How long does it take for pig to decompose?

August 16, 2023
min read

Short answer

The decomposition time of a pig will vary depending on various factors such as environmental conditions and the size of the pig. However, on average, the decomposition of a pig can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.


The decomposition of a pig is a natural process that occurs after the death of the animal. It involves the breakdown of organic matter into simpler substances by the action of various decomposers such as bacteria, fungi, and insects. At the initial stage, the body undergoes autolysis, where the enzymes present in the cells start breaking down the internal tissues. This leads to the release of gases and fluids, causing the pig's body to bloat and discolor.

As decomposition progresses, the body attracts a variety of organisms that aid in its breakdown. Bacteria, including aerobic and anaerobic species, play a crucial role in the decomposition process. They rapidly multiply and produce enzymes that break down complex organic molecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates, into simpler compounds that can be utilized by other organisms. Fungi also contribute to decomposition by breaking down tough materials like skin, hair, and cartilage, as they possess powerful enzymes for the breakdown of cellulose and keratin.

Insects, particularly flies and beetles, are an integral part of decomposition. They lay their eggs on the pig's body, and the larvae, known as maggots, hatch and feed on the decaying flesh. Maggots secrete digestive enzymes that partially liquefy the tissues, facilitating their consumption. As the decomposition process continues, the pig's body undergoes significant changes in appearance and structure, eventually breaking down into bones and remnants of soft tissue. This natural process is crucial for nutrient recycling and energy transfer in the ecosystem, as the decomposed pig enriches the soil and supports the growth of other organisms.

Is it possible to recycle pig?

Intresting facts

  • Decomposition of a pig can occur in different stages. The initial stage is known as the fresh stage, where the body starts to cool down, rigor mortis sets in, and the skin may appear pale or bluish.
  • As decomposition progresses, the pig's carcass enters the bloat stage. Bacteria in the digestive system produce gases, causing the body to become distended and bloated. The abdomen swells, and fluids may begin to seep out of body openings.
  • During the active decay stage, the pig's body tissues begin to break down rapidly. This is caused by the activities of bacteria, insects, and scavengers. The body becomes discolored, odorous, and noticeable physical changes occur, such as hair loss and skin slippage.
  • After the active decay stage, the pig enters the advanced decay stage. In this stage, the decomposition slows down, and most of the flesh is consumed or skeletonized. The body's remains primarily consist of bones, cartilage, and dried skin.
  • The final stage of pig decomposition is the dry/remains stage. Minimal organic matter remains, and the skeleton's integrity is maintained. Over time, bones may become weathered and gradually disintegrate or break down due to environmental factors.

Summary and final thoughts

The decomposition time of a pig can vary depending on various factors such as environmental conditions, temperature, and presence of scavengers and microorganisms. Generally, the decomposition process of a pig can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. During the initial stages, bloating and discoloration occur, followed by breakdown of soft tissues and formation of gases. Over time, the body undergoes putrefaction, with the eventual breakdown of bones and hair. It is important to note that decomposition rates can be accelerated in warmer and humid conditions. Overall, the decomposition time of a pig is a complex process influenced by multiple factors and can be used in forensic investigations to estimate time of death.

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