When it comes to raising pigs, you want to understand the right pig for the right purpose. While some pigs are seen as pets, others are seen as meat sources. Here are 10 of the best breeds to consider if you are raising pigs for butchering.
Best pigs for meat: Pigs for meat have a few common characteristics. They produce meat that is flavorful and not too tough. Meat should have some marbling in it, which is fat interspersed within the muscle fibers. The less fat, the leaner, while fattier meat can have more flavor. Pigs can easily grow to be 500 to 600 pounds in size, and a large chunk of this is edible meat, so you can expect a good return on investment with pigs. When looking for the right breed, you can select one that is better at producing a particular cut of meat and one that has a flavor that is marketable.
What is the best kind of pig to raise for meat
When you are looking for the best breeds of pigs for meat, there are a few factors to consider. First, pigs that reach maturity faster cost less to raise as you can spend fewer days feeding them.
You may also want to consider the size of the pig as this will contribute to the yield of meat. Finally, leaner pigs mean less fat in their muscles, which most people prefer; however, more fat means more flavor.
10 Best Pig Breeds for Meat
White in color, Landrace pigs shares a lot of similarities with American Yorkshire pigs. They have been specially bred to have longer bodies and as a result, can produce more bacon, as this cut of meat comes from the stomach muscles.
Landrace pigs produce nice, lean meat and in addition to bacon, are also good for pork chops. They are often bred with other breeds to inspire better growth.
Known for their wide white stripe that cuts down their abdomen, Hampshire pigs have lean meat that is highly sought-after. They are very popular and are often used as a sire breed.
Hampshire pigs do not have a lot of fat on them and very thin marbling. They can produce large quantities of all cuts.
A cross between Landrace pigs and Poland China pigs, Spotted pigs became a new breed in the 1900s. They have black and white spots, hence the name.
Spotted pics are very large and they mature quickly, making them excellent for butchering as you don’t have to spend extra on food until they are ready. They produce lean meat that has a robust flavor to it.
With large black spots, Pietrain pigs are very recognizable. They are able to produce large amounts of meat that is all very lean.
Pietrain pigs have a tendency to carry a gene that results in Porcine Stress Syndrome, or PSS, which can lead to sudden death. You should always get your pigs genetically tested before purchasing this breed.
Originating in England, you can now find American Yorkshire pigs all over the United States. Overall, this is a versatile breed for meat production.
American Yorkshire pigs are best for bacon but there is also lean meat throughout its body, as well as a small amount of back fat. If you are raising many pigs of this breed, as a bonus, they produce large litters.
Considered a heritage breed, Berkshire pigs are some of the olds pigs from England. They are easy to raise thanks to their calm demeanor and make for excellent meat pigs.
On average, Berkshire pigs will grow to be 600 pounds in size, which is quite a large amount of meat. What really makes these pigs stand out is their marbled meat, which means there is a nice, even distribution of fat throughout their muscle.
Highly durable with great mothering abilities, Chester White pigs are a solid choice for meat production. Sows produce large litters of pigs and are often paired with other breeds to create more durable, maternal pigs.
Chester White pigs are known for their large size but surprisingly calm demeanor. They produce great amounts of all cuts of meat.
Fast-growing, Duroc pigs are famous for their meat. This is because even though the pigs grow rapidly in size, most of this goes straight to muscle and as a result, they are not overly fat.
Duroc pigs come from Northern Europe and are well adapted to colder climates thanks to their thick hair. They are docile pigs and because they have darker skin, are not prone to sunburn.
While they are not as popular as other breeds, Meishan pigs are still a good consideration if you are looking for meat pigs. These pigs originate from China but you can find plenty of American breeders.
Meishan pigs have a bold flavor to them, which is a result of their high-fat content. It can be a bit of a trade-off with their meat as some may be put off from the extra marbling in their muscles.
With striking coloring. Hereford pigs are hard to miss. They have a brown backside but their head, underbelly, and legs are all a light pink color.
Hereford pigs produce a lot of meat, which is why they are very popular. You can expect meat that is slightly fattier than others and as a result, the taste is very rich. While it is a newer breed, it is quickly gaining in popularity.
Which Pig Breed is Right for You
When deciding what pig breed you want to raise, you should think about if you need a pig that has a calm temperament, what climate it can live in, and if there are any health issues to be aware of.
All of the pigs on our list produce excellent meat, so this is a good start when narrowing down your list.
Pork is staple meat and if you are looking to expand your hobby farm, pigs are a good investment. They grow quickly and are able to fetch a good price for their cuts of meat.