When you think of a pig you probably imagine a large, pink animal – the classic image of a farmyard pig. However, pigs come in lots of different shapes, sizes and colors.
There are many breeds of pig, some more domesticated than others, with various features and characteristics that make them unique.
Keep reading to find out more about these fascinating creatures.
The Berkshire Pig
The berkshire pig is a type of domesticated pig breed that originates in the county of Berkshire in the United Kingdom. It is one of the oldest breeds of pig.
They were originally a tawny color, until they began to be cross bred with black pigs from Asia in the late eighteenth century.
They are now black with white markings on their socks, snout and tail. They have prick ears rather than folded ears.
Berkshire pigs are classified as medium pigs. The males can grow up to 280kg whereas the females tend to reach 220kg.
They grow quickly and efficiently which makes them popular for farming, and they also reproduce easily which makes them ideal for breeding.
These pigs are known for being incredibly tasty with high quality meat. It has a high fat content so it is ideal for cooking low and slow.
However, they also make wonderful pets as they have fun and unique personalities. They are very friendly, and their size is quite manageable if you have a small holding and want to keep animals.
The Duroc Pig
The duroc pig is thought to have its origins in Africa, though it is historically bred in the United states. The color of these pigs ranges from yellow gold through to reddish brown.
Their ears are partially drooped which gives them a very endearing appearance. They are medium in size with a very muscular body and stocky frame.
Duroc pigs are not as aggressive as a lot of other breeds, and they can be very friendly. However, they will become fearsome to protect their young.
They make tenacious parents, putting their children first until they are old enough to look after themselves.
These pigs have hard skin and a thick coat that develops in time for the winter. As the weather warms up the winter coat will molt, leaving the pig looking almost bare-skinned.
This allows duroc pigs to thrive outdoors in both cold and warm climates.
The Hampshire Pig
Hampshire pigs are bred in many different countries all over the world, mostly for farming. They are very popular in the United states and are thought to be one of the oldest pig breeds in America.
The meat from a Hampshire pig is considered to be very lean.
These pigs have pointed ears, and a black body with a distinctive white stripe over their shoulder area and front legs.
They don’t grow as fast as some other pig breeds, but they have an excellent temperament.
The mothers have a lot of patience with their young, and often keep them around for a lot longer than other breeds of pig.
The Landrace Pig
The landrace pig is one of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom. It has large droopy ears that cover a large portion of its face.
They are large, with long bodies that are pale pinkish white in color.
These pigs can live indoors or outdoors. When they reproduce, the litters are very large. The mothers produce a lot of milk and the piglets tend to grow very fast.
The popularity of this breed is often cited as the reason why some other breeds of pig have become so scarce or under-bred.
The Tamworth Pig
The Tamworth pig is known for its sandy color which is thought to have come from its wild boar ancestry.. What is less known about these pigs is that they are more resistant to sunburn than a lot of other breeds.
This is because their fur is made up of thick bristles which are very close together.
When the weather gets particularly warm it will molt some of the bristles to stay cool, and seek out a mud bath to protect the exposed skin from the sun.
It can live in lots of different kinds of environments and weather conditions. It originally lived in a forest habitat, but has been known to thrive on meadowland and rough pasture.
The body of these pigs is long and narrow. They have large heads with pointed ears and a particularly long, curled tail.
Tamworth pigs like to graze and forage for food, so they are fairly active. They can be quite aggressive over their territory, so are not always suited to sharing a field or grazing land with other animals.
They demonstrate excellent maternal instincts. The piglets tend to be shy around humans, but this can be improved with regular socialization and interaction.
The Mangalica Pig
The Mangalica pig, also called the Mangalitza, is a Hungarian breed. It is a more modern breed of pig that originated in the 19th century as a result of cross breeding wild boars and various European breeds.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of these pigs is their thick, curly fur. It is rare for pigs to have a long coat.
The piglets have short hair when they are young, so you can see the distinct markings on their backs.
These pigs thrive in farms where they can graze on wild pasture and top up their diet with vegetables like pumpkin and potato. The meat they produce is lean but marbled.
Their popularity declined due to not providing as much meat as other breeds, but there is now more demand for leaner meat so they are rising in popularity again.
These are just some of the different types of pigs.
There are so many breeds across the world including domesticated and wild pigs, each with their own characteristics.