8 Meat Pig Breeds with Pictures

Do you know raising pigs for meat can help you generate around $300 to $400 profit per head? Yes? Well, I’m sure, that’s why you are here. Let’s us be the first one to inform you that raising pigs at a farm is not just profitable, it’s rewarding in all senses.

If you are genuinely thinking of raising pigs to gain more profit, it’s the need of the hour to know that only a few pig breeds can be raised for meat and are deemed to be super profitable. As we have discussed pig farming in detail earlier, in this brief post we have declared the most profitable breeds for meat. The breeds that you can consider are;

Meat Pig Breeds

  • Yorkshire pigs
  • Berkshire pigs
  • Duroc pigs
  • Landrace pigs
  • Meishan pigs
  • Chester White pigs
  • Hampshire pigs
  • Pietrain pigs
  • Hereford

1. Yorkshire

Yorkshire-pigs

Yorkshire is one of the most adored American domestic pig breeds that is either raised for meat or as a pet.

Yorkshire is the most recognized and widely distributed breed of the pig world. Their supernatural fat production and contrasting lean meat have earned them the reputation of excellent meat producers.

The said meat producers are originally from England but the extensive Yorkshire farming in the United States has got them recognized as an “American domestic pig breed”.

Yorkshire is commonly farmed in the United States and Canada especially in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, and Ohio states.

Yorkshire is generally described as a solid white well-fleshed fairly large pig breed.

Other than the size and the solid white color, this pig breed has been blessed with a short, muscular neck, prominently large, erect, and floppy ears, medium-sized head, broad forehead, straight back, and voluminous and dense belly.

Like all pig breeds, the Yorkshire needs special care and maintenance to live a balanced life. This forgiving pig meat breed usually suffers from beriberi, erysipelas, and rickets more than any other pig breed out there.

Other than the said health issues, Yorkshires are also susceptible to some deadly respiratory diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, and parasite infections like influenza.

2. Berkshire

Berkshire-pigs

Berkshire, an exceptional black meat pig breed, originates from Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Berkshire is the oldest pig breed of England and probably the first breed to be recorded in the herd books. For being the easiest pigs to raise, they are often called “Lady’s pigs”.

The traditional Berkshires were larger and coarser than today’s Berkshire but this version is equally good for meat producers.

This forgiving meat breed is regarded as the best starter breed for domestic keepers.

Besides fulfilling the meat demands of their country of origin, Berkshire is being farmed and raised for meat in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States as well.

The said pig breed is known and often recognized by their firm build, medium-sized body, short dished face, prick ears, white socks, marked snout, deep-sided uniform muscular back, black skin, coat, and white socks, tip, tail, and flash.

Berkshire pork is admired for its unique flavor, juiciness, and tenderness. The Berkshire meat contains a high-fat content which requires long, high-temperature cooking.

Moreover, the meat obtained from Berkshire pigs has also higher pH than other pigs, it gives the meat a rich darker color, and a delightful taste.

3. Duroc

Duroc-pigs

Duroc is the second most common and admired red pig breed after Yorkshire. Besides this typical name; Duroc, because of its reddish-brown coat, this meat breed is also referred to as “red hogs” as well.

Though this pig breed is found in almost every part of the planet earth, a noticeable number of the population is residing in Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Nebraska.

This hardy meat pig breed is known for its rich coat color, quick growth, and maturity. Durocs are exceptionally hardy, it’s one of the reasons why these pigs are immensely demanded and raised at farms.

This pig breed has been blessed with eye-catching coat color, a large muscular body, and prominent partially-dropped ears.

Duroc is not just an extraordinary meat breed it is also taken as the least aggressive breed as compared to the other swine breeds.

These worth-raising pigs are personable, friendly, and affectionate that makes them the most versatile pigs to have.

This meat breed is extremely affordable, one Duroc pig can be bought for around fifty to a few hundred dollars.

The meat obtained from Duroc pigs is flavorful, darker and richer in color, has higher pH, and lower bite resistance.

Duroc pigs are easier to get and raise, the only issue is that they are non-picky eaters that always keep them at risk of eating harmful food.

4. Landrace

Landrace-pigs

Landrace pigs look breathtakingly similar to the Yorkshire pigs because of their black and white pig appearance and superior coat color.

Despite having supernatural similarities, Yorkshire and Landrace are easily distinguishable.

The Yorkshire pigs have highly erect ears whereas the breed being discussed has more drooping ears. So, if it gets hard to recognize the Landrace pig from the drift, pay attention to the ears.

The Landrace pigs are admired for their supernatural milking abilities, high percentage carcass weight in loin and ham, the length of their body, and ideal finish.

For all the above-mentioned qualities, the Landrace pig breed is taken as the best pig breed for commercial farming.

Landrace pig breed has several types, the ones that are recognized by the authorities are; American Landrace, British Landrace, Belgian Landrace, Canadian Landrace, Bulgarian Landrace, Finnish Landrace, Dutch Landrace, Danish Landrace, Estonian Landrace, French Landrace, German Landrace, Italian Landrace, Polish Landrace, Norwegian Landrace, Swedish Landrace, Swiss Landrace, and Swedish Landrace, etc.

A landrace is a quick maturing breed, it requires noticeably less time than the other meat breeds to be ready for the meat market.

After 4 to 5 months of intensive care, Landrace pigs can be sold to meet the meet demands of the market.

As per the experts, Landrace takes around 13 months to be sexually mature. However, this breed usually lives up to 10 years in captivity and 12 years in the wild.

5. Meishan

Meishan-pigs

Meishan, a pig breed normally raised for breeding and meat, is known and recognized by their wrinkled face and skin.

This meat breed originates from China, it is named after a prefecture-level city, Meishan, Jiangsu Province, China. Unlike the other pig breeds mentioned above, Meishan is comparatively small-sized.

Meishan takes more time to mature than any other breed mentioned above, however, the outcome is always worth waiting.

They reach puberty within 2.5 to 3 months but can only be slaughtered at least the age of six months. It’s always good to wait a month or two when the pigs reach the butcher-ready age.

So, they would be able to reward you with flavourful meat around 7 to 8 months of age. Whereas, the other meat breeds can be butchered around 4 or 5 months of age.

Meishan pigs are commonly seen farmed in Japan and the country of their origin China. The major reasons for the extensive farming are the well-marbled meat, superior lard, and excellent fat quality. Being able to live on a less nutritional diet is another reason why these pigs are often brought to farms to be butchered later.

The Meishan pig meat is extremely flavorful and supernaturally tender. The tenderness, flavor, and fat content brought Meishan to the list of the best pig meat breeds.

This meat breed is blessed with a unique appearance, it makes Meishan pigs easily recognizable. This meat breed is generally recognized by its medium-size, black skin and coat, long pendulous ears, and wrinkled face that looks quite similar to the sharpei dog.

6. Chester White

Chester-White-pigs

Chester White, a remarkable white meat pig breed, was formally known as Chester Country White pigs. This meat breed is now referred to as Chester white pigs.

The Chester White was developed by crossing large White pigs with White bore imported from England. Because of the lack of records, it’s hard to tell when exactly the Chester White pigs started sharing the burden with other pig breeds, the books claim it to be around 1815-1818.

The said meat breed is often demanded meat but it is still not admired as much as the Duroc, Yorkshire, and Berkshire. However, Chester White is a versatile breed that can be considered for both intensive and extensive husbandry.

Like all white pig breeds, Chester White pigs are extremely sensitive to the sun. They must be kept in shade especially in summers to prevent sunburn.

Other than sunburn, they typically die of the regular pig diseases swine dysentery, Coccidiosis, mastitis, porcine parvovirus, and exudative dermatitis, etc.

Unfortunately, the lifespan of Chester White pigs is much shorter than the regular pigs, they usually die off within 6 to 8 years of age. If not slaughtered, Chester pigs often die off severe vitamin C deficiency.

7. Hampshire

Hampshire-pigs

Hampshire is the most-recorded breed meat pig breed. This pig breed is recklessly referred to as “Hampshire Hogs”.

After Yorkshire and Duroc, Hampshire is the most demanded pig breed for the meat requirements. These well-muscled rapid growing pigs are reported to be originated from England. Being from England, this pig breed is named after a state in United Kingdom, Hampshire.

Besides being excellent meat producers, Hampshire is known for good mothering capabilities. Excellent maternal instincts make Hampshires the best pigs for confined breeding. Hampshire is the easiest pigs to raise as they are friendly, docile, and have been blessed with good and even temper.

There are several reasons why the Hampshire pig breed should be chosen for farming; they produce meat in huge quantities, have leaner meat, are easy to reare, highly profitable to keep, and give birth to a large number of healthy piglets.

As far as the appearance is concerned, Hampshires have a medium-sized head, upturned snout, small eyes, floppy ears, sharp teeth, short, and curly tails. Their coat is just as unique as the rest of the body as the middle part is lighter.

8. Pietrain

Pietrain-pigs

Pietrain is usually judged for its patchy coat, most of the livestock keepers find this breed quite ugly. Though keeping Pietrain for meat is not that common but it’s not as rare as white Peacocks, bismuth crystals, jeweled squid, purple carrots, and red bananas.

This least-talked-about pig breed was first seen around 1920 but it got the recognition as a breed it deserves in 1950. Unfortunately, due to a lack of records, the exact details can not be obtained and listed here.

This breed is usually demanded to cross-breed, if not for cross breeding it is raised for meat. Pietrains are generally crossbred to produce better offspring and improve the quality of pork.

Pietrains are neither large nor short but perfect average-sized pigs. The Pietrain boars usually achieve 350 to 570 pounds and the Pietrain sows 485 to 530 pounds weight.

8. Hereford

Hereford

Hereford is just another least-known meat breed, that is just started being farmed for profit. It’s well-marbled meat, rewarding nature, friendly temperament has skyrocketed demand for pig farming.

The unusual color and the pattern has got this breed named as “Hereford”. The small-scale livestock keepers prefer referring to this meat breed as Hereford Hogs.

Hereford Hogs are medium-sized, have a red and white face, drooping ears, and a slightly curly tail. Despite having several marks of identification, Hereford Hogs are usually recognized by their unique red and white coat.

Like Berkshire, Hereford is also the oldest breed. As per the books of history, this breed was developed around 1920, and it is still ruling our hearts.

Summary

According to science direct Raising pigs at the farm would not just be a rewarding experience but it’s going to be profitable as well. One carefully raised pig would help you earn a profit of around $300 to $400.

Several pig breeds are raised for meat but the popular most profitable ones are Yorkshire pigs, Berkshire pigs, Duroc pigs, Landrace pigs, Meishan pigs, Chester White pigs, Hampshire pigs, Pietrain pigs, and Hereford. There are some other pig breeds as well but the above-mentioned breeds are super rewarding and are preferred for meat.

Lastly, I hope you have found this brief post super helpful. It would be an honor to know that it has helped you in choosing the right breed for your farm.

  • Hi, I am Talon Juper, a passionate farmer, and Livestock Expert. I have done my graduation in Agriculture and Animal breeding. Relevant to Farm Desire as a research writer and data recorder.

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