Champion Berkshire boar at the 2005 Royal Adelaide Show
|Conservation status||Rare breed|
|Country of origin||England|
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 of 2008[update], fewer than 300 breeding sows were known to exist. Some pigs of the breed are also kept in New Zealand and Australia, but fewer than a hundred purebred sows are there now.
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?, "Kagoshima black pig").
While the original Berkshire pig was sandy-brown, modern Berkshire pigs are almost entirely black, with white points on the feet, nose, and tail. They are an average to large breed of pig, with an average weight at maturity of 600 pounds (270 kg). They are a short-legged breed. They have prick ears and a relatively short snout with an upturned nose.
Berkshire pork, prized for juiciness, flavour and tenderness, is pink-hued and heavily marbled. Its high fat content makes it suitable for long cooking and high-temperature cooking.
- 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 boar.
- Rare Breeds Survival Trust watch list accessed 21 May 2008.
- Zeldes, Leah A. (27 January 2010). "Eat this! Berkshire pork, a meaty heritage". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- American Berkshire Association (18 April 1996). "Breeds of Livestock - Berkshire Swine".
- Ekarius, Carol (19 February 2009). "Berkshire Pigs For Small Farms".
|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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