Meishan pigs are named for the
Chinese prefecture of Meishan. They are classified
as a type of Taihu pig which are all from the narrow region of mild
sub-tropical climate around the Taihu Lake region in Shanghai.
Meishan pigs are small to medium-sized with large
drooping ears and wrinkled black skin. They are best known for its large
litters of 15-16 piglets. Due to their fecundity, they were introduced into the
United States under a cooperative effort of the USDA, the University of
Illinois, and Iowa State University. This effort also imported Fengjing and
Minzhu pigs from China. A total of 144 pigs from these breeds were shipped to
the United States. Iowa State University received 22 Meishan females and 10
Meishan boars from this shipment on July 27, 1989.
The breeds imported from China are
slow growing and fat, but have a very good taste. They are considered to be
resistant to some diseases and are able to consume large amounts of roughage.
Meishan pigs are well fed and managed, being fed farm by-products and water
plants, as well as concentrates.