Difference Between Hog and Pig – Essential Insights About Pigs

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Last Updated on February 7, 2023 by Griselda M.

It is essential to know the difference between hog and pig, especially if you have a difficult time telling them apart. Hogs and pigs belong to the same family – the porcine family. These are very common species. Their names are used interchangeably most of the time. They have the same looks and bodies but their names and other features differentiate them from each other. The porcine family, swine, hog, and pig are the most popular and name alone is not enough to tell which is what.

Is a Hog a Male Pig?

Is a hog a male pig? The answer is no, as a hog refers to both male and female pigs, no matter their ages. This is because domesticated swine who weigh more than 120 pounds are known as hogs, while pigs are of smaller weight. So, when a pig is referred to as a hog, it has absolutely nothing to do with its gender. The term is given to a swine that is very large compared to others.

This means that at any time a young or mature pig exceeds this weight, irrespective of status or gender, he or she will be referred to as a hog. For this reason, it is important to know when a pig becomes a hog, the reasons they are given this status, and the differences between them. Listed below are a few explanations that will be of great help to you when it comes to understanding swine terms.

Swine Terms Explained:

A Hog – refers to any gender, status, and age of the animal.

A Pig – refers to an unweaned baby hog.

A Shote/Shoat – refers to a young hog who is weaned.

A Gilt – refers to a female swine who hasn’t reproduced.

A Boar – refers to a male pig that has reached maturity.

A Sow – refers to a female pig that has reproduced.

A Barrow/Bar – refers to a boar that has been castrated.

A Piglet – refers to a very young baby pig or hog.

Commercial Purpose

What is a Female Boar Called?

If you want to know what is a female boar called, then I have the answer for you. Simply put, a female boar is referred to as a gilt.  Wild pigs, which are the masculine gender of swine, are called boars. This is because wild boar or gilt have not borne any piglets as yet. When it comes to male and female pigs, the former is usually much heavier and larger than the latter.

These wild boars are quite a heavy set, with masculine bodies that are quite bulky, heavyset shoulders, and extremely larger heads, in comparison to the others. Although both the male and female pigs have tusks, it is evident that the males have much larger ones. As they age, the tusks appear as curved teeth projecting out of their sockets. You will also notice that both sexes have lower tusks that extend in a lateral direction, while some older male boars have ones that grow in a backward direction.

Additionally, you can easily tell the genders apart because of the ridge of hair on the shoulders of male boars. It has a distinct Mohican appearance that is unmistakable. The traditional name given to female pigs is Sow, as explained above, while Boarlets and Piglets refer to the younger species. So, now you know that female swine are called by several names depending on theirbirthing status, size, and weight, just as males present different statuses depending on maturity and castration. Piglets, on the other hand, also follow suit, which is dependent on similar aspects during their growth stages.

Pig Vs Hog

The difference between a pig and a hog is evident in some areas of the animal. Pigs are small domestic species in the pig family. A pig weighs less than 120 pounds. Hogs are large domestic species in the pig family. A hog weighs more than 120 pounds. With regards to their age and size, pigs are small and they are mostly younger. While hogs are large and are most times older than pigs.


Hogs are quite different from pigs; they have small eyes, and large ears and their tails are thin. Hogs have a flat snouts and they are naturally omnivores. Hogs are in the process of domestication. Farmers slaughter hogs for meat. The organs of Hogs are used for medicines and insulin. Hogs are more aggressive and left to roam, so they most times move into the forest and wildlife.

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These are swine of younger age, they are animals that are yet to mature. Pigs come from Southeast Asia and they are domestic animals. You won’t find pigs in the market because slaughtering them brings no benefit as they are small and bears little or no meat. Just like the hogs, pigs have small eyes, cloven hooves, short legs, and cartilaginous snouts. They have curled tails and they are naturally omnivores. According to research, pigs are smarter than the average 3-year-old child. Pigs weigh less than hogs, they are young and very social.

Differences Between a Hog and a Pig

After a brief explanation of what a pig and hog are, it is clear that they have unique features. Hogs can survive through any weather and season. But pigs prefer cold areas due to their inability to sweat. It will be difficult to find a pig that is above 3 years old. But you can find a hog that is 3 years and even older than that. We will discuss some of the key things that make these animals peculiar.

Differences Between A Hog And A Pig
  1. Age Of The Mammals

As earlier said, these mammals differ in age, and they have different life spans. You can tell a hog from a pig through their age. Note that pigs are always younger than hogs, and they are yet to reach the maturity stage. The maturity stage of the pig family is 3 years and pigs are below 3 years. However, hogs are older than pigs, so most of them are 3 years and older. Hogs are pigs. A pig must be above 3 years old to be considered a hog.

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  1. Domestication Of Hogs And Pigs

Domestication is one of the things that differentiates pigs from hogs. These two mammals are not on the same level of domestication. Pigs were domesticated 8000 years ago alongside cattle. Some pigs entered Europe through Asian farmers. While the Chinese domesticated hogs around 6000 years ago. Hogs were their primary source of meat.

  1. Farming Purpose

Hogs and pigs are raised in different environmental conditions. Farmers of this kind of species can tell which is a pig and which is a hog. This is due to the difference in their weight. Most pigs are found on the farm, and they weigh less. Hogs have high weight. Farmers mostly take care of pigs for the sole purpose of selling them for meat.

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  1. Behavior And Attitude

Hogs and pigs mature according to their environment. They have a different behavioral patterns. These animals have more intelligence than a 3-year-old kid and they socialize better with human beings and their fellow pigs. They enjoy bonding with animals in their surroundings, and they are highly omnivorous. Hogs are aggressive, smart, fast, and found in the wild.

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  1. Their Physical Changes

These aspects of the animals will be quite different since their classification and characteristics are based on age. When it comes to weight, pigs weigh less than 120 lbs, and their legs are quite short. They have rough hair which perfectly complements their cloven hooves and cartilaginous snout. Hogs, their snouts are much flatter, and their body is bigger than that of pigs. Hence, farmers take care of them for the sole purpose of commercial activities.

  1. Commercial Purpose


Farmers differentiate pigs and hogs according to their age and weight when taken to the market. Pigs most time don’t make it to the market due to their small weight and age. Farmers raise pigs on farms until they become hogs. Hogs are slaughtered and sold for commercial purposes because of their perfect size and weight.


Pigs and hogs belong to the same animal family, but people try to differentiate them due to the misconceptions that may arise. Pigs are hogs and hogs and pigs, but they have some similarities and differences outlined above. Hopefully, this piece will reduce some misconceptions that arise.

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Are hogs and pigs the same thing?

Pigs and hogs are both terms used for swine, and it’s important to know the difference in order to use correct terminology. Pigs are domesticated swine, while hogs are wild, or feral, swine.

Pigs are domesticated descendants of wild boars, whereas hogs are domesticated descendants of wild sows. The latter are more like wild boar than domestic pigs, so they are also sometimes called wild boars.

Both are animals that are descended from the wild boar.

Is a hog bigger than a pig?

A hog is a domesticated animal, but it's not necessarily larger than a wild pig. The difference between a domestic hog and a wild pig is that the domestic hog has been selectively bred to be more docile and smaller (for food). That doesn't necessarily make it any less dangerous.

Does boar taste like pork?

apparently boar tastes like pork with a little more saltiness and a little less richness. If you're substituting pork for boar, you might want to try it out just a bit at first and see what happens!

Boar has a very similar flavour to pork, although it is slightly more gamy and with a lower fat content. I'd say it tastes a bit like a cross between ham and bacon.

What animal did the pig evolve from?

The pig is descended from a group of animals called suids, which includes wild boars, hogs, and baboons. They're all in the same genus, Sus.

Why are domestic pigs pink?

The simple answer is that there is a gene called agouti. Agouti is a pigmentation gene that turns off the pigments in hair follicles.

If agouti is dominant over black, then the offspring will be black. If agouti is recessive over black, then the offspring will have a few shades of brown.

Are pigs vicious?

No, they are not. They’re gentle and smart and, in many ways, even more intelligent than dogs.

What does wild boar taste like?

You've probably had a wild boar burger at one time or another. They're delicious, especially when they're grilled. I'm not talking about the fatty, tough cuts of meat that are often served up as "pork chops" at the local Chinese restaurant. I'm talking about the lean cuts of meat that you'd find on a grill in any country that has access to wild boar.

Wild boar is similar to beef and lamb, in that it has a similar flavor profile. It's also similar to chicken and turkey in that its flavor is more subtle than the other two, but still very tasty. When you think about it, pork, beef, and lamb are all from the same animal, and so are chicken and turkey. They all have a similar flavor profile. But with chicken and turkey, you can get all kinds of different flavors, depending on where they come from.

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