Pig Breed Guide
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Slave ships brought the Guinea Hog to America from the Guinea coast of Africa. The slave trade propagated the breed throughout Europe and the American colonies. In the South, they’d become a common homestead pig, but they are relatively unknown today. Guinea Hogs are gentle and easy to care for, making them a popular choice for children’s zoos.
Functionality: Meat, lard
Appearance: Most are black, but they can be a reddish color, and are hairy; small (150 to 300 pounds and 15 to 20 inches tall at full maturity); upright ears
Population: Rare to see them today. They were once common in the South, but numbers have dwindled.
Origin: West coast of Africa
Known for: Foraging ability, agreeable temperament
There is some doubt as to the exact origin of the Hampshire breed, but most agree that these pigs are descended from the Old English breed. It’s one of the oldest American original breeds in existence.
Most identifiable by the white, belt-like stripe that circles the body around the front quarters, some importations of the Hampshire breed were made between 1825 and 1835. Desirable characteristics that the Hampshire is known for are prolificacy, ability to forage, hardiness and high quality of meat.
Functionality: Meat, terminal sire
Appearance: Black with white belt-like stripe around the front legs and belly, extending as far as the middle of the torso
Origin: United States
Known for: Hardiness, high-quality meat
The earliest known Hereford hogs are said to have existed in Missouri. The man who owned the pigs and was thought to have bred for the breed, R.U. Webber, would not cooperate with breeders on how exactly he bred them, so another group of breeders went to work between 1920 and 1925 to introduce a breed that had known genetics. None of the Herefords in existence today trace to Webber’s bloodlines.
Herefords are well-known and look very similar to Hereford cows; reddish-brown body and white face.
Appearance: Reddish-brown body with white spots on face, ears and possibly legs; slightly dished face with droopy ears
Population: On the watch list
Origin: United States
Known for: Similarities to cattle breed with the same name; agreeable disposition and tasty meat
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