Why Meishan

Why Meishan:

Meishan pigs are an incredibly unique pig that up to now has not been fully utilized to its potential in the United States. The Meishan defies all classical descriptions of typical swine behavior. They are a true grazing hog. None of our Meishans are destructive to our pastures. They have the lowest environmental impact of any hog breed on pastures. Meishans do not test fences. Meishans do not harass or attack other livestock. Meishans can survive and thrive on a diet much higher in roughage. Adult Meishans do not squeal or scream.They are an incredibly sedentary pigs that sleeps most of the day.We often have to wake our Meishans up to feed them.While they do not grow as fast as commercial breeds their growth typically outpaces that of popular heritage breeds. We find that on adequate pasture with minimal supplemental feed our bloodlines can reach 250 – 300+ lbs in 8.5  to 10.5 months. Their large litters and superior mothering capabilities also set them apart from popular heritage breeds. As important is the fact that when other breeds of hogs are crossed with Meishan hogs the offspring have shown (in study after study ) a tendency to demonstrate heterosis or hybrid vigor.That is the characteristics of the resultant offspring are superior to either of its parents.

Growth Rates, Heterosis and Inbreeding depression:


Meishan Boston Butt with fat cap on Photo Compliments of Jensen Reserve

Meishan Boston Butt with fat cap on Photo Compliments of Jensen Reserve

Meishan Belly Photo Compliments of Jensen Reserve

Meishan Belly Photo Compliments of Jensen Reserve

We believe that heteroisis or hybrid vigor is involved in these excellent growth rates (as compared to other Lard carcass heritage breeds) . While heterosis generally refers to crossing different breeds the three Meishan bloodlines were documented  by the Blackburn study to be genetically differentiated from each other. Conversely we also believe that inbreeding depression has negatively impacted some of the breeding stock that traces to the dispersal of the third research facility on or around 2008-2010 .Inbreeding depression can express itself in reduced size , reduced litter sizes , poor structure and poor health and vitality. Only by generationally re-breeding these pigs and their offspring to differentiated bloodlines can their unique genetic profiles be retained in a healthy breeder pool.And that should be done.All pure Meishans have a role to play in the preservation of the breed.The genetic health of any animal,herd or even breed is both a factor of genetic purity and genetic diversity. Studies have estimated over 2000 years of genetic separation between Meishans and European breeds. That separation can only be maintained if genetic contamination by domestic breeds or “graded up” examples of Meishan pigs  Step one in evaluating your breeding stock should be knowing the purity and genealogy of your breeding candidates. Unfortunately during our research on the breed we noticed a disturbing trend among some “breeders” claiming  to have “pure Meishans” who actually now very little about their parentage or levels of relativity of their herd or its offspring. Some never actually show pictures of their breeding stock.Nor do they discuss size, structure  or growth rates of their bloodlines. Very often all photographs of “their stock” were actually pulled from the internet (from zoo and research herd websites).In some cases these “breeders” are merely brokering entire litters of piglets from undocumented backgrounds or exotic animal auctions. We feel that an evaluation of the source breeding stock, a knowledge of the lineage and bloodlines of that stock and an unquestioned confidence in purity and genetic health is the right of any purchaser of Meishan pigs. For this reason we are deeply involved in the efforts of the American Meishan Breeders Association . The A.M.B.A. is developing the first on-line pedigree database for the breed and is working closely with the Livestock Conservancy to assess the worldwide population of verifiably pure Meishans.

We hope you will join us in this effort to preserve this unique and special breed of hog.

he hyper productivity of the hog and its documented superior mothering abilities means that farmers can maintain smaller less expensive breeding herds to get the same number of piglets to use or sell. A Meishan won the prestigious hog “nose to tail” COCHON 555 Denver 2016 chef competition .

Pure Meishan Ham Roast.Photo compliments of Jake Young

Pure Meishan Ham Roast.Photo compliments of Jake Young of Jakes Krazy Acres Farm IA.

Whether an efficient lard hog for the sustainable small holder homestead or as a component in a small to medium size craft pork operation the Meishan is a superior choice. Breeders wanting a docile hog for home use no longer have to settle for smaller breeds(with smaller cuts of meat) like AGH or Kune  Kune .The Meishan is simply a larger ,faster growing, more docile  and less destructive pig.

Other breeders wanting to take their meat operations to a truly profitable level can now add to their litter sizes,teat numbers,marbling ,flavor ,fat quality and in some cases improve growth rates by incorporating Meishans in their breeder herds.

Find out why we say

                                                               Meishans...Perfection 5000 years in the making