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Wednesday, 15 October 2008 21:00

A glossary of pig terms

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  • Baconer - pig slaughtered at around 80kg live weight (60kg carcass weight) to produce ham or bacon.
  • Boar - entire male of any age.
  • Chopper - older mature culled animal used for byproducts (small goods).
  • Creep feed - feed for young piglets when they are with their mother, which the sow is prevented from eating.
  • Early weaning - removing sucking piglets from their mother at about 3 weeks of age.
  • Farrowing - act of giving birth.
  • Gilt - female pig from birth up to her first litter.
  • Litter - all the piglets produced at one birth.
  • Maiden sow - young sow that has not had a litter. Same as gilt.
  • Porker - pig slaughtered at about 50kg (40kg carcass) for fresh meat.
  • Piglet - young pig up to weaning.
  • Rig - male pig with an undescended testicle. Can be fertile.
  • Runt - the smallest piglet in the litter.
  • Sow - female pig that has had at least one litter.
  • Sucker - young piglet of any sex suckling its dam.
  • Weaner - young newly weaned pig or up to about 10 weeks old.
  • Weaning - the time when the piglets are removed from their dam. Varies from 3-8 weeks of age.
Dr Clive Dalton

Clive did a Ph.D. in sheep breeding at the University of North Wales at Bangor. After lecturing at Leeds University, he came to New Zealand to do research with MAF. Because of his communication skills, he moved to the Ruakura Agricultural Research Centre to be fully involved in interpreting science for practical application by farmers.

After 14 years he moved to teach at the Waikato Polytechnic where he taught young future farmers. He won the 1993 Landcorp Communicator of the Year award and the 1999 Sir Arthur Ward award for agricultural communication.