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The iberian pig

1 BREEDS

The Iberian pig is divided into the following breeds:

Black Iberian Pig

This breed is sub-divided into two types: smooth-skinned and short-haired. Within the Iberian breeds, this is the one that has the highest proportion of fat. It is found in the provinces of Cáceres, Córdoba and Badajoz, especially centred around Jerez de los Caballeros and Fregenal de la Sierra.

Red Iberian Pig

This is the most prevalent breed, found in the provinces of Córdoba, Sevilla, Badajoz, Cáceres, Salamanca, Toledo and Ciudad Real.

Blond Iberian Pig

This breed is sub-divided into two types: grey-haired (rubia campiñesa) and golden (dorada gaditana) which are found in the province of Córdoba, the countryside of Seville and mainly in the province of Cádiz.

Spotted or Jabugo Pig

These days, there are very few of this breed that once flourished in the northern mountains of the province of Huelva. It is blond with black spots and its origins appear to stem from the cross-breeding of red Iberian pigs with the English Large-White and Berkshire breeds.

Pure bred iberian pigs

2. CROSS BREEDING WITH IBERIAN PIGS

It is becoming more frequent to cross breed Iberian pigs with the American Duroc-Jersey breed. This cross provides a series of breeding-related benefits, as well as some drawbacks nearly always linked to a loss of quality and sensory attributes in products derived from this cross breeding.

Cross breeding benefits

- A greater number of offspring per sow and per litter

- Higher growth rate

- Faster maturity rate of the piglets

- Lower piglet mortality rate during weaning

- A higher percentage of lean meat.

- Greater profitability due to a shorter breeding cycle

Cross breeding disadvantages

- Poorer quality charcuterie

- Its best cuts (jamón, paleta and lomo) do not attain, during the curing process, the qualities that are central to 100% Iberian pork products.

- The meat does not have the exquisite taste of 100% Iberian pig as it lacks its permeation of fat.