Berkshire pig

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Champion Berkshire boar
Champion Berkshire boar at the 2005 Royal Adelaide Show
Conservation status Rare breed
Country of origin England
  • Pig
  • Sus scrofa domesticus

Berkshire pigs are a rare breed of pig originating from the English county of Berkshire.

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, fewer than 300 breeding sows were known to exist.[1] 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.[2] 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,[3] 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.[4]

Culinary uses[edit]

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.[2]

In literature[edit]



  1. ^ Rare Breeds Survival Trust watch list Archived 31 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 21 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b 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. 
  3. ^ American Berkshire Association (18 April 1996). "Breeds of Livestock - Berkshire Swine". 
  4. ^ Ekarius, Carol (19 February 2009). "Berkshire Pigs For Small Farms". 

External links[edit]