Hereford Pigs, also known as Hereford Hogs, are a rare breed of meat pigs originating from the United States. They bear a resemblance in coloration to Hereford cattle and were developed between 1920 and 1925 from a mix of Duroc, Poland China, and potentially some Chester White or Hampshire pigs. The official Hereford registry was established by 1934, marking their recognition as a distinct breed.
These pigs are renowned for their hardiness, making them suitable for both extensive and intensive production systems. They exhibit a docile temperament, which renders them well-suited for use in programs like 4-H and similar agricultural initiatives. Classified as a medium to large swine breed, Hereford Pigs typically reach weights of 200 to 250 pounds (90 to 110 kg) by five or six months of age. Mature sows can weigh around 600 pounds (270 kg) and boars approximately 800 pounds (360 kg).
Historically, Hereford Pigs were most popular in the Midwestern United States, particularly in states like Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. However, their numbers dwindled in the mid-20th century as commercial pork operations shifted preference towards hybrids over purebred hogs. Today, the population of breeding Hereford Pigs is limited, with only around 2,000 remaining individuals. Despite their rarity, Hereford Pigs continue to be valued for their unique characteristics and contributions to the heritage of American swine breeds.