Old wives tale says pigs will cut their throat swimming. I raised pigs on pasture for many years and watched them swim during one hurricane
event that brought our mountain stream far over its banks. My pigs in the bottoms were neck deep in water
by supper and the water
came up many feet from there. Great swimmers though. But ya they're pigs. Treat them like pigs and you'll be fine but few know how to interact. Pigs are bright creatures but they live in a world with a pecking order and very basic physical communication. It's not novel for a farmer to hand feed hungry hogs. Running through fields of 600 lb sows with two 5 gallon buckets was a rite of passage
for my staff.
Pigs live with little to no care throughout the Caribbean
and Latin America and many other places. They tend to be thinner than hogs like mine, and eat less. My hogs required very little vet care but received optimal management and needed little help. I grazed them on large acreage with crops like turnips, rape, forage oats, alfalfa etc. used the right genetics. And I raised and milled all their feed so we were setting the bar for a progressive outdoor swine operation. So they were always healthy and required only fresh water, good feed, shade and wallows. Only sows required more hands on care because of farrowing, and our outdoor herd was productive, averaging 9-10 weaned per litter twice a year. I worked on sows a lot. OB stuff and a lot of first aid. They farrowed in little metal Quonset huts with straw.
They are vicious to one another. Big pig gets the food
. My sows were often over 700 lbs. As 3-4 year olds. Don't want to get in between them when squabbling over feed. They often targeted each other's vulvas so old sows had gaping ripped vulvas sometimes. I had one have an entire mammary bitten off. I got much better over the years managing social groups but even then they fight.
Anyway, yes there are some things you can pick up from hogs. The stuff already mentioned, and ring worm if they have it. I don't cozy up to my hogs but I regularly handled them and pet them and was careful to wash up. I also don't bite my nails, but my staff that did would get infected with ascarids, so they do share some internal parasites with us. Plenty of reasons not to kiss that population of swine, but not everyone lives by the principles of science and life is short so do as you will. Don't be surprised if you get bitten in the face though if you aren't used to animals
. Treat them like your family
dog or a person at your own risk. Be friendly and confident but be quick to correct errant behavior. They're smart so your voice is a good start, but beyond that, if you want to communicate with a pig, be physical. No need to hurt them, but a gruff response with a snack on the face or ears will keep them from chewing on your shins or whatever else they may be doing.
I'm assuming there arent any intact boars there. That's a whole 'nother convo. I had staff seriously injured by big boars. We handled all our boars a lot and they had good routines. But left alone in a field for a while they would get pretty independent and fro time to time I'd have to retire them because they got to be too dangerous for my staff to handle regularly. Boars were the cause of several injuries over the years, including a few severed tendons on a woman's hand. Took serious surgery to repair. Wasn't because they were mean or something dumb like that. It's because they were boars in a fight, and all of a sudden some soft humans flesh ends up in one of the boars mouth.
. Treat them as they are and wash your hands if you touch them.