Do Pigs Get Sunburned? Sun Protection Importance

Do Pigs Get Sunburned

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Ever wondered why pigs are preferred keeping indoors? Ever wondered why pigs are taken as the most sensitive domestic animals? You might have, haven’t you? The pigs are regarded as sensitive creatures for a variety of reasons. Most of us believe that pigs are kept indoors because they get sunburns quite easily.

In this brief post, we would try our best to reveal how true that is. Whether pigs are kept indoors to prevent sunburns or not? Are they that vulnerable to the sun? And most importantly, If they are susceptible to the sun why are they so?

So, without further ado, allow us to reveal the truth

Do Pigs Get Sunburned?

Yes, pigs are super sensitive; they can get sunburn quite easily. Let alone pigs, there are some other animals as well that can get sunburned when exposed to the sun. Just as humans are sensitive to the sun, some animals, despite having good coverage, can not be exposed to the sun for a long time.

It’s one of the reasons why pigs are usually not exposed to the sun

The domestic pigs are hardly allowed to take a stroll around the farm when the sun is out or when the temperature reaches its heights.

The meat pigs are not just sensitive to the sun, they can not tolerate the summer heat as well. As this poor little creature can not sweat so they need to stay Indoors to prevent sunburn and stay cool as well.

so, not to get our dearest pets sunburned we prefer keeping them indoors especially when the sun has risen.

The white and light-colored pigs usually get sunburn quite quickly

Pigs, no matter which pig breed they belong to, but white or light-colored pig breeds get to suffer more.

To be more specific, Danish Landrace, Chester White, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Middle White, American Yorkshire, British Lop, British Landrace, Kunekune, Italian Landrace, Dutch Landrace, Large White pig, and some other light-colored breed happens to suffer more from than the darker coat-colored pigs.

Suckling and weanling pigs get severely affected by the sun immediately

Pigs do not necessarily have to be of a certain age to get sunburned, all-white or light-colored breeds get burnt when they are exposed to the sun for a long time.

The severity of the situation is usually noticed in suckling and weanling pigs.

Weanling is a stage that comes right after the lactation period whereas, suckling is a critical period in which the piglets solely survive on the mother feed.

To prevent sunburn, pigs are recommended to keep slatted floors or in straw-based indoor systems
As the pigs are known for their sun and temperature sensitivity, the advanced farmers are often seen advising the new pig keepers to keep them on slatted floors or straw-based indoor systems.

The straw-based indoor environment suit the pigs need more than any other fancy or simple pig housing.

As per the research conducted recently, almost 60% of the total pig population is surviving in straw-based indoor systems.

Domestic pig breeds are more sensitive to the sun than the wild ones

The wild pigs are forced to live in the wild, they do not have the access to shade all the time. This rough and tough turns the wild ones into hardy creatures.

Domestic pigs are usually pampered to the point that it gets impossible for them to survive the harsh outdoor environment.

Because of their overly-pampered lifestyle, the domestic ones are proven to be more sensitive to the sun and temperature.

The pigs get sunburned easily for a legitimate reason

As it has now been communicated that suckling, weanling pigs, and all whiter/ lighter adult and piglets get sunburned when exposed to the sun.

Our readers must have been thinking why is it so? Well, it’s because pigs have less hair on their bodies that makes this poor domestic creature vulnerable to the sun.

The poor coverage is the reason why pigs have to go through such conditions.

All animals that have been blessed with exposed skin are vulnerable to sunburn

It’s not humans or pigs that can get away with sun exposure without getting sunburn. There are some other animals as well who happens to have little fur or have been blessed with exposed skin. All such animals with little fur or exposed skin are susceptible to sunburn.

The animals that get sunburned breathtakingly fast are pigs, elephants, and rhinos

We usually get pigs, elephants, and rhinos as answers whenever we question which animals get sunburn fast.

All these above-mentioned animals are susceptible to sunburn because their coat does not offer enough coverage to protect them from the damage.

According to research, Even though elephants and rhinos have thick hides yet the exposed skin makes it hard for them to stand up against the sun well. Like pigs, they have to take a muddy bath to prevent sunburn.

Some parts of the pig’s body get more effected

The pig’s body is covered with thin hair evenly that fails to protect this poor little fella from the sun.

Despite having an even coat, a few parts of the pig’s body get affected by the sun more. The parts that get sunburns breathtakingly fast are:

  • Ears
  • Back

The other parts of the pig’s body do get moderately affected but as the ears and the back are more exposed so the signs of sunburns would be more visible on these parts.

Sunburn Can be Painful for Pigs

Severe sunburn can not only be painful for pigs, but it can also be equally tough to handle for humans and other animals as well. The severely sunburnt areas eventually get roughened and started peeling off. This excessively sunburnt condition is extremely painful for these poor little fellas.

Reddened and edematous skin are two signs of severe sunburn

Sunburn can easily be judged on humans and animals. Humans and animals may show sunburn differently but reddened and edematous skin are the two most common and visible signs of severe sunburn.

So, the severity of sunburn can be judged by the appearance of pigs’ backs and ears. If the skin is reddened and edematous, the sunburn is severe.


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