In 1823, a red boar, whose parents were probably taken
from England, was obtained by Isaac Frink of Milton in Saratoga, New York.
Frink had obtained the boar from a man named Harry Kelsey. Kelsey owned a
famous trotting stallion, named Duroc, and Frink named his red boar in honor of
that horse. That boars progeny continued the Duroc pig name and many of his
offspring inherited his color, quick growth and maturity, deep body, sturdy ham
and shoulder, and quiet disposition. Today that pigs descendants are called
At the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair, Duroc pigs gained
wide popularity at the first successful Duroc pig show. This was only the
beginning of the Duroc pig popularity and success which continues today. They
are now the second most common breed of pigs in the United States. They are
also a major breed in many other countries, especially as a sire or in hybrids.
Durocs have floppy ears and can range from a very light
golden to a very dark red that is like mahogany.
The first organization for the purpose of recording,
improving, and supporting Red Hogs was the American Duroc-Jersey Association,
established in 1883. No other breed of hogs made more progress, in terms of
numbers recorded, over a period of years. As a result, numerous other recording
organizations were formed to accommodate the growth in popularity. In 1934, all
the groups were united to form one organization, named the United Duroc Swine
Registry, for the sole purpose of recording and promoting the Duroc pig breed.
When the U.S. population moved westward, the Duroc pig
and many noted breeders moved west as well. Most of the breed improvement after
the formation took place in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and
Nebraska. Duroc pigs have become a sire of choice to the American farmers. The
climb of the breed has been accelerated by many distinguished accomplishments
in prolificness and longevity in the female line, lean gain efficiency, carcass
yield, and product quality as a terminal sire. The purebred Duroc pig is
distinguished for breed potency in today's picture of pig’s improvement and
holds forth inviting promise of future usefulness and value.
Duroc pigs were identified as a superior genetic source
for improving eating qualities of pork in the recent National Pork Producers
Council Terminal Sire Line Evaluation. Their advantage in muscle quality
combined with their well-established ability to grow fast has positioned the
Duroc breed as an outstanding terminal sire choice.