Duroc breed of pig characteristics, origin pros and cons

Duroc breed of Pig Characteristics, Origin, History, Facts and Information

Before purchasing the Duroc breed of pig for keeps, it is essential that you understand in detail, the characteristics of this breed of pig.

The Duroc breed of pig is one of the oldest breeds of domestic pig and are a popular breed among breeders.

Rated one of the most productive pig breeds, the Duroc is worth a great mention in the pig farming industry.

In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about the Duroc pig breed, its characteristics and history.

You will also understand why the Duroc pig breed is one of the best breeds of pigs as pets and also for commercial pig farming.

In addition, you will understand the advantages of keeping the Duroc breed of pig, their disadvantages and the possible challenges of having Duroc pigs around.

What is the origin and history of Duroc pigs?

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Several theories are surrounding the origin of the Duroc breed of pig with its exact origin still unknown as at the time of putting out this article.

A theory has it that the Duroc breed of pig originated from the Guinea coast of Africa and was transported into England during the slave trade.

And in 1800, the breed was developed in New England as a result of crossbreeding.

Even though the breed has different colours, it is believed that the popular red colour of the Duroc breed of pig came from Berkshire pig (This breed is now black but was brown at that time)

The name “Duroc” is believed to have come from Napoleon Aide’s (Gen. Duroc) racehorse or Harry Kelsey’s stallion.

The recent developed Duroc pigs are believed to have originated from mixing of the Jersey Red and New York’s older Duroc around1850.

As at that time, they were called the “Duroc-Jersey pig in honour of their parent types (Jersey Red and New York).

The Duroc breed of pig was used for entertainment in the early 1950s, but their other amazing characteristics weakened the idea of using them for entertainment.

Duroc pig facts

The Duroc pig breed is a more mature type of domestic breed of pig, they are one of the oldest breeds of pig and a large-sized pig breed until they became fully domesticated and mixed with other breeds of pig.

They are a gentle and calm breed of pigs that can be raised as pets or for commercial purposes. It is safe to say; they are a multipurpose pig breed.

They are popularly known for their attention-seeking nature and can go a long way just to grab owners attention.

Duroc pigs are smart and can learn new ideas fast, they are also passionate about their owners and go to the wire just to protect their owners especially when trained as pets.

Duroc pig breed characteristics?

Duroc pigs have amazing characteristics that we can group into physical and behavioural characteristics.

Let’s look at these characters.

Physical Duroc pig breed characteristics?

1. Size

Even as large as Duroc pigs may look to the eyes, they are still a medium-sized breed with a moderately long body structure and noticeable muscle growth.

 2. Muscle 

In contrast to other breeds with a lot of fat, Duroc pigs have a lot of muscle-building and are recognized for their rapid but precise muscular development.

3. Body

Duroc pigs have a moderate loner body structure that becomes muscular as they grow.

Under proper management, they appear larger than other pig breeds.

4. Tusks:

The development of tusks is a universal trait among different breeds of pig and Duroc pigs are not an exception to this.

A Duroc pig

The tusks of the female Duroc are short and barely grow, they are sometimes used to differentiate a sow from a boar 

5. Colour

Duroc pigs can be of different colours, though they are popular with dark red colour, Duroc can also bear colours ranging from light golden shades to reddish-brown.

Their uncertainty came from numerous crossings with other breeds of pig.

6. Head

Duroc pigs have a medium-large head with slightly curved faces, their heads are always straight with small eyes which causes poor sight. 

Poor sightedness is a popular character in most pig breeds and the Duroc is not an exception.

7. Ears

Instead of being erect, this breed’s ears are huge and curled.

Their hearing is quite active and sensitive, unlike their eyes.

8. Weight

The early Duroc pigs weigh up to a thousand (1000) pounds but in recent times, a mature boar weighs up to 88s pounds (400kg) while a mature female Duroc weighs up to 772 pounds (350kg).

9. Duroc Pig Snout

Duroc breed of pig

Duroc pigs have a large snout (Another name for Snout is nose), their snout is very sensitive to touch and smell due to their powerful sense of smell. 

10. Teeth

Although their teeth are not sharp, they can chew food pretty well.

Their teeth may be fairly sharp when they are born, but this sharpness will fade with time.

Despite the fact that their teeth aren’t sharp, you should avoid coming into contact with their bites, it can be hurtful because they exact so much pressure on them.

12. Tail

The tails of Duroc pigs are usually curled and short and are sometimes used by the animals to fight insects.

They use their tail to chasing insects away from regions where their legs and mouths are unable to reach.

13. Duroc pig hooves and nails

Duroc pigs, like several other pet animals, require nail clipping.

If you want to keep Duroc pigs as pets, you need to trim their hooves and dewclaws frequently.

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Even if they are trained outdoor, they still need to be clipped at least once or twice a year.

Behavioural characteristics of duroc pig

1. Behaviour of Duroc pig

Duroc pigs aren’t really aggressive, this makes them a pleasant breed when groomed in an environment that promotes social interaction.

They’re also appealing and tidy.

Furthermore, because they are socialized, they can become autonomous animals.

2. Temperament

Animal rearing necessitates a great deal of oversight and management.

Duroc pigs are easy to manage due to their gentle nature.

But this can change if you deny them being socialized, they can get very aggressive when they are caged and not made to feel loved.

It’s like their whole existence is threatened, aggression is their only way to show displeasure.

3. Ability to learn fast 

Duroc pigs have very fast learning ability, they can grab instructions fast.

They are not only good at grabbing instructions; they are good at retaining ideas.

4. Adaptability capacity 

Most breeds of pig are very unlikely to survive in an environment considered not suitable for pig production.

Not the Duroc, Durocs have thick-coated, hard-skinned bodies that allow them to withstand both hot and cold climates or any sudden change in their environment.

They respond to cold weather by making their coat excessively thick to shield them from the cold’s harmful effects.

When the weather is hot, they lose their coat and appear to be virtually shaven.

5. Rate of growth 

As stated before, they are fast-growing animals, when kept healthy, Duroc is more likely to grow faster.

All they need is proper care and feeding.

6. Smartness 

Pigs are among the smartest animals in the world, though this may come as a shock to many because pigs are believed to be unintelligent by many, this is wrong.

Pigs are smart; they are not just expressive of their smartness.

The Duroc is not an exception to this; they are highly intelligent animals.

This can be demonstrated in how quickly they grab and retain knowledge, particularly fundamental motions.

They’re also focused and quick on their feet. They have the ability to predict their owner’s mood and try to explore your feeling at a given time.

7. Response to danger 

Duroc pigs get aggressive when they sense danger, they dislike feeling endangered and once they are made to feel so, they respond aggressively.

To maintain a good relationship with a Duroc pig, you must not make them feel threatened in any way.

8. Compassion

The Duroc breed’s extraordinary intelligence makes it easier for them to understand people and get to show concern when they feel you are sad.

They are mentally capable of experiencing both happy and negative emotions.

They, like people, might be sad, happy, or depressed.

9. Breeding in Duroc breed of pig

It’s vital to feed these pigs correctly and keep them healthy at all times.

This is due to the fact that their overall health affects their ability to create litter.

Although some pig breeds can produce 5-10 piglets in a litter, depending on how well they are fed, Duroc can produce 10-15 piglets or even more.

Duroc sows are also fantastic mothers that care for their offspring.

They reach sexual maturity at the age of six (6) months and can reproduce between the ages of six (6) months and one (1) year.

10. Resistivity 

Probably one of the most appreciated characters of the Duroc breed of pig, they have the ability to resist changes in their environment.

Changes such as climate can affect livestock positively or negatively, Duroc pigs ability to adapt to changes makes them highly resistant to such impact.

11. Duroc pig Meat quality

Duroc pigs have evenly distributed fat, they weigh high and therefore have one of the best quality meats.

With a good preservative mechanism, the Duroc pig meat can last for a long period.

Their meat is dark red when slaughtered, their meat can also be costly because of their quality.

Duroc pig pros and cons

Keeping the Duroc pig has both advantages and disadvantages. Just like there are numerous advantages of keeping the Duroc pig, there are challenges one might encounter while rearing the Duroc pig.

Below are the Duroc pros and cons.

What are the Duro pig advantages?

1. Duroc pigs are easy to rear

Duroc pig breed is calm and gentle, this makes them easy to keep, you can rear them around children.

They are kid-loving, but I do hope your kid understand that Duroc dislikes being harmed in any way.

They may be forced to respond aggressively when hurt.

Aside from scenarios of this nature, they are easy to rear because of the little management demand.

2. Duroc love to be clean

If you intend to keep Duroc as a pet, you have got no issues, they love their surroundings clean.

This pig will not be able to live in a filthy and disorderly environment.

They hardly mess with their surrounding as well, unless they are not provided with options on how to manage their waste.

Young pig enjoyed sunshine at animal farm summertime

To aid them in maintaining cleanliness, you can designate a part of their home as a toilet.

They also love to cool off in a pool of water, so, you can just provide a pool of water for them.

Constantly change the water, if you fail to provide a pool of water for them, they may get attracted to muddy water when they find one.

3. They are not aggressive when properly provided for

With proper management, they show no form of aggression therefore, keeping them will not be a hard knock to crack.

You only need to provide them with quality food, a neat home to live and space because of their large body size.

4. Duroc pigs make great pets

Duroc pigs are social and emotional creatures. They are also intelligent.

Their capacity to be both obedient and intelligent makes keeping them more advantageous to other breeds.

They will live healthy and pleasant life if they are properly loved and cared for.

They are also passionate about their owners and can risk anything to keep their owners safe.

So, to make a great pet out of the Duroc breed of pig, provide them with quality care.

5. Duroc pig breed is not costly to maintain

If you are rearing Duroc pig for commercial purposes, you can worry less about maintenance costs.

Pigs of the Duroc breed are easy to keep and maintain at a reasonable cost.

With good food, they hardly get ill, this saves you the cost of medication.

They are rarely sick if their environment is kept clean, they eat well, and they are comfortable.

Despite the fact that they will eat whatever you give them, some foods can affect their immune system and overall health.

You can carefully experiment on their reaction towards any food material before making it their regular food.

4. Duroc pig breed can be reared in a mixed farm

If you want to rear Duroc pig breed with other breeds, they don’t have any problem.

Duroc can be kept together with even other animals such as goats as long as the other animals do not litter their surrounding which could make them uncomfortable.

What are Duro pig disadvantages?

1. Raising Duroc pig can be time-consuming

Duroc loves attention and gets annoyed when ignore all the time, this can be time-consuming.

In this situation, it is best your raise Duroc with other pigs or raise more than one Duroc pig.

But if you have the time to spend with your Duroc pigs, why not, they are lovely to be with.

2. To keep Duroc pig, you need a large space

To rear Duroc pig, you need a lot of space, this is because they love to occupy enough space also, this can be attributed to their large size.

They love to be free, move around their surroundings, play if they find a playmate.

To enjoy total freedom, Duroc pigs can go as far as breaking their house, so it’s better to keep them in a closed area where they have space to explore.

So, if you desire to raise Duroc pigs, ensure you have enough space because without enough space.

You will definitely encounter challenges with Duroc pigs. 

3. They can be found eating anything

One thing about the Duroc breed of pig is that they eat a wide range of food and therefore may take harmful ones along with good ones.

This usually happens when they are raised outdoor, 

If they are not properly monitored, they can take in harmful materials. This is why it’s important you monitor your pigs and what they eat.

If you intend to keep them outdoor, then you have got a lot of work to do in checkmating what they eat outdoor.

Due to their quest to move around when raised outdoor, they can also be infected if their movement is not regulated.

4. Duroc pigs are very emotional

Just like a baby, Duroc pig once they pick information, they hold on to it.

Little actions could be retained and evaluated negatively or positively by Duroc pigs

Duroc pigs are extremely emotional and are incredibly susceptible to your demeanour.

Always provide friends for your pigs so they can socialize and engage.

5. Duroc pigs can be aggressive when provoked

Duroc pigs are very much attached to those around them, this makes them feel hurt when they are provoked, more like they do not expect provocations from those to whom they feel attached.

Their inability to control their actions when desperate can be a huge problem.

They go destructive under this circumstance, violence is not the best answer is not for an angry Duroc pig.

This does not also mean that you shouldn’t correct their actions, over pampering the Duroc isn’t the best option as well because it can make them feel they can get away with virtually everything.

Popular questions about  Duroc Pigs

Is the Duroc pig good for commercial pig farming?

Yes, the Duroc breed of pig is an excellent breed for pig farming and they possess the following characteristics which make them good for commercial pig farming.

1. The Duroc breed of pigs is fast-growers

The ability for a pig breed to grow fast is a unique quality every pig farmer appreciates, this is because the faster your pigs grow, the faster your farm grows.

The Duroc pig breed is fast growers, they take a shorter time to grow to maturity.

2. Duroc pigs have a high reproductive capacity

High reproductive capacity is another amiable feature of Duroc pigs that makes them commercial pig farmers favourite.

Unlike in some breeds of pig, the duroc breed of pig has high reproductive capacity.

The doe can produce from 10 to 17 piglets when properly cared for.

This is one quality that makes them a good fit for commercial pig farming.

Every pig farmer wants a breed of pig that can give as many piglets as possible in a single reproductive circle.

3. Duroc pigs are not hostile

No pig farmer wants to keep pigs that fight all other breeds of pigs on their farm.

It’s a red flag for farmers, you want a calm non-violent pig breed. 

Duroc pigs are naturally calm and gentle, so, if you want a peaceful pig farm, then the Duroc pigs are a good fit for your farm.

They are less stressful to rear. 

4. The Duroc pigs are friendly

While they appear large, Duroc pigs are very friendly and make good companions.

They are not stress-loving, they love to feel loved and always stay close if they feel loved.

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They also live peacefully with other animals, they are not violent, they can grow comfortably in farms with other animals. 

So, if you intend to rear Duroc pigs with other animals, that is just fine.

5. Duroc pigs are great meat producers

One exciting thing about this breed is that after you slaughter one Duroc, you will be amazed at the large meat quantity that will be cut out.

The above qualities are the distinguishing characters that make the duroc breed of pig an excellent breed for commercial pig farming.

6. Duroc pigs have a good adaptative ability.

Another interesting character of the Duroc breed of pig is that they can adapt to any appreciable environment, so, if you intend to rear this pig breed.

You only need to provide them with a home, food and favourable condition.

They can get along with new environmental conditions, it can be reared in areas with cold weather conditions as well as in hot climatic conditions.

7. Duroc pigs eat a wide variety of materials

Feeding is one aspect of livestock farming that can be very costly, data from our research on poultry farming shows that feeding takes an average of 38% to 48.8% of the total cost of production.

Duroc pigs just like very few other breeds of pigs eat a wide range of food. This makes keeping them affordable.

Are Duroc pigs good mothers?

Duroc pigs are good mothers, they are calm and non-violent and love to take care of their young ones.

A mother Duroc pig breast-feeding young pigs

Duroc pigs are naturally caring that make good mothers.

Are Duroc pigs good for meat?

Yes, Duroc pigs are good for meat, they have a high meat to bone ratio and produce large meat.

Looking at their large body size, you don’t need to be told how good of meat producers they are.

Duroc pig doesn’t just produce meat, their meat retains moisture and can be very inviting.

How long do Duroc pigs live?

The Duroc pig has a long life span, their life expectancy spans between 10 to 20 years depending on how well they are cared for.

Duroc pigs are much stronger breeds of pigs, this has made them able to survive for a longer period.

If you want to get the best out of your Duroc pig, provide them with quality care and you may just have for yourself a “friend” for a long period.

It is safe to say that the level of care provided to a Duroc pig goes a long way in determining how long it lives.

Are Duroc pigs good pets?

Yes, Duroc pigs are good as pets, even with their large body size, they can be trained indoors.

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They are popular for their ability to learn fast and stay happy, therefore, keeping a Duroc as a pet won’t be a bad idea, since they are always ready to acquire know idea.

With their fast learning and sensitive nature, training your Duroc pig won’t be stressful.

What are Duroc pigs known for?

Duroc pigs are popularly known for their litter production ability as well as their capacity to produce meat.

A single Duroc Sow can produce 10 to 15 piglets in a single reproductive circle.

When slaughtered, they produce enough meat, reason, they are also good for commercial farming.

What is duroc pigs used for?

Duroc pig uses are numerous, in the early time, Duroc pigs were used for entertainment, though this changed with time.

Currently, Duroc pigs are majorly used as a source of meat and for pet purposes, in slaughterhouses, they are a highly rated meat source.

Are Duroc pigs good for crossbreeding?

Yes, Duroc pigs are good for crossbreeding their history emanated from cross-breeding.

Their unique qualities make them good for cross-breeding, they can be crossed with many other breeds to produce a more unique type of pig.

Crossing a Duroc pig with another breed (say Landrace) will produce an improved breed of pig.

Are Duroc pigs aggressive?

Duroc pigs are not aggressive, they are naturally calm and peace-loving but you mustn’t get them to the point they have to fight back.

When provoked, they show aggression by making noise, exhibiting restlessness and moving from point to point.

They get calm with time; fighting is always their last option in the face of provocation.

What is the habitat requirement for raising Duroc pigs as pets?

To raise Duroc pigs as a pet, you need to prepare a good home for them, not just a home but one known for neatness.

Of course, they are large, so, we are looking at a large space for them.

You must not also forget that they love to move around, therefore, their home must bear such space.

Notably, they do not entertain much noise, so, no sound system.


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You just have to prepare to live by their terms else, it will end in a rough relationship.

The good thing is that they are easily trainable, so you can gradually train them to become what you want them to be.

As long as you show them empathy, they will remain calm and easy-going.

What is the space requirement for Duroc pigs?

Duroc pigs prefer to be in an area where they may walk around freely.

If you desire to keep them as pets, ensure you make their room large enough that they can walkabout.

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Their need for space increases as they grow, so, if you can make their home adjustable, that will be fine.

Once they lack space to move around, they exhibit uncomfortable behaviour to protect their current pain.

Can a Duroc pig bite?

Biting is not a character associated with Duroc pig but while not, they can bite when the need arises.

Duroc can bite, though their teeth are not sharp, they exact much pressure when they want to bite.

This can cause injuries to their victim. Let’s just say, the best way to ensure Duroc pigs don’t bite is to avoiding provoking them to the point of biting.

They rarely bite but who said it’s not possible, when they feel threatened, biting is inevitable. 

What is Duroc pig food?

Duroc pigs are very much like any other pig breed when it comes to feeding.

They eat a wide range of food just like several other breeds of pig.

One thing you must do for your Duroc with its food is to avoid feeding meat or any meat product, it is not healthy for them.

What is Duroc pig weight?

When properly managed, a mature Duroc boar is expected to have an average weight of   400 kg (882 pounds) while the Sow is around 350 kg (772 pounds).

Feeding and many factors can contribute to the weight of your pig.

So, to get the best weight out of your Duroc pig, ensure you manage them very well.

Feed them properly and on time.

Does Duroc pig grow fast?

Under properly feeding, the Duroc pig is a fast-growing pig breed, they can mature between, Six (6) to Eight (8) months of age.

In most cases, they can get pregnant earlier than expected when exposed to boars. 

How much does a Duroc pig cost?

Duroc pigs are usually costly, this is because of their large size and meat-producing nature, their price varies from place to place.

But what is certain is that you won’t get Duroc pigs on at a cheap rate unless they are not in good condition.

Duroc is a costly breed of pig.

Summary of duroc breed of pig

Duroc pigs are very unique in their characters and are a good pig breed for pig farming.

This is because they possess qualities such as high meat production, high disease and drought resistivity, ability to adapt to changes in the environment and high reproductive ability.

They also do not require high maintenance and are easy to handle, their calm and interactive nature is an added advantage to their owners.

All you need is to keep them on a good diet, clean their pens and you are on course for high production. 

The only challenge you are likely to face is providing enough space for them, this is because they require large space due to their large body size.

But then, is this even a problem? I don’t think so.

Duroc pigs eat a wide range of food, therefore, you will spend less sourcing for their food.

They also, hardly get sick, this will save you a lot from medication and vaccination.

They are also very social, so, you have yourself, great friends, on your pig farm.

Ref: Wikipedia

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