Meet One of the Oldest American Pig Breeds, the Hampshire Pig

Posted by Christy Caplan
Hampshire Pig Breed

The Hampshire pig is best known for the wide, white belt that continues down its front legs. The white belt is seen on a black hog. Many farmers have this pig breed on their pastures so they are easily recognized. 

Did you know? Roy's Farm explains that the Hampshire pig breed is probably the oldest American pig breed!

"According to the American National Swine Registry, it is the fourth 'most recorded breed' of pigs in the United States. The breed is believed to have derived from the English breeds which were found in northern England and Scotland. The breed is thought to have been brought to America from Hampshire, England between 1827 and 1839."

The body of the animal is built with long legs and noses, making the breed popular for meat production. 

History and origin

Hobby Farms tells us that Hampshire may be the oldest swine breed in the U.S.

"Old English hogs wandering the New Forest of Hampshire in England are thought to have been the forerunners of the Hampshire breed. The pigs arrived in the United States during the early 1800s; farmers in Kentucky worked with the breed and formed the first registry in 1893."

Often referred to as McKay hogs in the early days, Hampshires have also been called Thin Rind, Ring Middle and Saddlebacks. 

Pig breed characteristics

The Hampshire pig is a medium-sized breed of pig.

According to iamcountryside.com, the large, heavily muscled carcass of the Hampshire pig breed is only part of the list of good pig qualities. Here are the other qualities:

  • The carcass is also thin-skinned and lean.
  • In terms of temperament, the breed is fairly even-keeled, although the boars can become aggressive later in life.
  • Hampshire boars are often used in crossbreeding programs to add the lean quality to the meat.
  • Sows are good mothers and do well in confinement facilities.
  • The boars are large, maturing to around 650 pounds. 

Uses

The breed is popular for meat production. The use of the Hampshire pig breed mainly is because of its non-sensitivity to stress, as well as its ease of adaptation and the quality of its meat. 

Interested in Hampshire hog piglets? Research the Hampshire swine registry! Another breed of hog choice is the Yorkshire pig breed.

Do you know anyone that has pigs as livestock? Let us know in the comments below!

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Meet One of the Oldest American Pig Breeds, the Hampshire Pig