You probably already know that most pigs tend not to live too long. That’s because pigs are raised pretty much just for meat, and as soon as they have reached the ideal size and wait for slaughter, their lives are cut short.
But have you ever wondered how long a pig could actually live if they weren’t slaughtered? How long might they live if they were well cared for or kept as pets?
So how long could a pig actually live in ideal circumstances?
Most domestic pigs can live between 15 and 20 years, possibly a little longer. If properly taken care of, given a nutritious diet and plenty of love and care a pig can live a surprisingly long time.
Interesting stuff! And even more interesting when you consider that any pig you chose to keep, or a special pet pig, is going to be able to spend a significant portion of your life with you.
But there’s a lot more to learn about the life cycle of pigs, and their lifespan in general.
Keep reading and I will tell you all about it in the rest of this article.
|Pig Breed||Average Lifespan|
|Yorkshire||7 – 10 years|
|Berkshire||6 – 10 years|
|Pot-bellied||15 – 18 years|
|Kunekune||17 – 20 years|
|Duroc||12 – 15 years|
|Mini pigs / Teacup pigs||12 – 20 years|
|Wild Boars||15 – 20 years in captivity, 10 – 15 years in the wild|
What’s the Life Cycle of a Pig?
A pig’s life cycle starts when a sow gives birth to a litter of piglets. Piglets are born with minimal body fat and rely on their mother’s milk for nourishment during the first few weeks of life.
Sows typically give birth to litters of six to twelve piglets, though larger litters are not unheard of.
After about 3 to 4 weeks (or 3 to 4 months depending on objectives) piglets are weaned from their mother, and start eating more solid food.
They continue to grow and mature over the next several months, reaching a marketable size at around 6 to 10 months old.
At this point, most pigs are sent to slaughterhouses for meat production. End of the line, little fella!
But though pigs have a relatively fast growth rate they can live for a surprisingly long time if not slaughtered.
As pigs grow, they undergo various changes in their physical appearance and behavior. Piglets develop their adult teeth by two months old, and their tusks, if present, begin to show significantly at about six months old (if not clipped).
The actual lifespan of a pig is generally around 15 to 20 years, although some pigs can live beyond 20 years. Feeding and housing conditions can greatly affect their development and lifespan.
Pigs fed a balanced diet, including grains, proteins, and vitamins to support healthy growth can live quite a long time if also given ample space for exercise and physical activity to prevent obesity and health issues.
How Old is a Fully Grown Pig?
A fully grown pig can vary in age depending on the breed and size of the animal. In general, most pigs reach their full size and weight by the time they are six to eight months old, but they aren’t even fully mature at this point.
But this technically means that a fully grown pig can be as young as six months old in some cases.
Most Pigs Don’t Live a Long Time Since they are Slaughtered at Young Age
Sadly, most domestic pigs do not live a long life since they are typically sent to slaughterhouses at a young age for meat production.
The average lifespan of a pig is just six to ten months old. However, there are some cases where pigs are kept as pets or in sanctuaries where they can live out their full, natural lifespan.
What’s the Oldest a Pig Can Live to Be?
The oldest a pig can live to be varies depending on a number of factors, including breed, diet, and living conditions.
While the lifespan of most pigs is cut short due to being raised for meat production, there are some cases where pigs have been known to live for up to 20 years or more.
What’s a Pig’s Lifespan in Human Years?
For a pig, about 3 months is the equivalent of 1 human year, so a 6-month-old pig is the equivalent of a 2-year-old human.
A 1-year-old pig would be the same as a 4-year-old human, and so on. A pig that lived to be 15 standard years is 60 by our reckoning. A pretty ripe age!
So, while it may not be that long in terms of our own actual lives, pigs can live surprisingly long lives too, if well cared for.
What Breed of Pig Lives the Longest?
There are several breeds of pigs that are known for their long lifespans, including the Gloucestershire Old Spot, Berkshire, Tamworth, and Large Black.
The oldest pig on record, a sow pot-belly named Baby Jane, lived to be 23 years and 7 months old according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
However, it is important to note that a lifespan in excess of 20 years is pretty exceptional for any individual pig regardless of diet, exercise, and medical care.
How Long Do Wild Pigs Usually Live?
Wild pigs, also known as feral pigs, have a shorter lifespan than domesticated pigs. The average lifespan for a wild pig is around four to eight years.
This is due to the harsh living conditions and challenges they face in the wild, including predators, disease, and sometimes fierce competition for resources.
How Long Do Mini-pigs Live?
Mini-pigs, also known as teacup pigs or micro pigs, have become increasingly popular as pets in recent years.
These pint-sized pigs typically live for anywhere from 12 to 20 years with proper care and a healthy diet, depending on the breed.
However, it is important to note that these pigs don’t stay small forever! They can grow to be surprisingly large, though still small compared to some of the monstrous domestic breeds typically reared for meat.
How Long Do Kunekune Pigs Live?
Kunekune pigs are a small, rare breed of mini-pig originally from New Zealand. These pigs are known for their friendly, tame personalities and they have a tendency to become very attached to their owners and are often kept as pets rather than raised for meat production.
They are also said to be “sheep pigs” since they eat mostly grass when allowed to forage instead of rooting in the soil like most other pigs. They can live for up to 15-20 years with proper care.
How Long Do Pot-bellied Pigs Live?
Pot-bellied pigs are among the most popular breed of micro pig kept as pets due to their small (starting) size and affectionate personalities.
These pigs can live for up to 12-18 years with proper care, which includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary check-ups.
How Can You Increase a Pig’s Lifespan?
There’re a few ways to reliably increase your pig’s expectancy:
- Give them a healthy and balanced diet
- Ensure they have access to clean water at all times.
- Allow lots of space for exercise and physical activity; obesity is a problem!
- Keep their pen and other living areas clean and free from harmful substances.
- Perform health checks and seek veterinary care as needed.
- Avoiding overbreeding and inbreeding practices that can lead to health issues in offspring that compound over time.
- Reduce stress in their environment.
- Provide them with enrichment activities; toys, extra room to move around, free-ranging opportunities, other pigs..
- Make sure they have plenty of socialization opportunities with people and with other pigs.
By following these guidelines and providing proper care for your pig, you can help increase their lifespan and ensure they live a happy, healthy and most importantly long life.
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.