Berkshire breed page
One of the best ‘starter breeds’ around for the domestic keeper
The Berkshire breed also known as the ‘Lady’s pig’ is an excellent ‘starter pig.’
The Berkshire takes some beating offering, as it does, great personality, friendly disposition, manageable size and some of the tastiest meat around.
The breed is also one of our oldest, with some suggesting that records of its existence stretch right back to mid 17th Century.
Read on to learn more about keeping this breed, the BPA's conservation efforts and much more!
All 7 boar lines have been genebanked which was the first target on the conservation plan
All Berkshire sow lines are present in at least 5 herds which was another target
We still need help to collect 3 more boars for the genebank and to spread the different bloodlines across the country - important to protect the breed from disease risk like African Swine Fever
The purpose of the conservation plan is to set out the goals for conserving our native breeds for the next year. The conservation service has successfully increased the number of Lassiter boars and now all boar lines are represented in the Genebank
The Berkshire is the oldest recorded pedigree pig breed in Britain.
Whilst there were records of Berkshire pigs in the 17th century these are very different to the pig we call a Berkshire now as these were large and came in a variety of sizes.
The modern Berkshire was improved in the late 18th and 19th centuries by the introduction of Asian breeding.
The breed became popular during the 19th and first half of the 20th century but declined in numbers when the emphasis in pig farming turned to bacon production and “white” pigs