Pig milk

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Piglets consuming pig milk Little pigs are eating.jpg
Piglets consuming pig milk

Pig milk is milk from pigs, and is typically consumed by piglets. It is similar in composition to cow's milk, though higher in fat and more watery. Pig milk is seldom obtained for human uses and is not considered to be a viable agricultural product. Several attempts have been made to produce pig milk cheese, some of which have been successful.



Pig milk contains 8.5% fat compared to 3.5% in cow's milk. [1] It has similar colostrum composition in terms of protein, fat, and lactose, when compared to cow's milk. [2] Pigs with high-protein diets produce more milk compared to those on low-protein diets. [3] It is also described as more gamy than goat's milk and seems more watery than cow's milk.

Difficulty in milking pigs

Pig milk is not considered suitable for human consumption or commercial production for a number of reasons. Pigs are considered difficult to milk. The sow herself is reluctant to be milked, may be uncooperative or become spooked by human presence, and lactating pigs may be quite aggressive. [4] [5] [6] Sows have 8 to 16 small nipples, each giving little milk for a short duration. A pig's milking time can be around fifteen seconds compared to ten minutes for a cow. A sow may produce only 13 pounds of milk per day compared to a cow's production of 65 pounds. (Production has been estimated using a system of weighing piglets prior to and after suckling.) [7] In addition, no existing milking machine is designed to attach to around a dozen teats and extract milk for 15 seconds. Finally, pigs, unlike cows, cannot become pregnant while lactating, which makes a pig milk operation even less viable. [1]

Human uses

Pig milk is generally considered unappealing for human consumption. Compared to more conventional animals such as dairy cattle or goats, a main issue is their omnivorous diet. [8] Also, the flavor of pig milk has been described as "gamy", more so than goat's milk. [9] The milk is also considered more watery than cow's milk. [9] [6]


Cheese produced from pig milk has been described as having a concentrated and intensified flavour of pig milk. [4] Chef Edward Lee prepared a ricotta cheese from pig milk, which he described as "delicious". [5]

A Dutch farmer produced one of the first experimental pig milk cheeses. As many as ten people worked to milk the sows for dozens of hours. Several of the attempts to produce cheese failed. They managed finally to make a few kilograms. It was reported that it tasted "chalky and a little bit salty" [10] and compared to other cheeses "saltier and creamier, yet grainier". [11] The cheese was sold to an anonymous buyer at a children's charity for $2,300 per kilogram. The price fetched was higher than the most expensive variety known as pule cheese, which is made from the milk of the Serbian Balkan donkey.

Health and Beauty

Susanna Montgomery, Countess of Eglinton used to wash her face with pig milk and then drink it. She recommended this treatment to others, as she believed it would help retain one's figure and complexion.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

Dairy product Food produced from or containing the milk of mammals

Dairy products or milk products are a type of food produced from or containing the milk of mammals, most commonly cattle, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, and camels. Dairy products include food items such as yogurt, cheese and butter. A facility that produces dairy products is known as a dairy, or dairy factory. Dairy products are consumed worldwide, with the exception of most of East and Southeast Asia and parts of central Africa.

Milk White liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals

Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals, including breastfed human infants before they are able to digest solid food. Early-lactation milk is called colostrum, which contains antibodies that strengthen the immune system and thus reduces the risk of many diseases. It holds many other nutrients, including protein and lactose. Interspecies consumption of milk is not uncommon, particularly among humans, many of whom consume the milk of other mammals.

Dairy Organization that processes milk

A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting or processing of animal milk – mostly from cows or buffaloes, but also from goats, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or in a section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned with the harvesting of milk.

Animal husbandry Management, selective breeding, and care of farm animals by humans

Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock. Husbandry has a long history, starting with the Neolithic revolution when animals were first domesticated, from around 13,000 BC onwards, antedating farming of the first crops. By the time of early civilisations such as ancient Egypt, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were being raised on farms.

Dairy farming

Dairy farming is a class of agriculture for long-term production of milk, which is processed for eventual sale of a dairy product.

Colostrum Form of milk produced immediately following the delivery of newborn

Colostrum is the first form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals immediately following delivery of the newborn. Most species will begin to generate colostrum just prior to giving birth. Colostrum has an especially high amount of bioactive compounds compared to mature milk to give the newborn the best possible start to life. Specifically, colostrum contains antibodies to protect the newborn against disease and infection, and immune and growth factors and other bioactives that help to activate a newborn’s immune system, jumpstart gut function, and seed a healthy gut microbiome in the first few days of life. The bioactives found in colostrum are essential for a newborn’s health, growth and vitality.

Dairy cattle cattle bred to produce milk

Dairy cattle are female cattle bred for the ability to produce large quantities of milk, from which dairy products are made. Dairy cows generally are of the species Bos taurus.

Domestic pig Domesticated omnivorous even-toed ungulate

The domestic pig, often called swine, hog, or simply pig when there is no need to distinguish it from other pigs, is an omnivorous, domesticated even-toed ungulate. It is variously considered a subspecies of the Eurasian boar or a distinct species. The domestic pig's head-plus-body length ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 m, and adult pigs typically weigh between 50 and 350 kg, with well-fed individuals often exceeding this weight range. The size and weight of hogs largely depends on their breed. Compared to other artiodactyls, a pig's head is relatively long and pointed. Most even-toed ungulates are herbivorous, but domestic pigs are omnivores, like their wild relative. Pigs "grunt" and make "snorting" sounds.

Goat milk

Goat milk is the milk of domestic goats.

In animal husbandry, feed conversion ratio (FCR) or feed conversion rate is a ratio or rate measuring of the efficiency with which the bodies of livestock convert animal feed into the desired output. For dairy cows, for example, the output is milk, whereas in animals raised for meat the output is the flesh, that is, the body mass gained by the animal, represented either in the final mass of the animal or the mass of the dressed output. FCR is the mass of the input divided by the output. In some sectors, feed efficiency, which is the output divided by the input, is used. These concepts are also closely related to efficiency of conversion of ingested foods (ECI).

Camel milk Milk produced by female camels

Camel milk has supported Bedouin, nomad and pastoral cultures since the domestication of camels millennia ago. Herders may for periods survive solely on the milk when taking the camels on long distances to graze in desert and arid environments. The camel dairy farming industry has grown in Australia and the United States, as an environmentally-friendly alternative to cow dairy farming using a species well-adapted to arid regions.

Cheese Dairy product

Cheese is a dairy product, derived from milk and produced in wide ranges of flavors, textures and forms by coagulation of the milk protein casein. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. During production, the milk is usually acidified and the enzymes of rennet are added to cause the milk proteins (casein) to coagulate. The solids (curd) are separated from the liquid (whey) and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have aromatic molds on the rind, the outer layer, or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature.

Moose milk

Moose milk, also known as elk milk, refers to milk produced by moose. Though it is most commonly consumed by moose calves, its production has also been commercialised in Russia, Sweden and Canada.

Sheep milk

Sheep's milk is the milk of domestic sheep. It is commonly used to make cultured dairy products such as cheese. Some of the most popular sheep cheeses include feta (Greece), ricotta (Italy), and Roquefort (France).

Pig farming Raising and breeding of domestic pigs

Pig farming or hog farming is the raising and breeding of domestic pigs as livestock, and is a branch of animal husbandry. Pigs are farmed principally for food and skins.

Goat Domesticated mammal (Capra aegagrus hircus)

The domestic goat or simply goat is a subspecies of C. aegagrus domesticated from the wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the subfamily Caprinae, meaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. It is one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, according to archaeological evidence that its earliest domestication occurred in Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago.

Alpine goat Breed of goat

The Alpine is a medium to large sized breed of domestic goat known for its very good milking ability. They have no set colours or markings. They have horns, a straight profile and erect ears.

Human–animal breastfeeding

Human–animal breastfeeding has been practiced in many different cultures in many time periods. The practice of breastfeeding or suckling between humans and other species has gone in both directions: people sometimes breastfeed young animals, and animals are used to suckle babies and children. Animals were used as substitute wet nurses for infants, particularly after the rise of syphilis increased the health risks of wet nursing. Goats and donkeys were widely used to feed abandoned babies in foundling hospitals in 18th- and 19th-century Europe. Breastfeeding animals has also been practised, whether for health reasons – such as to toughen the nipples and improve the flow of milk – or for religious and cultural purposes. A wide variety of animals has been used for this purpose, including puppies, kittens, piglets and monkeys.

Goat farming Raising and breeding of domestic goats

Goat farming involves the raising and breeding of domestic goats as a branch of animal husbandry. People farm goats principally for their meat, milk, fibre and skins.

Dry cow

A dry cow refers to a dairy cow that is in a stage of their lactation cycle where milk production ceases prior to calving. This part of their lactation cycle is referred to as the cows dry period and typically last between 40 and 65 days. Dry cows are typically divided into two groups: far-off and close-up. Once the cow has entered this stage, producers will seal the cows teat while following a veterinarian recommended, dry cow therapy for their herd. This dry period is a critical part of their lactation cycle and is important for the cows health, the newborn calf and future milk production as it allows the cow time to rest, eat and prepare for birth. During this time the cow will produce colostrum for the newly born calf.


  1. 1 2 "Why Don't We Drink Pig Milk?". 6 January 2015.
  2. Park, Young W.; Haenlein, George F.W., eds. (2013). Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition: Production, Composition and Health. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ISBN   978-1-118-53422-9.
  3. Hughes and Hart 1934, p. 312.
  4. 1 2 Hirsch, Jesse (March 10, 2014). "To Milk a Pig: One Chef's Obsession". Modern Farmer . Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  5. 1 2 Phelan, Benjamin (July 24, 2012). "Others' Milk". Slate . Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  6. 1 2 Sietsema, Robert (November 21, 2011). "Why Not Pig Milk?". Village Voice . Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  7. Subcommittee on Feed Intake (contributor) (January 15, 1987). Predicting Feed Intake of Food-Producing Animals. National Academies. p. 25. ISBN   9780309036955.
  8. Gillingham, Sara Kate (January 12, 2009). "Why Don't Pigs Make Cheese?". The Kitchn. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  9. 1 2 Sietsema, Robert (21 November 2011). "Why Not Pig Milk?".
  10. "Dutch Farm: World's First to Ever Sell Cheese from Pig's Milk". 2015-09-14.
  11. "We Are Unsure How to Feel Knowing That Pig's Milk Cheese Exists". 2015-08-25.


Further reading