Pig Poop: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: September 15, 2022
Image Credit ccpixx photography/Shutterstock.com
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The pig is a mammal from the Order Artiodactyla and the Suisse family. Scientifically known as the sus scrofa domesticus, it has a presence in every part of the world excluding Antarctica, North Africa, and some parts of Eurasia. Pigs are very intelligent and have a lot of things in common with humans. In this article, we’ll be addressing everything there is to know about their poop

What Does Pig Poop Look Like?

Pig Poop
The color of pig poop could be white, yellow, green, black, grey, or brown.

iStock.com/Coscarella Gianfranco

Pig scat may come in many colors including white, yellow, green, brown, black, or grey. The color often depends on the type of food they most recently had. It often comes in the form of little round/cylindrical balls and it can be pretty solid or loose and scattered. For the most part, their poop has an irregular shape. 

How Do Pigs Poop?

Like many other mammals including humans, pigs have a solid digestive system including a mouth, teeth, stomach, intestines (small and large), pancreas, and anus. When pigs eat their food, any portion that is not digested goes down the tract and is excreted as poop through the anus. 

Where Do Pigs Poop?

Pig Poop
Pigs have been observed to have a preference for pooping on wet spots. 

iStock.com/Grigorev_Vladimir

Pigs held captive by intensive farmers quite obviously have to poop in their pens as there is no other place to go. Pigs on extensive farms, however, have been observed to poop somewhere far away from the main farm. Contrary to what you might have believed, pigs do not poop where they eat or sleep. Even when stuck in pens, they often pick a spot where they go to do their business. And for privacy’s sake, they go to where the pen is darkest. They have also been observed to have a preference for pooping on wet spots. 

Does Pig Poop Smell?

Pig
Pig poop is undeniably malodorous and pungent.

iStock.com/AlexRaths

Truth is, there have been very unfair rumors about the pig’s cleanliness and how they conduct their lives. However, in all fairness, an allegation agreed to be true is the stench of their poop. While it is probably not the worst-smelling poop in the animal kingdom, pig poop is undeniably malodorous and pungent. As a matter of fact, the internet is rife with complaints from people near pig farms who have to live with the stench. Some consider it serious enough to warrant legislation and there have been efforts to lobby members of the legislature into making it happen.

Is Pig Poop Harmful?

Besides the malodorous smell, many people also complain about pig poop because of the harm it causes to humans and streams. 

A study shows that people who live close to pig farms or farms with plenty of pig manure may be infected with the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Ingestion of pig waste has also been linked to increased stress, respiratory illnesses, increased blood pressure, lower quality of life, and mucosal irritation. The nitrogen from pig poop has also been linked to acid rain in some municipalities. Other communicable diseases from pig farms include Toxoplasma, Salmonella, and campylobacter. 

Also, pig manure stored in lagoons has leaked several times and since they are often untreated, they contaminate bodies of water around the environment. Streams near pig farms are often infected with high levels of bacteria from pig feces. According to the EPA, over 43,000 waters in the U.S have been impaired, some of which are presumably a result of manure leakage. 

Is Pig Poop Beneficial?

While it is true that pig waste and manure cause a lot of harm to people, communities, and the environment in general, the story isn’t all bad. For long, pig manure has served as organic fertilizer responsible for growing some of the farm products we love to this day. Pig manure notably contains all 13 essential nutrients required by plants including phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. They also help in improving the quality and texture of soil and adding to its arability. 

Interestingly, pig manure has also been linked to renewable energy and electricity generation. The solid parts of the manure are converted into methane which is then used to generate electricity. This is a tested and priced model that has been adopted in many countries around the world. 

How Often Do Pigs Poop?

Since they often have a lot to eat, pigs poop as much as three times a day. Mini pigs can have between 4-8 small poops per day. According to Forbes, pigs average about 11 pounds of manure daily. 

Experts say if waste piles from pigs decrease consistently, it could denote an internal digestive problem that needs to be checked and treated as soon as possible. As long as a pig poops solidly at least twice a day, there shouldn’t be any cause for concern. 

What Do Pigs Eat?

pig
As omnivores, pigs can eat fruits, rodents, and small reptiles.

Chumash Maxim/Shutterstock.com

Pigs have an omnivorous diet, which means they can feed on both plants and animals. Pigs in the wild love fruits, rodents, mushrooms, and small reptiles. Meanwhile, domesticated hogs are often fed slop, soy, barley, corn, and wheat. 

Do Pigs Eat Poop?

Pigs actually do eat poop and that’s why many people seem to consider them disgusting and dirty. In fact, some religious books consider them forbidden for this very reason. They eat their own poop, human poop, dog poop, and pretty much any fecal matter within their vicinity. 

FYI, pigs are not the only animals that eat poop; they are only a part of a list of poop eaters including domestic dogs, rabbits, and dung beetles, among others. 

Is It Safe For Pigs To Eat Poop?

Contrary to the popular assumption, poop eating is actually not a dangerous activity for pigs. Most of the time, pigs eat poop in an effort to fish for nutrients and this usually happens when they are hungry or improperly fed. Scientists say that they are very intelligent and know what to eat and what not to eat. A pig eating feces is pretty natural and normal and it should ordinarily be no cause for alarm. Most of the time, all they are trying to do is re-ingest undigested nutrients from the poop. 

It has been observed that when pigs are fed properly and adequately, they are less likely to eat poop. So if you find the act disgusting, feed the pig well enough and watch the poop eating decline. 

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