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We don’t want to “boar” you, so here are the different pig breeds in SA

Despite public misconception, not all pigs are the same. In this article, we have highlighted the eight breeds of pigs that occur in South Africa, along with a short description and some of their traits. This should help you identify which breeds you are dealing with.

The Large White

The Large White. Photo: Adobe Stock
  • This pig breed is all white and originates from England.
  • It has erect ears and is a large animal with a broad back.
  • The Large White crosses well with other breeds, has a good carcass quality, and the dams produce many piglets per litter.
  • This breed is sensitive to E. coli and stomach ulcers.

The Kolbroek

The Kolbroek Pig. Photo: Wessel Pistorius
  • The Kolbroek is indigenous to South Africa.
  • This breed has a body colour that can be black, grey or reddish with very visible spots on the hindquarters.
  • It is the smallest of all the pig breeds, with a characteristic belly that almost touches the ground.
  • The Kolbroek is a low maintenance breed and is very adaptable to the environment. It has a gentle and docile character and is not susceptible to stress.
  • It has a small gene pool making it susceptible to inbreeding.

The South African Landrace

The South African Landrace. Photo: Adobe Stock
  • Like the Large White, the SA Landrace has a white colouring.
  • Although the pedigree lines from which it was bred originated in Denmark and Sweden, this branch was bred right here in South Africa.
  • This breed has ears that droop, a long body, and a smaller bone structure.
  • The SA Landrace is a good breeder, crosses well with other breeds, and has a good carcass quality.
  • They are susceptible to stress and the boars may have a lowered libido.

The Piètrain

The Piètrain. Photo: Adobe Stock
  • The Piètrain breed originated in Belgium and has a very distinct appearance due to its light grey colour and black spotted body.
  • The ears of this breed are semi-droopy, the legs are shorter, and the body is well-built.
  • This breed has a very good temperament and their bodies have a good lean to fat ratio.
  • The Piètrain is susceptible to stress which may cause poor meat quality.

The Large Black

The Large Black. Photo: Adobe Stock
  • This breed originates from England and can be identified by the solid black colour of its body.
  • The Large Black breed has droopy ears and a big body frame; it can grow to be a very large size.
  • The females of this breed make good mothers. The breed is also known for its hardiness and calm temperament.
  • The Large Black is an early maturing breed with a limited gene pool which puts it at risk of inbreeding.

The Hampshire

The Hampshire. Photo: Adobe Stock
  • This breed originates from the States and is easily distinguished by its black body and white “belt” around the shoulders.
  • The Hampshire has ears that stand upright, has a medium body frame, and a face that is slightly narrower and longer than other breeds.
  • The Hampshire has a good quality carcass with a lot of lean muscle.
  • The breed is known for its good temperament.
  • Like the Large Black and the Kolbroek, the Hampshire breed also has a limited gene pool, which puts it at risk of inbreeding.
  • The sows have poor mothering ability and the boars suffer from low libido.

The Chester White

The Chester White. Photo: AGCReWall
  • The Chester White also originates from the States, and has an all white body colouring like the Landrace and the Large White.
  • This breed has droopy ears and a well-formed body.
  • The sows are able to produce many piglets per litter and the boars have very good libido.
  • This breed also has a limited gene pool, and sows may suffer from dystocia.

The Duroc

The Duroc. Photo: Adobe Stock
  • The Duroc originated in the States and has a reddish body.
  • The ears of this breed are droopy, it has slightly longer legs, a strong bone structure and a well-formed musculature.
  • These pigs show very good growth, with good quality marbling.
  • The sows have poor mothering ability and this breed is prone to warts.