Swine

Hampshire

Breed Characteristics

  • The Hampshire breed of hogs may well be one of the oldest original early American breeds of hogs in existence today.

  • Records indicate that Hampshires probably originated from the "Old English Breed."

  • This black hog with a white belt was quite numerous in Scotland and Northumberland and other counties bordering Scotland.

  • It was from Hampshire County in England that importations were thought to be made to America between 1825 and 1835, thus the origin of the Hampshire name. 

Durocs

Breed Characteristics

  • Durocs are red pigs with drooping ears.

  • They are the second most recorded breed of swine in the United States and a major breed in many other countries, especially as a terminal sire or in hybrids.

  • Durocs can range from a very light golden, almost yellow color, to a very dark red color that approaches mahogany.

  • In 1812, early "Red Hogs" were bred in New York and New Jersey. They were large in size. Large litters and the ability to gain quickly were characteristics Durocs possessed from the beginning.

  • At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, Durocs gained wide popularity.

  • Their advantage in muscle quality combined with their well-established ability to grow fast has positioned the Duroc breed as an outstanding terminal sire choice.

Berkshire

Breed Characteristics

  • Three hundred years ago - so legend has it - the Berkshire hog was discovered by Oliver Cromwell's army, in winter quarters at Reading, the county seat of the shire of Berks in England.

  • After the war, these veterans carried the news to the outside world of the wonderful hogs of Berks; larger than any other swine of that time and producing hams and bacon of rare quality and flavor.

  • This is said to have been the beginning of the fame of the Reading Fair as a market place for pork products.

  • The excellent carcass quality of the Berkshire hog made him an early favorite with the upper class of English farmers.

  • According to the best available records, the first Berkshires were brought to the United States in 1823. 

 

Yorkshire

Breed Characteristics

  • Yorkshires are white in color and have erect ears.

  • They are the most recorded breed of swine in the United States and in Canada.

  • The modern Yorkshire is very muscular, with a high proportion of lean meat and low back fat, in addition to being very sound and durable.

  • The Yorkshire breed was developed in England in the county of York.

  • The first Yorkshires in the United States were brought into Ohio around 1830.

Chester White

Breed Characteristics

  • The Chester White breed originated in Chester County, Pennsylvania and thereby derived its breed name.

  • The strengths of the Chester White breed are: mothering ability, durability, and soundness.

  • Chester Whites have kept their popularity with thousands of pork producers.

  • Not only are they preferred by producers, but packers prefer animals with white skin and proven to be superior in muscle quality.

  • Chester Whites will remain an important breed in the future progress of swine production for many years to come because of the many productive traits which they strongly possess.

Spot

Breed Characteristics

  • The present day Spots descend from the Spotted hogs which trace a part of their ancestry to the original Poland China hog.

  • Spots have continued to improve in feed efficiency, rate of gain, and carcass quality.

  • Spots are popular with farmers and commercial swine producers for their ability to transmit their fast-gaining, feed efficient, meat qualities to their offspring.

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