be done before 1 week old in order to prevent cannibalism.
Vaccinations for pigs
It is advised that vaccinations of the piglets can start at 4-6 weeks old. Vaccines commonly used on pig farms include actinobacillus, circovirus, histophilus, erysipelas, parvovirus, mycoplasma, salmonella, pseudorabies, and clostridial diseases. Several weeks before farrowing, the mother needs to be given TGE, escherichia coli, clostridium perfringens.
Always be mindful that each herd can have individual vaccination requirements. Read the label carefully and seek advice from the vet before medicating any pig.
I hope that you will no longer wonder how long a pig can live after reading the article. As you can see, the potential maximum life span of pigs is much longer than their production age. In addition, some beneficial information above can help to raise and manage them better to achieve your production goals.