Duroc Pig

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Other common names: Duroc-Jersey

The basics:
The origin of the Duroc breed of swine is traced to a red boar (named “Duroc” after a famous trotting stallion) brought to New York in the early 1800s, born from parents that may have come from England. The Duroc line was interbred with large red hogs from New Jersey (called “Jersey Reds”) resulting in smaller pigs with finer bones, faster growth and maturity, and more desirable meat qualities. Durocs have become a foundation for many mixed-breed American commercial hogs.

Appearance / health:
Durocs are typically reddish in color, but currently come in a range of variations from light gold to mahogany red. “White Durocs” are a result of crossing with white breeds. Durocs are medium to large in size with drooping ears. The face is slightly dished. The body tends to be muscular, requiring less feed to produce a pound of muscle compared to other breeds.

Despite their energy and gregarious nature, pigs are sensitive animals. They are easily stressed by travel, vaccinations, extreme temperatures, and new surroundings. Stress makes them susceptible to ailments like pneumonia and bronchitis (due also to their small lungs relative to their size). They are also susceptible to animal viruses like influenza. Pigs commonly suffer from mad itch (or pseudo rabies), dysentery, and parasites (lice, ticks, and ascarid worms).

Healthy pigs have shiny hair, bright eyes, strong appetites, and high energy. Their normal temperature is 102.5F. Deviations from the normal temperature and other signs of poor health including diarrhea and coughing should promptly be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.

Behavior / temperament:
As omnivores that love to eat, pigs can be fun to watch while they explore their surroundings in search for something to munch on. They use their snouts to smell and unearth a potential meal. They are intelligent and social animals that quickly get used to the presence and affection of humans.

Some pgs are intelligent enough to learn tricks, obey commands, and use a litter box. Because they have no sweat glands, they tend to cool themselves by rolling in water or mud. The mud that dries on their skin serves as a sunscreen and protection from parasites like ticks, lice, and flies.

Duroc boars are notorious for being aggressive.

Housing / diet:
Pigs are active, curious animals that require room to explore, exercise, and just be their natural energetic selves. Sufficient space, relative to their size and weight, is a primary consideration because pigs that are crowded or confined to small spaces become stressed, and healthy growth and development is hindered.

Although constantly roaming and appreciative of open yards and fresh air, pigs also require a shed or housing that will let them sleep on a dry and clean area at night. Ideal ambient temperatures are 60-70F. Warm shelters with wood chip bedding are a must during cold months; water misters are recommended for the hottest months.

Pig housing should also include a feeder and a drinking water dispenser (usually a water barrel). Access to a water source makes it convenient to clean or hose out the pig shelters (and the pigs) as needed. Chain link fencing, shade trees, and a pond are recommended for backyard habitats.

Pig owners are advised to check with local authorities for legislation regarding the ownership and keeping of pigs in their homes and backyards.

As omnivores that eat plants and animals, Pigs will consume almost anything that is edible like fruits, roots, flowers, grass, insects, worms, all types of meat, and even leftover scraps from the dinner table.

Unlike ruminant animals (cattle and goats), pigs have a single stomach. For healthy and fast growth, pigs require a high-energy diet composed of grain (corn, oats, wheat, barley), plus protein and vitamin supplements. Most commercially available feed for pigs combine various farm grains and the necessary supplements to ensure rapid and efficient development.

Pigs are best allowed to self-feed or eat as much as they want during the day to enable them to grow as fast as they normally can. Feeding should always include a good supply of clean, fresh drinking water.


meat production, lovely red Duroc, gentle hog, minimal management, good carcass quality, free range swine


electric fence, Aggressive Mothers, sunscreen, shade


great showing, perfect mothering potentials, large breed, small farm, muscle building block

Duroc Pig Health Tip

Duroc Pig

From nickcostondvm Oct 8 2014 6:20PM


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