Glen Eyrie Rare Breeds Farm and Green Isle Pure Bred Pig Stud
Green Isle Miss Sam with Pig Apprentice Extrordinaire Mikaela Abdy Photo Courtesy of Jayce Morgan
The Hampshire Breed has been developed in the United States of America and is heavily represented in its national herd.
In some respects the Hampshire can be regarded as a ‘British Native’ Breed, as the original breeding stock was imported from Wessex, UK in 1832 (showing similar origin to the Wessex saddleback), the date being recorded in the “Hampshire Blue Book” published in 1928.
From the time of its arrival in the USA until 1890 the breed was called “The Thin Rind” breed, due to the abundance of lean meat it produced.
At a meeting of American breeders in 1890 the breed was renamed the Hampshire, as the original pigs were imported from a farm in Hampshire, Wessex, UK. A Breed Society was established at the same time and herd book recording can be traced for more than 100 years.
In Australia the Hampshire wasn’t imported until the eighties and there is evidence that it was used in the” improvement” of Saddlebacks. Mainly used as a terminal sire it is now the most critically rare breed in Australia. Fortunately a few dedicated breeders are working together to try and consolidate the lines that are left.
Hampshires have a lean and muscular carcass and have exception eye muscle area for high yeilding bacon or loin cuts. They are excellent terminal sires over any breed adding yeild in the back and ham area. They can tend to be of nervous disposition but settle with routine.