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New Zealand
Pig Breeders' Association Inc

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Berkshire Standard

Berkshire sow

Berkshire Standard of Excellence

CHARACTER AND BREED TYPE: A combination of the following definitions denoting type, breeding and masculinity in the case of boars and femininity in the case of sows and gilts.

HEAD: Fine, medium length, face slightly dished, snout broad, jowl light, wide between the eyes and ears. Ears should be fairly large, carried erect and slightly inclined forward and fringed with fine hair.
Objection: Excessively floppy ears.
Strong objection: Crooked jaw, undershot jaw.
NECK: Moderate length, free of crest, proportionately and evenly set to give smooth coupling with head and chest.


CHEST: Moderately wide between front legs with capacity derived from width and length rather than depth.


SHOULDERS: Level, light in proportion to body, medium width, free from coarseness and blending with rest of body. Allowance should be made for shield of aged boars.


BACK: Long, level and wide from neck to rump.
LOIN: Broad, full and strong, blending in with line of sides.
RIBS: Well sprung.
SIDES: Long, even and well let down to flank.
FLANK: Thick, and well let down.
BELLY: Full, but not flabby, with straight underline.


RUMP: Long and wide.
HAMS: Broad, full and deep to hock.
TAIL: Set high, strong and long but not coarse with a natural curl and with a tassel of fine hair.


TEATS and TESTICLES: At least 12 evenly spaced teats set well forward with a minimum of 6 a side for each sex. It is desirable that boars have 3 pairs in front of the sheath. Testicles well developed and low set in the crutch. Dummy teats and inverted nipples to be considered a strong objection in both sexes. Any sow that has had one litter or more and still has inverted nipples to be disqualified in the Show ring.


LEGS: Straight and well set, level with the outside of the body, with flat bone. Badly in-bent knees and crooked legs are strong objections.
PASTERNS: Short and springy.
FEET: Strong, closed and even.
ACTION: Firm and free.


SKIN, COLOUR and COAT: Black with white on face, feet and tip of tail, skin fine and free from wrinkles. Hair long, fine and plentiful with absence of mane, especially in females. Rose on back undesirable.


DISQUALIFICATION: Less than 6 evenly spaced sound teats on either side. It is recommended to Judges that pigs with obvious deviations from the Standard of Excellence should not be awarded a first prize.



The Standard of Excellence shall be used in the light of known requirements of the bacon and pork trade. All efforts to appraise the relative merits of pigs shall be made against a background of the killing out value of the animal at the correct weight and age. The failure of an animal to reach the Standard of Excellence in some of the breed characteristics shall not outweigh its obvious value from a carcass point of view.

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