Gilt Pig Definition, Characteristics and Facts.

What is a Gilt Pig?

Gilt Pig Characteristics

Gilt Pig Characteristics
Gilt Pig Characteristics

Physical Characteristics:

  • They possess a well-developed body structure, which is meaningful for their potential for future breeding and growth.
  • Their coloration varies widely based on the breed. It often includes patterns of black, white, or spotted skins.
  • They are generally smaller and lighter in size, build, and weight than mature sows.

Reproductive Traits:

  • These pigs are considered prime for breeding. They have a high potential for successful pregnancies and reproduction.
  • They are in the phase between adolescence and adulthood. At this stage, they are preparing for their first breeding cycle.
  • Usually, they reach sexual maturity when they are around five to eight months old.

Behavioral Traits:

  • They tend to be lively and more active. They love to explore their surroundings often.
  • Swine of a golden hue are known to be highly social animals that tend to engage in a variety of interactions with other pigs in their group or herd.


  • The Pigs are famous for being highly adaptable animals. They possess the unique ability to adjust to varying environmental conditions and farming practices.
  • These sows have the natural capacity to thrive in a range of environments, from hot and humid climates to cold and dry regions.
  • They can hold significant genetic potential for breeding. These sows are selected based on desirable traits for future pig production.
  • Their regular health checks and monitoring are crucial to ensure their readiness for breeding.

Gilt Pig Facts

Gilt Pig Facts
Gilt Pig Facts
  • They reach puberty around 6 to 8 months of age. They are bred for the first time at this stage.
  • Their estrous cycle or heat cycle generally occurs every 21 days. During this period, they are receptive to mating.
  • When successfully bred, they carry their piglets for approximately 114 days (3 months, three weeks, and three days) before giving birth.
  • They play a crucial role in breeding programs. Their contribution to the genetic diversity and improvement of swine herds is very appreciated.
  • They are also valued for their meat. Their meat is known for its tenderness and flavor, which makes it desirable in various culinary preparations.
  • Their meat and breeding potential make them economically valuable in the pork industry.
  • They face a decline in population due to the dominance of commercial breeds. This decline leads to their classification as rare or endangered in certain regions.
  • The purity of the pig genes faces a significant threat due to crossbreeding with other pig breeds. We need to make concerted conservation efforts to ensure their genetic lineage is preserved.


You may like to read more about : Facts about Pigs


The optimal breeding age ranges from 7 to 9 months of age.

A Heifer Pig reach the age of adulthood around 160 to 170 days.

The term gilt pig is used until she has given birth to her first litter of piglets. After that girl pig is called a sow.

Swine veterinarians and pig breeding associations term them as gilts.

Gilt meat is the meat from gilt pigs. It has good quality, and pork eaters love it.

These female pigs are called Sows.

Young Sows, Heifer Pigs and farrowing sows.

Diva, Blush, Honey, and Lassie most suitable for gilt and sow pigs.

The price of a gilt pig is around 350 to 400$ in the USA.

The readers may find it interesting that around 2,411,944 barrows and piglets are used for quality meat per week in the USA. (USDA)

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