Tour of the Museum

Pigs

Location:

Small Animal Barn, Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

About:

Several breeds of pigs and their piglets are the highlights of the Museum’s swine barn (a section of the Small Animal Barn). You may see a sow and litter in our farrowing pen from any one the breeds we keep:

Breeding:

Litter sizes vary from sow to sow. The usual range is 8 to 12, but there can be as many as 15. Just imagine 15 piglets scrambling around their mother to nurse and piling on top of each other at nap time!

Care and Feeding:

Pigs get sick quite easily — they can even catch a cold from people and spread it to the rest of the herd. They also have two rows of teeth that can easily bite curious fingers. As a precaution, we keep most of our pigs just out of your reach.

Pigs in Canada:

There are approximately 10 million pigs on 30,000 farms across Canada. Of these, roughly 60 percent are in Eastern Canada. Ontario and Quebec are the main swine-producing regions. On commercial farms, most pigs are cross-bred to capitalize on “hybrid vigour.” Hybrid pigs grow faster and have better feed-to-weight conversion. About 70 percent of Canada’s processed meats (sausage, cold cuts, etc.) are made from pork.

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