We all know pigs to be very intelligent and social. In fact, some homesteaders choose to raise pigs because of how domesticated these animals are.
Before anything else, you would want to learn the different breeds of pigs so you can pick which to add to your homestead.
How many types of pig do we have?
At least eight living species of pigs comprise wild boars, warthogs, pygmy hogs, and domestic pigs.
Although all domestic pigs belong to the same species, there are more than a hundred recorded breeds of pigs.
To help you choose which breed of swine to put on your homestead, let’s have an in-depth discussion about every popular breed there is to know.
10 Popular Domesticated Types of Pigs
We have chosen the best-domesticated pig types for your homesteading exploration and narrowed it down to 10 popular breeds.
The Duroc breed of pigs is famous for its auburn color, fast growth and maturity, and quiet temperament.
Durocs are also famous for their deep bodies, high carcass quality, and broad hams and shoulders.
The British developed the Duroc breed of pigs to survive winter, making it your best choice for outdoor breeding.
Bred initially from British stocks in Wessex, farmers in the United States now produce the Hampshire pig as one of the world’s most essential swine breeds.
If you breed the Hampshire, you can rest assured that you will not run out of tips and tricks for successful breeding.
We also call the Hampshire pig “the thin rind” because it produces an abundance of lean meat.
Hampshire pig carcasses are known for winning many lean-meat carcass competitions in North America.
Yorkshire pigs are distinguishable by their white color and erect ears.
Aside from being sound and durable, the modern Yorkshire pig produces very lean meat with low back fat.
Upon introducing the Yorkshire pig to the United States, farmers discovered ways to improve its mothering ability, litter size, and scale.
This improvement increased the demand and domestication of Yorkshire pigs in the US.
American landrace pigs are also white like the Yorkshire pigs, but their ears droop and slant forward almost parallel to their snout.
Farmers use local and traditional breeding methods to produce landrace breeds.
Though, they have developed the American landrace pig from Norwegian and Swedish breeding stocks.
American landrace pigs are known to produce large litters and for their ability to cross well with other breeds of pigs.
You will find that American landrace pigs have a high percentage of meat in the ham and loin parts of the carcass.
The Hereford hog is a rare variety of domestic pigs originating from the US.
Breeders took its name from the Hereford cattle, which have a red body and a white face.
The Hereford pig is a breed that results from a synthesis between a Duroc and a Poland China pig. It sometimes even has breeding inputs from a Hampshire or Chester White pig.
Hampshire pigs are grain-efficient. They can reach marketable weight on less feed than what other breeds require.
With this characteristic, you can be sure to collect a buck on your dime for every sale.
Since Hampshire pigs are rare, they are a natural choice if you own a small farm and homesteading because they are reticent and docile.
Smaller, black-colored pigs with white socks comprise the Berkshire breed.
Marketed in Japan as flavorful Black Pork, Berkshire pig meat remains popular today because of a few advocate breeders.
Unlike the Hampshire and Large White pigs, you will be having a more traditional breed if you get a Berkshire pig.
The Tamworth pig is the oldest pure English breed.
You can distinguish this traditional breed easily by its red-gold hair and the absence of black spots.
The Tamworth’s resilience to rough pasture and sunburns make it one of the hardy breeds.
Tamworth sows are docile and excellent mothers. They are protective of their litter, and they can produce ample amounts of milk.
When it comes to meat, Tamworth pigs are popular for producing white carcasses with big hams and long sides.
The Chester White gets its name from Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Chester White pigs are usually totally white, having medium sized droopy ears.
Although not as popular as the Duroc, Hampshire, or Yorkshire breeds, the Chester White has its place in commercial pork crossbreeding operations.
Originating from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Tibetan pig has adapted to frigid climates and sparse food.
Tibetan pigs have long, straight snouts and black coats with long, straight bristles.
The Tibetan pig breed is famous for its sweet, marbled meat, albeit being in danger of extinction.
When coming across a Tibetan pig in the US, you will find that it costs a bit more than other breeds.
The Large Black pig is the only all-black pig in the UK. It has a long, deep body and large, lop ears.
If you are in the market for pork from traditional breeds, the Large Black breed should be at the top of your choices.
Meat from Large Black pigs is in demand because of its quality and succulent taste.
Other Popular Types
Because of continuous worldwide breeding practices, pigs have so many breeds.
Although importation allows for the spread of certain pig breeds, each becomes unique when adapted to a region.
Factors affecting these unique adaptations include breeding sources, differences in climate, and variations in food.
If you want to breed large frame pigs and shoot for the big bucks, purchase a Poland China pig.
However, if you are looking for pigs as pets, consider smaller, more manageable pig breeds like the Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, Yucatan pigs, and African pygmy pigs.
For homesteading in an area where a large chunk of the year holds cold weather, consider the Gloucestershire Old Spots.
Like the Durocs, the Gloucestershire Old Spots are capable of living in an outdoor system.
You can easily distinguish this breed by their black and white spots.
What is the most common type of pig?
In North America, the most common type of pig is the white Yorkshire pig, and the most prominent breed you can find in the United States is the large Yorkshire.
Found in almost all US States, the Yorkshire breed has recorded large populations in Nebraska, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois.
Choosing a breed of swine boils down to the intended application.
If you plan to produce home-grown pork, you should consider pig breeds with a history of good carcass quality and effective meat yield.
In connection to having home-grown pork, you may also have the option to supply young pigs for breeding.
For this application, consider the breed of pigs that produce sows with efficient maternal and farrowing capabilities.
However, if you want a pet pig, some pigs are considered “miniature pigs” and are best suited as pets for manageability.
For showmanship, genetic make-up and feeding patterns also determine which breeds of pigs are the best show pigs.