Berkshire pigs at Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park
Sus scrofa domesticus
The Berkshire can cope with most conditions and is well suited to an outdoor system. The average littler size for the Berkshire is 9.98 piglets (2009 data) and the breed in known for having good maternal instincts. It is a docile breed that is easily managed.
- A medium sized breed, sows weight around 220kg and boars 280kg.
- The Berkshire is a compact, short legged breed with a dished face, medium length snout and prick ears.
- They are black with white socks, white tail and a white mark on their face.
History of the Berkshire pig
The Berkshire is the oldest recorded pedigree pig breed in Britain.
Cromwell’s troops when stationed in Reading made reference to a local breed of pig renowned for its size and the quality of its bacon.
This is one of the earliest records of the Berkshire and the breed of the 17th Century was very different to the modern breed, being large and coming in a variety of colours.
The modern Berkshire was improved in the late 18th and 19th centuries by the introduction of Asian breeding.
The breed became popular during the 19th and first half of the 20th century but declined in numbers when the emphasis in pig farming turned to bacon production and ‘white’ pigs.
During the last 17 years of the the 19th century, the breed produced 12 Smithfield champions, including pigs exhibited by the Royal Family
Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park is proud to be a member of the RBST, whose mission is to ensure we do not lose the diversity of our native breeds. They do this through a programme of monitoring, saving and promoting the breeding & registration of rare and native breeds.
Meet some more of our rare breeds
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