Pig breeds: Berkshire

Pig breeds: Berkshire

Origin, diffusion and production characteristics

English breed originated, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, from the mixture of several breeds, such as the Casertana, other native British and Chinese breeds. From this breed derive many others, now widely spread, such as Duroc and Pietrain.
Of considerable size, of the adipose type (fatt type) it is appreciated for its remarkable earliness. For this characteristic Berkshire boars are used for the crossing of late breeds.
High yields at the slaughterhouse due to the fine skeleton and the abundant muscle mass. Suitable for outdoor farms. Prolificity is rather low. In Italy it has been little introduced because of its adiposity.
Current Berkshire produces excellent quality lean meat that stands out from the old population which, while providing excellent products, sinned in the amount of total lard, which was exceeding for the needs of the new market.

Morphological characteristics

Black in color with white socks, such as the tail and the snout. Short head and typical flattened muzzle and broad snout. Attached tail high, well rounded rib; the back is long and rounded.
Large ears carried straight forward.
White skin. Muscular, with light but resistant legs and feet, frugal and a good walker.

Adult Berkshire pig

Berkshire young pig (photo Alessio Zanon)

Video: Duroc Pigs. Well-Muscled Calm Temperament (January 2022).