One of the most popular breeds of swine in America is the Duroc. The Duroc is an older breed of domestic American hog. The Duroc is used to create hybrid vigor for many mixed-breed commercial hogs. Duroc hogs are usually red in color. They are large-framed, of medium length, and quite muscular. They are also noted by their partially drooping ears and seem to be one of the more aggressive of the swine breeds.
The Duroc breed actually began in America. It was one of the several red color pig strains bred around 1800 in the New England area. Experts say that it was named after a famous thoroughbred stallion of the day. The modern Duroc breed as we know it was originated about 1830. It resulted from crosses of the Jersey Red and New York’s older Duroc breed.
Later, in the 1950s, the breed started being used as show hogs. This was especially evident when FFA livestock show contests became more popular. A common practice of FFA chapters (a unit at a local school) was to form a “pig chain.” A pig chain was a plan whereby the FFA chapter would buy some breeding sows of good quality and share the gilts (sexually immature females) with members. This was an effort to spread good genetics to local farms, and, teach the members about improving their livestock through selective breeding practices.
The Duroc breed was a favorite for use in these pig chains. This is evident in that mixed breed hogs often revert to the red body color. This is even true in wild, or feral, hog populations. In many wild hog herds, it seems that red is the dominant color.