Updated: Aug 9, 2018
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Let’s start by answering this question for your typical factory farmed pig. Since these pigs never go outside, a good long swim is not a problem they'll ever face, but for the sake of argument, let's try to answer the question anyway.
According to the Graze article "Cooking the Hog and the Farm" by hog farmer Jim Van Der Pol, factory pigs are so over-engineered that not only are they incredibly susceptible to respiratory diseases, but have also lost a lot of their normal mobility.
Their bones can’t support the amount of muscle they are growing.
It’s a problem also seen in the Cornish cross chickens that are used in the chicken meat industry. Yikes. Probably not.
But can a real farm pig swim? By a real pig, I mean a heritage breed pig that was meant to live in the outdoors and root around in the mud? Like the Hereford, Tamworth and Hampshire pigs we keep here at SkyPilot Farm...?
Our pigs seem to really enjoy any kind of puddle (no matter how gross it looks), but they are more interested in lounging in it to keep cool than using it to get their daily exercise. They get their exercise by grazing their alfalfa field.
But I’d like to think that if faced with a flash flood, our pigs would be healthy enough to swim their way out to safety.
And then take a nap.