Duroc boar – photo by Karen Nicoll

The History of the Duroc Breed

The Duroc breed was developed in the USA, and is thought to have been derived from red pigs originating from Europe in the early 1800s. It was originally called the Duroc-Jersey, as it developed from a very large breed called the Jersey Red (a red hog from New Jersey state) and a line of smaller, early maturing red pigs from New York state called ‘Duroc’.

The Duroc became one of the breeds of pigs in the USA that went on to have a significant impact on commercial pig genetics throughout the world.

In the 1900s the Duroc was one of the key breeds in the USA, used for the production of both pork and bacon.

The breed is most notably known for its large solid size, reddish brown colour, drooping ears, as well as its production characteristics. Today the modern Duroc has a good reputation for fast growth rates and lean carcasses.

The disadvantages of the modern breed are that they are more suited to intensive productions systems with commercial feed rations, and do not always have the good temperament of some of the other breeds of pigs.

The Duroc also became well known for its ability to produce lean carcasses in crossbreeding systems, and is often regarded as a premier terminal sire.

Worldwide the numbers of Duroc pigs is still high, although in New Zealand their numbers have remained relatively low as they have not been as popular as the more traditional English breeds.


Duroc sow and boar – photo by Karen NicollDuroc sow and boar