All domestic pigs or swine are
descended from wild boar, which live in Europe and Asia.
Wild boars are still common in places. Boars are related
to warthogs, peccaries and hippopotamuses. They all have
four toes. Boars live mostly in deciduous woodlands.
They live in family groups and forage for food together.
Pigs were first domesticated before 6000 BC in the
Middle East. They are omnivores and have large canine
teeth which can grow into small tusks. They are very
strong and intelligent. Pigs are kept mainly to be
eaten. Their meat, pork, can be eaten as sausages, ham,
bacon or pork joints. Pig hair is used as bristles for
brushes and the skin makes fine leather. There are now
many different breeds of domestic pig, however some old
fashioned breeds are becoming rare. Although pigs like
to wallow in mud to keep cool, they are really quite
clean and tidy animals, if they have enough space. They
are easy to look after, but to keep pigs happy they
should be able to root about in the earth.
Zoo has a family of Vietnamese Pot-bellied pigs.
Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs originated in Vietnam with
14 sub species. They are a small breed; average height
is 35 to 48cm. They weigh at least 14kg. Pot-bellied
pigs can easily be discerned from other pig breeds by
their small size, sway-back, upright ears and flat tails
that do not curl. Purebred Vietnamese Pot-bellied pigs
are always black.
The UFAW handbook on the care and management of farm
animals, C.W Hume, Longman group Ltd, 1971.
& NH Casey, Livestock production systems, principles and
practices, Agri-Development Foundation.
Children�s Zoo: produced by the education department in