This Weeks Ag Around the World Wednesday with Playful Pigs!Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:15:53 CDT
Summertime is here and the kiddos are out of school with many parents are at home with their kiddos, wondering, "What do we do now?" Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom has come up with some excellent daily activities you can do with your kids and family.
Today we are featuring Ag Around the World Wednesday with Pigs! Did you know China produces the largest number of pigs in the world? The U.S. ranks 3rd in overall pork production. Pigs are known to be in the top 10 smartest animals in the world. They get a bad wrap for constantly rolling in the mud, but they actually do that to keep cool. Pigs are unable to sweat like we do! Pork provides protein, B-vitamins and thiamin to our diets. Pork has three times as much thiamin as any other food. Thiamin changes carbohydrates into energy and promotes a healthy appetite. Pigs also have an anatomy that is very similar to humans, so pig heart valves have been used to replace damaged human heart valves. Hogs can also run a 7-minute mile!!
There are 377 breeds of pigs around the world. In Oklahoma the most common breeds are Duroc, Hampshire, Yorkshire, Poland and Spot. Duroc pigs are mostly red but can be yellow or golden yellow. They are medium in length with droopy ears. Yorkshire hogs are white. Hampshire hogs are black with a white belt. Poland hogs are black and have droopy ears. Spots are white, with black spots.
Male swine are called "boars." Female swine are called sows. Sows give birth to litters of pigs twice a year. Each litter usually has eight to 12 baby pigs. Giving birth to baby pigs is called farrowing. Baby pigs appear very greedy when they are competing for food from their mothers. For this reason the words "pig" and "hog" have come to be associated with greedy behavior. Despite their reputation, pigs will never overeat. Once a pig is full, it stops eating.
Pigs are weaned when they are two to four weeks old. They are called "nursery pigs" until they reach 50 pounds and "growing/finishing pigs" from then until they reach about 240 pounds. After that they are called hogs. Hogs are usually taken to market when they weigh 240-280 pounds.
Many people picture a hog farm as a smelly, muddy place where pigs wallow in muddy pens. Years ago, pigs would lie in the mud to protect themselvesfrom overheating and biting insects. Today most hogs are kept indoors in buildings where producers can control temperature, humidity and other environmental factors. These buildings are well-lit and clean, so the producer can better monitor and promote the health of the hogs. Some operations use indoor and outdoor facilities. Healthy, unstressed animals are more profitable, so producers try to keep their hogs comfortable and happy.
Pork has a high nutrient density (a high level of nutrients for the level of calories). It provides protein, iron, zinc and B Vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin andVitamin B12). Pork has three times as much thiamin as any other food. Thiamin changes carbohydrates into energy and promotes a healthy appetite.
Bacon, pork sausage, pork chops and ham all come from hogs. In addition, swine are used in the production of chewing gum and non-food products like adhesives, plastics, shoes, paint, fertilizer, glass, china, floor wax, chalk, crayons, and heart valves. Hog skin is used as a dressing in treating serious burns, and hog pancreas glands provide insulin to treat diabetes.
To read more about Ag Around the World Wednesday with the Wonderful World of Pigs, click here: . You can also download fun activities like truth or hogwash Kahoot, Gloster, research Ear Notching, view Swine Etymology and much more!
And don't forget, Ag in the Classroom offers daily activities to do with your kiddos on their website, and their facebook page.
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