Hampshire pigs are black and white pigs, with a distinctive white belt. They are rapid growers and well-muscled, with erect ears.
The original breeding stock was imported from Hampshire County, UK to the United States in 1832. Since then the breed has been developed and is now one of the world’s most well-known commercial pig breeds.
The Hampshire is regarded by many as one of the best terminal sire breeds. They produce pigs that excel in longevity and robustness, with a superior carcass composition.
‘The Thin Rind’
Until 1890, the Hampshire was called ‘The Thin Rind’ breed, due to the abundance of lean meat it produced. It was then renamed after its English origin.
Most of the early development of the breed took place in Kentucky. They became popular with pig producers due to their hardiness, vigour and prolificacy. Since then these original traits have been further developed resulting in the Hampshire pig we know today.
The Hampshire pig is black with white belt starting on the front leg. The belt may partially or totally encircle the body.
It is regarded as a medium-sized breed with a long neck and long, lean top line. The weight of a mature boar is approximately 300 kg, while the sow is about 250 kg. The Hampshire is a heavily muscled, lean meat breed, with good carcass quality, minimal amounts of backfat and large loin eyes.
Hampshire sows are known for their excellent mothering ability, good temperament and longevity in the sow herd.More information on the Hampshire pig can be found on the National Swine Registry website.