Berkshire swine(bûrk`shər, bärk`–, –shĭr), one of the oldest of the improved breeds of swine, originating in the county of Berkshire in S central England. The breed was imported to the United States in large numbers between 1830 and 1850 and has adapted itself to all parts of the country. Berkshires are of medium size, generally smooth, and somewhat longer in proportion to depth than other breeds. Their ears stand erect, their noses are short, and their color is black with white feet, nose, and tail.
an English breed of early-maturing swine bred for various purposes. The Berkshire swine was bred in the county of Berkshire at the end of the 18th century by crossing local, large, late-maturing swine with Neapolitan, Portuguese, and Chinese breeds. The Berkshire swine was developed under improved conditions of feeding and maintenance.
Modern Berkshire swine are black and well built; they have strong constitutions and are well adapted to pasturing. The liveweight of the sow, which produces litters of 6–7 pigs, is 180–250 kg. Berkshire swine yield much lean meat per carcass. Young pigs are fattened for many purposes but primarily for meat (up to a liveweight of 85–100 kg). Excellent bacon is obtained from pigs that are 6–7 months old.
Berkshire swine were brought to many countries, including Russia, where they had a great influence on swine breeding. Berkshire swine were used to breed Mirgorod, Northern Caucasus, Kemerovo, Livny, and other domestic breeds of swine. The Krasnaia Mordoviia, in the Mordovian ASSR, is a large livestock farm for Berkshire swine in the USSR. On Jan. 1, 1969, there were 8,600 Berkshire swine in the USSR. The number of head of Berkshire swine in England has decreased greatly in the last decade.
REFERENCESRed’kin, A. P. Svinovodstvo. Moscow, 1958.
Carroll, W., and J. Krider. Svinovodstvo na fermakh SShA. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from English.)
Savich, I. A. Svinovodstvo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1966.
Kozlovskii, V. G. Intensivnoe zhivotnovodstvo Anglii. Moscow, 1967.
A. P. RED’KIN