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Pig Farming Terms

Pig Farming Terms

  • Boar An entire (uncastrated) adult male pig.
  • Barrow A castrated male pig
  • Baconer A pig weighing around 65 - 95 kilos that will produce a relatively lean carcass for the bacon trade
  • Backfatter Culled breeding sow or boars, usually too large and fat for the bacon trade. Used for sausages and smallgoods eg salami.
  • Bred Free Range Sows live outdoors but piglets are raised in sheds.
  • Chopper Another term for backfatter.
  • Dressing % The percentage of a pig left after it has been killed and dressed. Generally around 70% but will depend on the exact trim used to dress the pig.
  • Free Range Pigs that are free to range and grown outdoors.
  • Gilt A young, unmated female pig.
  • Gestation The period of pregnancy for a pig. Usually 112 to 115 days. An easy way to remember – 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days.
  • Litter The number of pigs born to a sow or gilt at one time.
  • Oestrus Better known as ‘heat’. The time during a sows breeding cycle that she is receptive to the boar and usually occurs every 21 days in an unmated female.
  • Pork Fresh meat from pigs of any age.
  • Porker Used to describe pigs that dress between 40 – 60 kilos (this can vary, depending on current trends)
  • Slip A term used in some states to describe a young pig that has just past the weaner stage, around 10 – 14 weeks.
  • Suckling Piglets, usually sold to the restaurant trade, that are sold at weaning. This term is quite loosely used now and weaned piglets are also sold in this category. Generally 12 kg live weight.
  • Spit Spit pigs usually dress between 15 and 30 kilos.
  • Weaner A pig that has been recently weaned or separated from its mother.



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