A group of animals is often identified by a specific name. You have probably heard about a flock of sheep or a herd of cows. But what exactly is a group of pigs called?
The name of a group of pigs depends on several things, mainly the type of pigs in question. Several terms are used to refer to a group of pigs.
The most common phrase is “a drove of pigs.” This group also goes by sounder of pigs and sometimes a team of pigs.
The accurate way to refer to a group of pigs depends on the type of pigs. For instance, a drive refers to pigs that are younger. On the other hand, a passel refers to a group of hogs.
Besides these common names, a group of pigs can also be referred to as a herd, litter, group, or farrow.
Below are the different ways to refer to a group of pigs:
- A drift or drove refers to a group of older pigs.
- A litter is a group of young pigs.
- A passel/ team refers to a group of hogs.
- A sounder refers to a group of swine.
- A singular is a group of wild boars.
Different Meanings of Pig Group Names
A Drove of Pigs
The most accurate term to describe a group of pigs is “drove.” The term is mainly used when referring to a group of young pigs. Groups of older pigs often go by the name sounder or team.
Alternatively, a drove of pigs can also be referred to as drift. The two terms are used interchangeably.
Team/Sounder of Pigs
These terms often refer to pigs in the adult stage. However, technically “team” can be used to refer to a group of pigs of any age.
Often, though, “a team” is used when pigs are said to work together. For example, a team of pigs best describes pigs seen pulling a cart together.
Both wild and domesticated pigs are called swine. A male pig is referred to as boar. The female counterpart is a sow or gilt.
Sounder is a general social term that refers to a group of pigs containing sows, boars, and piglets (their young). Usually, older boars leave the group of their own volition. They can always rejoin or come back to the sounder during the mating season.
In English, sounder generally refers to a thing or person making a sound. The ‘sound’ inference comes from the combined noise the group of pigs make. Pigs are loud animals! Sounder is a unique yet practical way to refer to a group of pigs.
Passel of Pigs
This may not be the most familiar name to describe a group of pigs. It is best used to describe young piglets, which are usually highly active and playful.
Parcel of Pigs
This is a non-specific way to refer to a group of pigs. The blanket term refers to pigs of all ages and genders.
Litter of Piglets
Litter is mainly used when describing a group of piglets. For example, it is often used by vets and other professionals dealing with piglets to refer to newly birthed young.
The number of pigs in a litter varies, but pigs are generally very prolific animals. A litter of piglets will most likely comprise 10 to 11 piglets at a time.
Herd of Pigs
Most animal groupings are referred to as herds, such as a herd of sheep or a herd of cattle. Pigs are also referred to as herds.
Generally, a herd refers to a group of animals living together in a particular area. An example of this is a group of pigs that stay together in a field. Pigs tend to be social creatures that bond with each other, making it easy to see them as a herd.
Farrow of Piglets
Farrow is often used interchangeably with litter. This means it refers to a group of piglets. However, it more specifically indicates piglets that were born together.
Group of Pigs
This has to be the most general term used to refer to more than one pig. It works for any category of pig, regardless of age, behavior, or number of pigs.
The term is best used when the age of the pigs is unknown. For instance, a mixture of young and older pigs is easily known as a group.
The Difference May Depend on the Region
Besides the general name given to a group of pigs, the specific name used may depend on the region. U.K. and U.S English differ.
For example, in the U.K., a pig is often called a swine. On the other hand, in America, a pig is known as a hog.
A group of pigs is known as drove or drift. These are general collective names that work both in America and the U.K.
A group of hogs is known as a team or passel. These terms are usually most often used by U.S. residents.
Also worth noting is that a wild boar differs from a tame pig. A collective name for wild boars is “singular.” This may seem strange, but the name is derived from the boars’ behaviors. Naturally, wild boars are solitary. Therefore, it is unsurprising that a herd of these boars is often called a singular.
Difference Between Pigs and Hogs
Most people use the terms pigs and hogs interchangeably. This is because there is not much difference between the two. However, there are a few minor differences worth noting.
Hogs are slightly larger than pigs. For instance, hogs can weigh more than 120 pounds, while most pigs weigh less. Hogs have flatter snouts, which are instrumental when digging for food. Conversely, a pig snout is cartilaginous, which makes it more flexible.
When considering body composition, hogs tend to be stocky, which is a great attraction in the hog market. However, pigs have shorter legs, with bristly hair.
Another crucial difference is that hogs will thrive in any temperature except extreme cold. On the other hand, pigs can do well in any temperature, including extreme cold, since they don’t sweat and conserve heat.
When choosing a term to refer to a group of pigs, make sure it is close to the most accurate representation. Always consider the behavior, age, and other factors that could influence the terminology. The location and linguistic influences also matter.
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