Berkshire Breed Standards

DNA Testing and Reporting 

On June 5, 2011 the ABA Board of Directors passed Standard Procedures for DNA Testing and Reporting of Results. To view this policy, click here. These procedures will apply any time an animal is supposed to be stress negative, but does not stress test as negative. This includes an animal tested at a Team Purebred junior show (all Champion and Reserve barrow, gilts and market hogs will be tested in 2011), any animal that is purchased at an ABA show/sale or purchased private treaty.


Ideal Berkshire Brochure

Update to Constitution and Bylaws – goes into effect with pigs farrowed 11/1/15 and after
ARTICLE XIX - Markings and Identification Requirements
Section 1.  Color.  The ideal color pattern is black with six white points (face, four socks, tip of tail). Less desirable, but acceptable, are sandy colored hair in the areas where white and black border.   Color Qualifications for Registration (boars, gilts and barrows must meet the following color requirements in order to be recorded): A Berkshire must have white on the face and tail, unless the tail is docked.  Three of four legs must be white.   A Berkshire must not have a spotted or mottling pattern – an intermixture of black and white and/or red hair that is larger than a contiguous 93.5 square inches area anywhere on the body of a mature pig (approximately a 8 ½ x 11 square inch area, on a 50 lb pig, this would be equivalent to 15 square inches, or a 3 x 5 area).   A Berkshire must not have an area of white skin that exceeds 93.5 square inches of contiguous solid white skin on the upper 2/3 of the body (15 square inches on a 50 lb pig).  A Berkshire cannot have white skin or hair that continuously encircles the body anywhere between the base of the ear and the base of the tail.    From the base of the ear forward, a Berkshire cannot be solid white. A Berkshire cannot have any skin color besides black and white (includes red or sandy colored skin).

Section 2. Ear Carriage.  The ideal ear carriage is ridged and tight.  Less desirable, but acceptable, ear carriage is: a) ears that are larger than astatically pleasing and b) ear carriage that lacks rigidity.

Section 3.  Identification Requirements.  No animal shall be eligible to record unless it is distinctively ear-notched at farrowing time.  All pigs from the same litter must carry the same litter notch.  When individual ear-notches are used, the right ear shall be used for the litter notch and the left ear for individual notch, in accordance with the official Berkshire ear-notching system.  Official ear-notching system available on request.  No two litters on the farm shall be ear-notched the same during the same farrowing season, which may be interpreted as being between January 1 through June 30 and July 1 through December 31 of each year.

Section 4.  Disqualification for Registration of Breeding animals.  The presence of one or more of the following are disqualifications for registration: a) less than 12 teats, b) the presence of one or more swirls on upper half of the body, c) total blindness, d) rectal or uterine prolapse, e) hermaphroditism, f) atresia ani; g) cryptorchidism or monorchidism; h) scrotal and/or umbilical hernia,  and i) ear carriage that “breaks” to the point in which ears are continually directed in a downward angle.