What Is A Whistle Pig?

If you love animals, you must be wondering what is a whistle pig. Every animal has its own unique characteristics and is classified based on their characteristics. An animal kingdom is a vast group of millions of different species of animals. In today’s post, I will tell you what is a whistle pig animal. Here, you will get to know everything about this animal including its physical appearance, food habits, and behavior. Many people get confused between the whistle pig and the prairie dog. Don’t worry, I’ve compared both animals to clear your doubts. Read on further to find out what is a whistle pig in detail.

What Is A Whistle Pig?

A whistle pig is a rodent that belongs to the family of large ground squirrels known as marmots. They are the largest member of the squirrel family and are most commonly found in Indiana. A whistle pig was first scientifically described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.

Now, you must be wondering is a whistle pig a groundhog? A whistle pig is also referred to as a chuck, wood-shock, ground pig, whistler, thicker-wood badger, monax, moonack, and land beaver. It is even called Canada marmot, weenusk, red monk, and siffleux. However, the name thick-wood badger was given to distinguish the animal from the prairie badger. While the name monax is the Algonquian name of the woodchuck which means “digger”.

After knowing what is a whistle pig, do you know why are groundhogs called whistle pigs? This is because these animals make a high-pitched whistling sound as a warning when they feel threatened. They usually use this whistle pigs sound to warn other groundhogs of danger.

Surprisingly, whistle pigs play an important role in maintaining healthy soil in woodlands and plains. In fact, they are considered a crucial habitat engineer and the most solitary of the marmot species. Whistle pigs live in aggregations and do not form stable, long-term pair bonds. During the mating season, male and female interactions are limited to copulation (animal sexual behavior). Sometimes, adult male and female whistle pig associate with each other throughout the year.

Whistle Pig Food Habits

I hope now you’ve understood what is a whistle pig breed. As whistle pigs are omnivores, the majority of the diet is often plant matter. Here are some common food items whistle pigs love to eat.

  • Grasses
  • Ferns
  • Leaves of bushes
  • Fruit
  • Bark/small branches
  • Insects
  • Eggs
  • Young birds
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Carrot tops
  • Alfalfa
  • Soybeans

However, an adult whistle pig can eat more than a pound of vegetation per day!

Physical Characteristics of Whistle Pig

After knowing what is a whistle pig, let us now check out the physical characteristics of this animal.

  • It weighs around 7 to 14 lbs and is around 25 inches in length (including tail).
  • Usually, their fur is yellowish-brown to black in color.
  • Their legs are short and have a bushy tails.
  • These animals have short, powerful limbs, and thick claws.
  • Their ears are small and their eyes are black in color.
  • Male whistle pigs are typically larger than female whistle pigs.
  • The average lifespan of a whistle pig is only 3 years.

Behavioral Characteristics of Whistle Pig

In this section, I will tell you about the behavioral characteristics of a whistle pig.

  1. Whistle pigs are very intelligent animals as they are able to understand social behavior.
  2. They often communicate threats through whistling to warn other whistle pigs of danger. 
  3. These animals even work co-operatively to solve different tasks such as burrowing.
  4. Whistle pigs are not fast runners but will defend themselves when feel threatened.
  5. Usually, whistle pigs defecate in toilet chambers dug underground.
  6. Groundhogs hibernate throughout the winter starting in October or November.

You can easily spot these animals in brushy or weedy areas along fence rows or crop fields and yards. They prefer to live in wooded areas and areas where food is readily available.

Whistle Pig vs Prairie Dog

Do you know what is the difference between a whistle pig and a prairie dog? Both whistle pigs and prairie dogs are members of the squirrel family of rodents Sciuridae. You may find they have a lot in common but they are a lot of differences, especially their appearance.

Here, I’ve given a few key differences between whistle pigs and prairie dogs.

  1. Whistle pigs are grizzled brown, black, or white. While prairie dogs have brown fur with white belly fur.
  2. Groundhogs are usually 16 to 25 inches long and prairie dogs are 12 to 15 inches long.
  3. Groundhogs live along the edges of woods in fields and prairie dogs live in open grasslands.
  4. Prairie dogs work together to share food, chase off other prairie dogs groom each other, and socialize.

However, both these animals give a whistle to warn other fellows of danger. You can keep reading further to learn more about what is a whistle pig food.

Whistle Pig Food

Being a foodie, you must be wondering what is a whistle pig sandwich. Whistlepig sandwiches are slow-smoked sandwiches on the Traeger for two to three hours. They are then wrapped tightly with sliced onions and beer. You can even serve the smoked Whistlepig sandwich with any BBQ sauce.

Do you know what is a whistle pig drink? This is a premium brand of rye whiskey from Vermont. This Whistle Pig brand was first released in 2010 under the leadership of the late whiskey legend David Pickerell.

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What Animal Is Called A Whistle Pig?

The whistle pig is officially known as the yellow-bellied marmot. The marmot is the largest member of the ground squirrel family, even though there is little resemblance to a squirrel.

Are Whistle Pigs Good To Eat?

“Like rabbits and squirrels (both of which are valued food animals), whistle-pigs are vegetarians. Thus, their meat, when properly prepared, is quite tasty and tender.” Castro gives recipes for his traditional Groundhog Day pie and also a hearty stew.

Where Did The Term Whistlepig Come From?

WhistlePig all started with the purchase of a farm in Shoreham, Vermont by founder Raj Bhakta as he was looking for his next venture. The name, as the story goes, comes from a run-in with a Frenchmen in search of a groundhog, a.k.a. the whistle pig.

What Is Another Name For A Whistlepig?

The groundhog, a.k.a. the woodchuck or whistlepig, is also called a marmot, a name rarely used in the United States, at least not in the eastern half of the country.


In the above post, I’ve discussed what animal is a whistle pig in detail. A whistle pig is a lowland animal that belongs to a group of large ground squirrels named marmots. These are extremely intelligent creatures and communicate threats through whistling. Male whistle pigs are slightly larger than female whistle pigs. You can easily find this animal in small woodlots, low-elevation forests, and fields. But these animals may hide when they see, smell, or hear an observer. When kept in captivity, whistle pigs can live up to 14 years. You can now spend time observing whistle pigs after knowing what is a whistle pig.

What is whistle pig slang for