Pig Life Cycle: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kristen McNeely

Kristen has taught elementary students for five years and has a master's degree in teaching.

In this lesson, you will learn about a pig's life cycle. We will explore the pig's life from before it is born until its death, as well as how its life cycle may be affected depending on its purpose on a farm.


Have you ever read the book Charlotte's Web? Maybe you've seen the movie Babe? Pigs are common characters in farm-based books and movies. There's just something about them that's very lovable, especially when writers give these animals a voice.

Although they may seem like just another farm animal, pigs are actually quite smart and bond easily with humans, making them great pets for certain people. A pig that isn't a pet or living in the wild is considered livestock, and its purpose is to be sold for its meat. Let's take a look at the life of a pig, from beginning to end.


Life Cycle of a Pig

Think about a human's life. You've seen a mom with a baby in her belly. After birth, that baby grows into a walking, talking toddler. Children grow to teenagers, then to adults, and adults become elderly later in life. Every human and animal has a life cycle, or series of predictable stages throughout a living thing's lifetime.

Sometimes, in order to better understand an animal's life cycle, scientists will compare its rate of aging to a human's. For example, they say that for every one human year, a dog ages seven years. As for pigs, scientists suggest that they age five years for every one human year.

Growing in a Mother Pig's Belly

You probably know that an average human grows in its mother's tummy for a little more than nine months, or 280 days. Prior to being born, pigs are only in their mom's bellies for an average of 114 days. Most human mothers give birth to one baby at a time, but a female pig, or sow, typically gives birth to between 10 and 12 piglets in its litter.

Young Pigs

When piglets (baby pigs) are born, they typically weigh just over two pounds, and rely solely on milk from their mothers to survive. Piglets will drink their mother's milk for three to five weeks before moving to the pig feed that farmers or pet owners will provide. During this stage, piglets will begin to socialize with other pigs, and eventually other animal species that may be a part of their environment.

As early as five or six months of age, pigs are able to have litters of their own. This stage of a pig's life cycle lasts approximately two years, so long as a farmer hasn't slaughtered it for its meat by then. Pigs intended for meat can be killed as early as four months old.

Pigs Drinking Milk
Pigs Drinking Mothers Milk

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