Glen Eyrie Rare Breeds Farm and Green Isle Pure Bred Pig Stud
Berkshire Gilt due to farrow at Glen Eyrie
Photo Courtesy of Jayce Morgan
The Berkshire pig has the oldest herd book and the original Berkshires to come to Australia were thought to have been present on the first fleet.
The Berkshire is probably the most suited of the old breeds to modern production standards and can be grown commercially quite successfully without the back fat problems of the Tamworth , Large Black and Wessex Saddlebacks. Berkshires have good eye muscle and ham areas and they will develop marbling in heavier carcasses. Scientifically like durocs they have been show to have intramuscular fat and also partitioned fat. They are well regarded by chefs and butchers alike.
Berkshires are black with 6 white points. The most successful Berkshire stud in Australia is Lynjoleen owned by Colin and Joy Leinert , they have exhibited Berkshires at for 53 years at Royal shows and exported to 23 countries. This pioneering work to develop the breed has allowed breeders to easily niche market their berkshires as the brand is widely known . It is also refered to as Kirobuta Pork by the Japanese..
Berkshires can have some inherent teating and leg problems and need to be selected for good shoulder and hip angles to avoid unsoundness later in life. They are well suited to outdoor production systems and are capable of growing to market weight in around 20 weeks if well fed.