Despite the terms pig, boar, and hog being used interchangeably, they are three distinctly different animals. Understanding these differences is key to identifying which one you may encounter while hunting, farming or cooking. As a professional outfitter, I often come across clients who refer to wild hogs as pigs, boars, or even sows, causing confusion about what they are actually hunting. In this blog, we explore the differences between pig, boar, and hog and set the record straight.
To start off, we must first define each animal before examining the differences. A pig is any domesticated swine weighing up to 120 kgs and can include both male and female animals. This term is commonly used to describe the animals raised on farms for meat production. A boar, on the other hand, is characterized by its tusks, longer fur, and larger size. Only male pigs are classified as boars, and they can weigh as much as 700 pounds. Boars typically don't have a home range, and they roam over much larger areas. Finally, a hog is any domestic swine weighing over 54 kgs.
One way to differentiate between a pig, boar, or hog is through size and body structure. Pigs have a smaller and stubbier snout and typically have a rounded body. Boars have longer snouts, bushier manes, longer hair, and a strong muscular build. A hog, also known as a "market hog" or "fat hog," is known for its stout and rectangular body, with less muscle built than a boar. Hogs are often raised on farms for meat production and are commonly used for bacon, pork chops, and ham.
Another way to tell the difference is through behavior. Pigs are docile animals and are mostly kept in farms for consumption and other uses. Boars, on the other hand, are aggressive and territorial. They move in groups and are known to defend their territory with aggression. Hogs, on the other hand, are laid back animals and spend most of their time eating.
When it comes to hunting wild hogs in Florida, it's essential to know how to identify them. Florida's wild hogs population is a mix of feral pigs and escaped domesticated hogs. Feral pigs are the offspring of domesticated pigs that have gone wild. They typically have long, slender snouts, small ears, and leaner bodies. Domesticated pigs who have escaped or have been released into the wild have a stockier build and a more rounded white body.
In summary, identifying the difference between a pig, hog, and boar is crucial in the world of hunting, farming, and cooking. Pigs are primarily raised on farms and are smaller in size, while a boar is more muscular, defining it as a male pig with tusks. Hogs are larger than pigs and are primarily raised for meat production. It's important to know the differences to identify them in the wild or on the farm accurately. If you're planning on a wild hog hunts in Orlando, FL, make sure to contact Switchgrass Outfitters for an excellent hunting experience and more information on the different categories of hogs.