Dolly Pig

National Pig Day

February 27, 2023 Heidi Wilson

Hello everyone! My name is Heidi, and I’m BSM’s Business Development Manager. I’m also a lover of pigs and a mom to two adorable mini pigs, Dolly and Scarlett. I wanted to take time to celebrate all things pigs on March 1st in observance of National Pig Day. Pigs are incredible animals and deserve recognition. No longer are pigs just as seen as livestock for meat products, but now they have come to be welcomed into many homes as beloved pets. So, let’s dig into some fun things about pigs!

History of Pigs in The United States

According to historical records, pigs hit the shores of the United States when Hernando de Soto brought the first 13 pigs by ship. De Soto landed in Tampa Bay, FL, in 1539 and has been dubbed “the father of the American pork industry”. Pork became popular with the Native tribes in the area, and the original herd of pigs grew quickly to 700 head over the next few years. Hernando Cortez also brought pigs to the New Mexico area in 1600. Some of these original pigs are the ancestors of modern-day feral pigs.

A fun fact about Wall Street in New York is that it came by its name due to pigs. By the early 1600s, the population of semi-wild pigs in the Manhattan area had grown rapidly and was leading to damage to farm fields in the area. Thus, the solution came to construct a long, solid wall on the northern side of the colony to help reduce and control the pig population. This area later became known as the modern-day Wall Street due to the construction of this wall.5

Over the next several years, pig production continued to grow throughout the country. Settlers traveling west brought pigs along on their prairie schooners as a food source for their journey. This led to the spread of pork production into the western portions of the United States. Packing plants also began to spring up in major cities around the country to support the growing need for increased processing of pork.5

Breeds of Pigs

There are several breeds of pigs raised in the United States. Some of the major pig breeds for pork production are Berkshire, Chester White, Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace, Poland, China, Spotted Swine, and Yorkshire. 3 These larger breeds of pigs are what are commonly referred to as farm hogs, and this is by no means a complete list of all the breeds that are out there being raised. These breeds of pigs usually weigh anywhere between 300-1,000 lbs., depending on the breed.

Not all pigs are bred for meat purposes and in fact, pigs have become a popular pet in recent years. Smaller breeds of pigs include the commonly known American Mini, Pot-Bellied, Kunekune, and Juliana Pig.4 These breeds of pigs range in weight from approximately 70-300 lbs.3 Breeds of pigs of this smaller size fit into a general category termed Mini Pig because, in comparison to their larger relatives, they are quite mini.

Fun Pig Facts 

“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us.

Pigs treat us as equals.”

- Sir Winston Churchill

 “Dolly and Scarlett staying warm by the fire”

“Heidi and Scarlett”


“Scarlett on her splash pad staying cool”

“Dolly dressed up as a hot dog (beef of course)”


  1. Did You Know These Things About Pigs? (n.d.). Mini Pig Info. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
  2. Fitzpatrick, N. (2022, March 31). Truffle Pigs And Dogs • Truffle Growing.
  3. Major Swine Breeds (Swine Home Study Course). (n.d.). Swine Home Study Course (Penn State College of Ag Sciences). Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
  4. Mini Pig Breeds - American Mini Pig Association. (2021).
  5. Pork Fact Book 2002-2003: History of the Pig and the U.S. Pork Industry – Hogs, Pigs, and Pork. (2019, August 29).
  6. What is a mini pig? Is there such a thing? (n.d.). Mini Pig Info. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from

About the author: Heidi Wilson is the Business Development Manager for BSM Partners and comes with over 12 years of experience within the pet food industry. She is an animal lover, animal rescuer, and pet mom to dogs, cats, mini pigs, and donkeys. She resides in San Antonio, TX, on a farm with her pets. In her free time, she can be found tucking her piggy girls in every night and making them fresh salads at bedtime.

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