Meishan pigs are an incredibly unique pig that up to now has not been fully utilized to its potential in North America. The Meishan defies all classical descriptions of typical swine behavior. Meishans have the lowest environmental impact of any hog breed on pastures and woodlots. 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. Meishans are a true grazing hog. Adult Meishans do not squeal or scream(unless in heat).They are an incredibly sedentary pigs that sleeps most of the day.You often have to wake Meishans up to feed them. Meishans thrive on pasture While they do not grow as fast as commercial breeds their growth typically outpaces that of other popular heritage breeds.Their large litters and 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. The 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.
Meishan meat is an incomparable combination of tenderness,succulence and flavor. Meishans produce an intensely micro marbled red meat pork. Meishan lard and fats are significantly lighter,finer and render at lower temperatures than other breeds. The result is incredibly tender meat as compared to more common swine breeds. Meishan Banyou is the is the highest grade oil on the hog derived from caul fat which surrounds he internal organs. Banyou is prized in baking and cooking alike for its finer grain and lighter on the pallet taste than commerical hog lards. Meishans come from a region in China where hogs have been domesticated for over 500o years. Meishans have been prized for their tenderness and flavor for centuries in both China and Japan. Quite literally Kobe is the “Meishan Pork of beef” in these countries. Meishans have been selectively bred over that time for profligacy, temperament and flavor. Today farmers foodies and Chefs alike are discovering the incredible flavor of the Meishan pig. A Meishan won the prestigious 2016 Denver COCHON 555 hog “nose to tail” chef competition .
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 an excellent choice. Breeders wanting a docile hog for home use no longer have to settle for smaller breeds(with smaller cuts of meat).The Meishan is simply a larger ,faster growing, more docile and less destructive pig.
Breeders today have a unique opportunity to not only preserve this breed in North America but to pioneer that effort.
Meishans...Perfection 5000 years in the making