The pigs that are raised for meat production today are very different from the swine that were raised by people a hundred years ago. While commercial breed hogs grow faster, have more meat, and have large litters they are hard for a small farm to keep. They like to root, most are big and they challenge fencing. A lot of Heritage hogs are smaller and easier to manage. One of the most popular heritage hogs in the south is the American Guinea Hog because they are a smaller breed that does well in hot weather. They are well suited for small farms and are getting very popular.
According to the Livestock Conservancy, heritage swine must meet the following requirements: (Source: The Livestock Conservancy)
True Genetic Breed. The breed is a true genetic breed of swine. That is, when mated together, it reproduces the breed type.
Endangered Breed. The breed is or has been endangered, as defined by The Livestock Conservancy, and appears on or has recovered from the Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List in the Critical, Threatened, Watch, or Recovering categories.
Long History in US. The breed has an established and continuous breeding population in the United States since 1925. If developed since 1925, foundation stock is no longer available. If more recently imported, the breed is globally endangered. (Please refer to The Livestock Conservancy’s criteria for the Conservation Priority List for details).
Purebred Status. Heritage Swine must be registered purebred animals or immediate offspring of registered purebred animals. Swine that are the result of a breed association sanctioned grade-up program must have obtained purebred status.
I would like to share with you the current Heritage breeds in the United States. In my next post, I am going to share some non-native Heritage Breeds.