The characteristics of Berkshire pigs include a deep sided body, a strongly arched back, short neck and short legs. Their hide is black with white face, legs and tail, and the skin beneath is pink. Because of the dark hide, the pig is resistant to sunburn.
The Berkshire has strong feet and a short snout, with a nose that is upturned in profile. The face is a bit dished in and features large jowls, while the ears are erect and medium-sized. The pig has a friendly disposition, and the sows make good mothers. They are easy to handle at exhibitions.
The meat of Berkshire hog is prized for its tenderness and its capacity to hold on to water, which contributes to its juiciness. It does not shrink as much during cooking. The meat is darker than usual, which is also preferred by most customers.
A grown Berkshire hog is a medium-sized to large animal and can weigh up to 600 pounds. They have been bred for their meat for over 300 years. The breed began in England and is the oldest line of purebred hog in the United States. The American Berkshire Association was founded on February 25, 1875, and the first boar of record, Ace of Spades, was bred by Queen Victoria.