Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo 2017 Showing Swine

The Fort Worth Stock Show has been showing livestock for one hundred and twenty years.  It provides one hundred million annually for the city of Fort Worth which generates  1.1 million taxes to help the community.  Children train in 4H Clubs so they are prepared to show their livestock.   Swine is one division of livestock shown to sell and compete for prizes.

Swine are mammals with flat snouts, small eyes, large ears and stocky bodies that provide delicious meat for many people.  They are highly intelligent and can be trained to perform tricks.

 Swine is the label for the entire family of pork-producing animals.  The term pig usually means young animals that weigh between 50 and 240 pounds.    Once a pig reaches 240 pounds it is considered an adult called hogs.  Some can weigh up to 500 pounds.

About 6,000 years ago swine were domesticated or raised for meat in China.  They came from boar that roamed wild.  Many boar still roam wild in Texas.  As they roam the hill country they enjoy roots, fruit, rodents and small reptiles.  Pigs that live on farms eat slop which contains vegetable peels, fruit rinds and other leftover food items.

Female pigs or sows give birth two times a year to about twelve baby piglets.  They only weigh 2.5 pounds at birth.  Piglets drink a lot of milk because they grow twice their size in in one week.  At around two to four weeks they are weaned from their mother's milk.

Male swine are called boars.  The snout of a swine has an amazing sense of smell that can detect food that is buried underground to a depth of five feet.  They gather information from their snout so when you see a pig sniff the ground  it is exploring the world.

Pigs use grunts to communicate.  Each oink and squeal has a different meaning.  They are very social animals.  Pigs love to roll in the mud to keep cool because they don't  have sweat glands to cool off.  Most types of swine can  live up to  ten years.   A potbellied pig has a long lifespan of 20 years.

Domesticated pigs are found all over the world in China, Europe, Australia, North America, and Africa.  Wild boars enemies are eagles, hawks, wolves, lions, leopards and hyenas.

There are 73,150 Pork Farms in the United States.  China is the number one pork producer in the world and United States is number three.  The favorite cut of meat in the United States is the pork chop.
People from all over the world also enjoy bacon, ham, sausage, and pates.  Pork accounts for 38 percent of meat production worldwide.  Nearly a 100 million tons of pork were consumed worldwide.  

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