Pigs Scramble Squares®
The words “swine,” “hogs,” and “pigs” refer to animals of the porcine or “pig” family. The term swine can also refer to the pig family collectively. “Hog” will generally refer to animals at or nearing market weight. Eight major breeds of hogs are commonly used for breeding in the United States. In general, the five dark breeds–Berkshire, Duroc, Hampshire, Poland China, and Spot are known and used for their siring ability and their potential to pass along their durability, leanness, and meatiness to their offspring. The three white breeds– Chester White, Landrance, and Yorkshire are sought for their reproductive and mothering abilities. A pig litter usually consists of between eight and twelve piglets.
Pigs were domesticated in China about 5,000 years ago. They are intelligent animals which, when allowed to root around wild in their natural habitat, are really quite tidy creatures. Today’s domestic pig was derived from the European wild boar, a cloven hoofed animal which grows to 3 feet high at the shoulder, weighs approximately 350 pounds and whose lower canine teeth form tusks 8 to 9 inches long.
In the late 1800s, the city of Cincinnati, Ohio became known as the center of United States pork production and earned the nickname, “Porkopolis.” Cincinnati slaughtered or packed 85,000 hogs in 1833, but by 1853, the number of hogs slaughtered, packed and shipped from Cincinnati on the Ohio River had grown to 608,457. After Cincinnati’s pork processing production had declined in the 20th Century, the city’s past reputation as “Porkopolis” was memorialized to celebrate Cincinnati’s bicentennial in 1988 by a riverfront sculpture by Andrew Leicester, incorporating four flying pigs in Bicentennial Commons above the Cincinnati Gateway. Leicester said that his flying pigs represented “the angelic spirits” of all of the pigs that had been slaughtered for the prosperity of the city.