This breed is from the United States of America, although it has now spread all over the world, for its high growth rate and quality of meat; which is very lean and has a high level of infiltration fat which is excellent for the production of serrano ham. It has a high rate of growth and with regards to reproducing it is only slightly below the Landrace and the Large White breeds. It is usually used as the paternal line when cross-breeding, it has also been used in the maternal line, but less frequently; even though it has greater resisitance, the Large White and the Landrace are better choices for the maternal line. In Spain it is usualy used to make crosses with other pigs for the production of serrano ham or with Landrace or Large White to create breeds suitable for the maternal line.
It is used very frequently to make Iberian hams and cuts of pork tenderloin, also it is used through cross-breeding for the production of white pig products such as Trévelez ham or Teruel ham and for the production of Iberian ham products: Huelva ham, Guijuelo ham and Extremadura ham.
Although the Duroc pig is from the USA it has spread all over the world for its qualities in the production of Iberian ham.
Their high prolificacy should be emphasized (they usually have large litters), along with their good meat production, good adaptation to the environment, resistance to diseases and hot climates. For these reasons this breed is widely used to make crosses.
Its main characteristics are:
- Normal size and length, medium. The males can reach up to 195 Kg. in weight and the females up to 150 Kg. They have a lot of straight hair.
- Colour: its skin is somewhere between brick red and light red.
- Head: usually small, with sunken profile.
- Ears: medium in size, fallen, with the tips facing downwards, but does not affect its vision.
- Neck: small, joins well with the trunk.
- Shoulders: robust, well developed and good incorporation with the trunk
- Back: rather wide, muscular, convex, can be straight if they are well formed, mainly the younger ones.
- Spine: has a convex form, rather robust, long and muscular, more accomplished in its middle part.
- Thorax: rather sunken and wide, tight and interspersed ribs.
- Abdomen:grouped, straight in its lower part, it has at least twelve teats in regular form.
- Rump: quite long and robust, with convex form and goes down to the tail.
- Buttocks and thighs: quite full, hard and oval-shaped.
- Tail: not very high up,
but well embedded.