Terminology

Barrow: Castrated male.

Boar: Intact male.

Breed Description: As opposed to a “Breed Standard” which is exclusive and potentially destructive to a breed, a “Breed Description” is inclusive, allowing for natural variations.

Butcher Hog: A pig ready for slaughter.

COB: corn, oats and barley in a bagged mixtures, sometimes found with molasses.

Cdll or cdlling: To remove from the gene pool via slaughter.

Ear Notch: A notch cut out of the edge of the ear for identification purposes, generally used on piglets. (Note, this is relatively painless, rather like piercing the fleshy part of a human ear, and stays in for life)

Estrus: Also known as “heat”, the time when the female is cycling and will accept a male in order to conceive.

Farrow: To give birth.

Feeder Pig: One sold to farmers to raise up to slaughter weight.

Finishing: Commercial term for feeding out a hog to slaughter weight.

Gestation: Pregnancy, or length of pregnancy.

Gilt: A young female pig that has not yet given birth.

Herd: A group of pigs.

Hog: A domestic swine.

Hurdle: 4 x 4 foot sheet of plywood with a handle at the top, used for sorting and moving hogs.

Litter: A group of offspring born from a single gestation.

Piggy: Adjective used to describe a female in late gestation.

Piglet: A young pig.

Shoat: A pig that has been recently weaned.

Sow: A female that has had a litter of pigs.
 
Recommended Reading:

  • Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs, by Kelly Klober
  • A Conservation Breeding Handbook, by D. Philip Sponenberg and Carolyn J. Christman