Hog, or Sus, L. a genus of animals consisting of six species, the most remarkable of which is the scrofa, or Common Hog. Its body is covered with bristles, and it has two large teeth, both in the upper and lower jaw. In a wild state, this creature is of a dark brinded colour, and beneath the bristles is a short soft hair; its ears are more diminutive than those of tame hogs, which are long, sharp-pointed, and hang down ; the colour of the latter is generally white, though sometimes mixed with other shades.
The hog is proverbially the most rude and brutal of quadrupeds ; its habits are gross, and such is its gluttony, that it devours every thing indiscriminately. But, though it be the most impure and filthy of animals, its sordidness is useful, inasmuch as it swallows with avidity, refuse and offal of every kind, so that matters which would become a nuisance, are converted into the richest nutriment.
Sows generally breed at the age of 18 months, or two years, and bring forth from five to ten or more pigs, twice in the year, after a gestation of four months.
As hogs, from their voracious nature, will eat almost every tiling, they are very generally reared in all situations, being quickly and cheaply fattened. - In miry and marshy grounds, where they delight to wallow, they devour frogs, fern, the roots of rushes, sedge, etc. In the drier countries, they feed on hips, haws, sloes, crabs, beech-mast, chesnuts, acorns, etc. on the last of which they thrive exceedingly. Of late years, however, the management of these animals has become an object of attention. Clover, potatoes> turnips, cabbages, and parrots are, it is well known, articles with which they may be fed, and even fattened, at a small ex-pence. Parsnips are of considerable utility fortius purpose, and probably the roots of the white-beet, it it werefully tried,would be found still more useful ; for experiments have shewn, that it contains a consider-able proportion of saccharine matter, and may be cultivated with very little difficulty, Cos-lettuces are likewise eminently serviceable, especially for young pigs, which, when, fed on them, may be weaned a fortnight earlier than is usual. Pease also afford an excellent food for fattening, and if duly mixed with salt, will render the animals fit for sale at the end of five wekks. In the vicinity of London, vast numbers of hogs are annually fattened with grains from the distilleries : such pork, however, does not take the, salt so readily as the flesh of those pigs which have been fed with more substantial food, and been driven to the market from a considerable distance.
Hogs may with great advantage be folded on wheat, v. here the sod is loose, light, and friable ; for they will drop a considerable quan-tity of dung, and tread the Loser parts of the land so closely tog -ther, that it will not have during summer ; nor will the wheat be root-fallen. Particular care, however, ought to be taken, that these animals be well ringed; an operation that ought to be performed as early as possible.
The diseases to which hogs are subject, are but few ; 1 or are they often troubled with them., The. chief are, 1. The measles, said to be perceptible only in tl;e throat, on, on opening the mouth,ap-pear., full of smalltumors, that in some cases are visible externally. The remedy usually app lied is the powder of crude antimony, in small portions, which generally removes the affection. 2. The f er, which is also called the heaving of the lights: it is cured by giving the diseased animal a mixture of oil and brim tone ; 3. the Mange;
4. the Minuin, or Leprosy ; and,
5. the Gargut ; to which articles we reter the reader in their re-spective order.
Hog- are very valuable quadru-peds, and their fresh furnishes at. all times an agreeable meat. (See Bacon, and Ham.) In a fresh state, it is called, pork, and affords a wholesome and nounshing food to a sound stomach, when eate. in moderation, with sub-acid vegetables or sauces. Their lard, or tat, is applicable to various purposes, both culinary and medicinal. Ihe blood, intestines, feet, and tongue, are all used in the kitchen ; though the first is indigestible. Ihe far of the bowels and web, which differs from common lard, is preferably ernployed for greasing the axles of wheels. The bristles are made into brushes, pencils, etc. ; the skins into sieves ; yet the latter might be more advantage, usly tanned, and converted into shoes, as is the prac-tice in China, where all the shoes sold to the Europ- ans at Canton, are made of hogs-leather, the hair being previously burnt off with a red-hot iron.
As hogs are animals of extensive utility, we trust it will not be un-interesting to point out those re markable breeds which amply re-pay the expenceof fattening them.
1. The Berkshire hog is spotted red and brown, attains a large size, has smallears, short legs, and very broad sides. They are highly valued ; but, as they grow uncommonly large, no person should attempt to keep them, unless he be provided with a sufficient stock of food ; as otherwise they will dwindle away, become diseased, and yield less profit than a smaller kind.
2. The Shropshire swine grow to a large size : they are generally white, have short legs, and long ears, which hang down upon their cheeks. This is a fine breed, much prized at Barnet-market, and bears a close resemblance to
3.TheNortlampton hogs,which are white, have very sh6rt legs, and attain an extraordinary size, especially those reared at Naseby. They are chiefly distinguished by their ears, which are of an enormous size, much larger than those of the preceding breed, and sweep along the ground, so as almost to blind them.
4. The Chinese breed (which is one of the most profitable kinds of hogs introduced into this coun-try) is very hardy ; will live on less food than any of the animals already mentioned; and seldom appears lean. They are mostly white, attain to a large size, and will fatten Well on food that would barely keep other hogs. - To these may be added the Suffolk breed, which, in the estimation of some persons, is the best in England; and the Leicester, which is much fatter than that of Suffolk, but is said to produce very few pigs.
As many frauds are practised at markets :and fairs, on the unsuspecting farmer or cottager, in the act of buying or selling hogs, we shall briefly communicate a few hints, that may furnish some rules for guarding against imposition.
In purchasing lean hogs, the most certain method is to judge by weight. If, therefore, a farmer were to weigh a few lean pigs which are about the size of those he intends to purchase, he would obtain some Standard on which to proceed, and will consequently be able to bid a fair price in the market.
With respect to fat hogs, it has been proved from repeated experiments, that every 20lbs. live weight will yield, when killed, from 12 to 14 nett weight. In those which do not exceed 12 stone (14 lbs. to the stone), the weight will be 12lb.; but, in larger animals, it will in general amount to about 14 lb. If, therefore, a farmer weigh them alive, he will not only know the clear profitable weight when killed, and consequently its value, but he will also, by weighing the animal every week, be able to ascertain the proper time to slaughter, or dispose of it to the best advantage ; for, when the hog ceases to acquire that daily increase which renders it profitable, the best course that can be followed is, to kill him immediately.
Hog. - In the conclusion of this article, we have pointed out those breeds which deserve more particular attention : to these ought to be added (vol.ii. p. 471) the following, namely :
5. The Large Spotted Woburn Breed, introduced by the late Duke of BEDFoRd : - from the experience of the Earl of Ecremont, and other able breeders, it clearly appears, that these animals are superior to the Suffolk breed , former being not only more hardy, but also more prolific, and attaining double the size, in the same period of time.
6. The Rudgewick lings, are thus denominated from a village on the borders of Surrey and Sussex: this race of animals is remarkable for the astonishing weight they attain, in the course of two years, which exceeds that of other swine at a similar age, in the proportion of at least two, and often three, to one. Hence, they deserve to be more generally reared, and their number ought to be increased tnroughout Britain; because they repay the expence of their keeping more speedily than any other breed.