Have you ever wondered just how fast a pig can run? It’s not something most people think about. We typically just see the, trotting from place to place, or else walking at a leisurely pace around the yard.
But you might be surprised to learn that these seemingly lazy, plump pigs are actually quite a bit more agile and speedy than you’d think. So, how fast can pigs actually run?
A domestic pig’s speed can range anywhere from 11 to 15 mph (17 to 24 kmh) depending whether they are domestic pigs or wild hogs, and also on breed, health, weight and other factors. Domestic pigs tend to be larger than wild pigs, so their top speed is slightly lower at around 11 mph (17 kmh).
Surprisingly peppy porkers, huh? But there is a lot more to learn about the speed and athleticism of pigs.
In this article, we’ll explore the capabilities of both domestic pigs and wild hogs, from their average speeds and overall agility to whether they can outrun humans.
Keep reading to find out more about the speed of swine…
The Speed of Domestic Pigs
Despite other surprising pig facts, they are not known for their stunning speed, but they are still capable of moving surprisingly quickly when the need arises or when sufficiently motivated.
Though the broad average top speed of domestic pigs is 11 mph (17 kmh) or perhaps a little faster, many factors affect this number, including age, breed and especially weight!
In general, younger pigs are faster than older ones, and lighter pigs are faster than heavier ones. Breed is also an important factor, with some breeds being naturally faster than others.
Comparing the average speed of a domestic pig at around 11 miles per hour we see this is considerably slower than many other farm animals, such as the ever-athletic horses and massive cows, which can both reach speeds of up to 25 miles per hour or more.
But this might be no comfort if you have an angry pig on your heels: pigs are still typically able to outrun humans!
In terms of breed, some pig breeds are naturally faster than others. The Large Black pig, for example, is known for its speed and agility relative to other pigs of the same size category
The Speed of Wild Hogs
Compared to domestic pigs, wild hogs tend to be significantly quicker and more agile. Wild hogs are typically smaller, lighter, and more active, allowing them to move quickly through their natural habitats.
The average speed of a wild hog is estimated to be around 15 mph (24 kmh), which is quite a bit quicker than that of domestic pigs.
This speed allows them to outrun some predators and cover large distances in search of food and water.
And just like domestic pigs, the speed of wild hogs can also vary depending on factors such as age, size, and habitat.
Younger hogs again tend to be faster than older ones, and smaller hogs are generally faster than larger ones, to a point; really runty hogs might struggle to keep up with bigger brethren.
Additionally, most wild hogs living in open fields and grasslands tend to be faster than those living in dense forests; more room to run!
However, even in dense forests, wild hogs are shockingly maneuverable and able to navigate through and around obstacles with quickness.
This speed and agility make them challenging and often dangerous to hunt and trap, which has contributed to their reputation as a major nuisance animal among farmers and wildlife management officials.
There are many stories and plenty of corroborating videos of wild hogs closing on humans in a blink, and turning on a dime when people try to dodge them!
Can Pigs Outrun People?
Yes, they can outrun most of us! While pigs are not known for their blinding speed, they are still capable of outrunning humans much of the time.
The average human running speed is around 8 miles per hour (13 kmh), and 10 to 12 mph (16 to 19 kmh) when we are in good shape.
Let’s face it, most of us are not Olympic sprinters, and our high school or college ball days are long behind us!
So for most folks our max is significantly slower than that of both domestic and wild hogs. This means that if a pig is chasing after a person, it can be difficult to escape without some form of protection or intervention.
And you’ll want to know how to escape from pigs, especially in the case of wild hogs, which can be highly dangerous when attacking.
Even domestic pigs have been known to attack humans in rare instances, and their strength and powerful bite can cause serious injury.
The best course of action is to avoid confrontation whenever possible, of course. This may involve slowly backing away from an agitated pig or finding a sturdy object to put between yourself and the animal – like a fence, for instance!
If you do need to run, it’s important to remember that pigs are pretty quick: Running in a straight line may not be enough to escape a charging pig unless you’re fast enough to outlast it, so it’s important to head for cover ASAP.
How Long Can Pigs Run For?
While pigs are capable of running quickly for short distances, they do not have the endurance to sustain these speeds over long distances.
Pigs are better built for short bursts of speed rather than long-distance sprints. They are also not as efficient at dissipating heat as other animals, which means they tire more quickly when exerting themselves.
According to some expert estimates, wild hogs can keep up a brisk trot for more than 10 miles before they begin to tire out.
This is based on known food-finding behaviors of observed and tracked hogs: they will trot 10 miles or so to a known food source, then the same distance back!
But domestic pigs, on the other hand, likely do not have the endurance than their domestic counterparts due to their less active lifestyles and selective breeding.
In short, pigs are not as well-suited to long-distance, high-speed running as other animals such as horses or dogs.
Pigs are Fast Enough to Have Races of Their Own!
Believe it or not, it is true. Pig racing is a popular form of entertainment in some countries around the world, and particularly in Australia. It is exactly what you are thinking: It involves pigs racing! No, people don’t ride them.
Done as friendly sport or as part of local festivals and fairs, pig racing has been around for centuries, with some accounts dating back to ancient Greece and Rome.
In recent years, it has become an increasingly popular attraction at county fairs, agricultural shows, and even some casinos.
The races themselves are typically short, with the pigs racing around a circular or oval track for a distance of anywhere from 50 to 200 yards.
One of the appeals of pig racing is the unpredictability of the animals. Unlike horse racing, where the fastest horse usually wins, pig races can be a lot more difficult to predict.
Pigs can be easily distracted or may decide to stop mid-race to investigate something that catches their interest. This unpredictability adds to the excitement of the races and makes them more entertaining to watch.
While nowhere near as well-known as other forms of animal racing, pig racing is still fun to watch thanks to the surprising speed and agility of the contestants!
Tom has built and remodeled homes, generated his own electricity, grown his own food and more, all in quest of remaining as independent of society as possible. Now he shares his experiences and hard-earned lessons with readers around the country.