Until 1940, Duroc was known by the name of Duroc-Jersey. Perhaps, because it had its origin in the United States by crossing two pig lines – the red Jersey of New Jersey and the Duroc of New York. The former were large, prolific animals with a long body and enormous weight, and the latter were smaller, compact and suitable for baiting.
The breed has made a niche for itself due to its good qualities of both growth and quality of the meat since it is semi-fat. In reproductive parameters, it can be compared to Large White and Landrace, although it is a little lower. It is commonly used as a paternal line, both in two-way and three-way crosses.
Physical Features of Duroc
- The color of Duroc breed presents a remarkable variation, ranging from a light, almost yellow, to a very dark red. The color, by itself, does not have any relation with the production capacity of the pigs, but there seems to be a greater preference for the lines that exhibit the dark red color.
- It possesses a medium body length.
- The ears are hanging and do not stand erect.
- The head is small in relation to body size, wide between the eyes, slightly concave forehead, short and tapered muzzle, somewhat wide and raised muzzle.
- The ears are medium-sized, fine, pointed, directed forward and upward with the tips bent downward.
- The neck is short, deep and slightly arched. The dewlap is small and fine. The trunk is of medium length, deep and arched. The dorsolumbar line describes a convex line, being able to be straight in highly conformed animals, especially if they are young, with a long and moderately wide back.
- Wide back, well developed and with correct union with the trunk. Loin is a convex, broad, long, very muscular and more prominent at the midpoint of its length.
- The ribs are long and deep, a tucked belly with a straight lower line and a minimum of twelve normal teats placed regularly.
- Possesses a loping, broad rump and broad ham.
- The limbs are long, moderately fine and straight. Short, straight pasterns and strong hooves.
Productive Characteristics of Duroc Pigs
- Highly prolific and an efficient utilizer of feed. Can have an average of 15 piglets per litter.
- Fast growth and the sow matures early.
- Mature boar’s body weight is 400 kg on average while an mature sow’s weight is 350 kg on average.
- Excellent carcass quality with tasteful meat.
- Excellent mothering ability.
- Resistant to diseases and hot climates.