Champion Berkshire boar at the 2005 Royal Adelaide Show
|Conservation status||Rare breed|
|Country of origin||England|
Pig (Sus scrofa domesticus.)
Herds of the breed are still maintained in England by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust at Aldenham Country Park, Hertfordshire, and by the South of England Rare Breeds Centre in Kent. The Berkshire is listed as 'vulnerable', as in 2008 fewer than 300 breeding sows were known to exist. Some pigs of the breed are also kept in New Zealand, but it is estimated that there are now fewer than a hundred purebred sows there.
In the United States, the American Berkshire Association, established in 1875, gives pedigrees only to pigs directly imported from established English herds or to those tracing directly back to such imported animals. The pig is also bred in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, under the trademarked name Kagoshima Kurobuta (かごしま黒豚, lit. Kagoshima black pig).
Berkshire pigs are said to be "Britain's oldest pig breed", originally bred around the market-towns of Faringdon and Wantage, in the Vale of the White Horse in the English county of Berkshire. Although due to a change of county boundaries in 1974 the area is now in Oxfordshire. The pigs are believed to have become popular in other parts of England after being discovered by Cromwell's troops while they were stationed at Reading during the English Civil War. Today's animals descend from the herd maintained by the British monarchs since the early 18th century.
Berkshires are early-maturing pigs well covered with short black hair, often with white hair on their legs, faces, and tips of the tails. The snouts are dished and are of medium length. The ears are fairly large and are erect or slightly leaned forward. They have fine wrinkle-free necks and well-sloped shoulder blades. They have short, straight legs and a straight underline belly.
Culinary uses 
In literature 
- The Empress of Blandings in P. G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle series of novels and stories, and the sow Pig-Wig in Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Pigling Bland, were both Berkshires.
- The antagonist pig Napoleon in George Orwell's novel Animal Farm is a Berkshire.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Berkshire pig|
- American Berkshire Association
- Berkshire Pig Breeders Club
- Oklahoma State University - Breeds of Livestock - Berkshire
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