A Duroc sow at a livestock show in England
|Country of origin||United States|
Duroc pig is an older breed of American domestic pig that forms the basis for many mixed-breed commercial hogs. Duroc pigs are red, large-framed, medium length, and muscular, with partially drooping ears, and tend to be one of the least aggressive of all the swine breeds. They also have an excellent rate of gain.
The breed, one of several red pig strains which developed around 1800 in New England, originated in Africa. One theory is that the pigs were imported from the Guinea coast of Africa at the time of the slave trade. Another suggestion is that the red color came from the Berkshire pig from Britain, a breed that is now black, but at that time was rusty brown. Another influence on the breed may have been four shoats from Spain and Portugal that were imported around 1837, but it is unclear whether these formed part of the breed's ancestry.
The modern Duroc originated circa 1850 from crosses of the Jersey Red and New York's older Duroc. The breed started being used as show hogs around the 1950s. Durocs are used predominantly as sires (boars), and are appreciated for their hardiness and quick but thorough muscle growth.
Originally, the Duroc was a very large pig, but not as large as was the Jersey Red. Today, it is a medium-sized breed with a moderately long body and a slightly dished face. The ears are drooping and not held erect. The color is often an orangish-brown, but any color is allowed from a light golden shade to a deep mahogany red.