Hampshire Pig

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Other common names: Hampshire Hog; Hampshire Swine; {P}Thin Rind Pig; Old English

The basics:
The Hampshire Pig was developed in the United States from breeding stock imported from Hampshire, England between 1825 and 1835. Pigs remaining in this part of England developed later into the Wessex Saddleback, a similarly colored pig, but with flop ears. Considered one of the oldest American breeds, the Hampshire Pig was referred to as “The Thin Rind” breed until the late 1800's.

Today, the Hampshire Pig is used extensively as the sire of cross-bred pigs for pork, and is regarded as the leanest of the North American breeds.

Appearance / health:
Hampshire Pigs are medium sized pigs that are black in color with a white band or belt that covers the front legs and across the shoulders. The ears are erect. The body is well muscled, making the breed desirable for the meat industry. Other desirable traits include hardiness, vigor, foraging and mothering abilities, and being of good breeding stock.

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 pigs 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.

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.


excellent meat quality, good muscling, carcass size, weight gain, remarkable mothers, good temperament


hog handling, pungent odor


4H, minimal grain, long bodied pigs, interesting color pattern, large litters, registry requirements

Helpful Hampshire Pig Review

Hampshire Pig

From dchris17 Feb 11 2015 1:19PM


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