9 Cold Hardy Pig Breeds for Chilly Climates

A pig is an animal that comes under the category of mammals. When the question arises about raising a pig in cold climates, there might be some research required. Some pig breeds are comfortable in the low temperatures, whereas on the other hand, some start showing serious problems when exposed to chilly climates.

Even when mature and fully grown, cold-hardy pig breeds demand more food to bear outside temperature to maintain body heat production and body state.

If one has to choose a pig breed that would be winter hardy and live through the chilly temperatures, it is found that heritage pig breeds can bear the given climatic conditions.

9 Cold Hardy Pig Breeds

Here we listed nine cold-hardy pig breeds to help you out with your research on raising pigs in a chilly climate.  

 1. Berkshire Pigs

As the name suggests, Berkshire is a pig breed with its origin from Berkshire, an English county. They are bred and raised in different parts of the globe, including New Zealand, the US, Japan, etc. Berkshires are observed to be a rare breed.

This breed of pig weighs around 269kgs when fully grown and has white spots and black bristles, and a white-colored snout. It possesses short legs covered in white hairs from knee to down.

With upright ears and little snout accompanied by a nose that curves upward at the end, these mammals are an excellent choice to breed in cold temperatures.


  • Being the adaptable ones, pigs of this breed can flourish in mostly all kinds of environments.
  • These pigs feed on grass, as a result, reduces the owners’ spend of money on food.
  • They have delicious meat.
  • These pigs produce a large amount of milk, which helps the piglets with a kick start.


  • These pigs have a slower growth rate as compared to many other pig breeds.

 2. Duroc Pigs

duroc pig
4028mdk09, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Durocs are a domestic breed of pigs that originated in the United States. This breed is also known to be the most famous pig breed in the world. Durocs are an average-sized breed, having a long body with a slightly concave face and ears not so pricky.

This breed’s mature masculine individual weighs around 400 kgs approximately, while the feminine ones weigh about 350 kgs. These pigs have poor eyesight and non-sharp teeth. Their tails are little and curled.

Durocs own thick brownish-orange bristles often but can also be found with red or golden coats.


  • Durocs are ideally popular as outdoor pigs.
  • Thick bristle coats serve the purpose best to thrive during hardy winters. • They are very environment adaptive.
  • Tidy and clean breed.
  • Good as domestic animals.
  • Not much maintenance is required.
  • Independent ones and are thus preferred by the farmers.


  • Need good quality food and hence is a reason for the increase in the owner’s food bill.
  • Durocs are much filled with aggression.
  • Slow growth rate as they enjoy running around and feeding in the grassland. • Quite prone to diseases if not taken good care of.
  • Require a lot of space.

Also Read: 9 Largest Pig Breeds

 3. Tamworth Pigs

Tamworth pig
Caroline Ford, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tamworth, as the name suggests, is a pig breed originated from Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. Tamworths are an old breed of pigs and are hence not well accustomed to modern production methods and are thus threatened.

This pig breed comes with a long and slim body and upright ears. These pale golden color mammals have a straight line on the face and the snout. These pigs have considerably long necks and legs.

Tamworths are average-sized pig breeds. When fully grown, female Tamworths weigh around 250 kgs, and the male Tamworths weigh approximately 300 kgs when mature.


  • Tamworths can efficiently forage and rummage using their long snouts, which is perfectly suited for it.
  • These pigs produce more amounts of edible meat.
  • Tamworths are active pigs.
  • Tamworths give birth to a good number of litters.
  • This breed is a great winter hardy breed.
  • Sows of this breed show great maternal instincts.


  • Shows aggression towards other livestock if kept in the same meadow.
  • Require robust fencing.
  • Tamworths are territorial and sensitive.
  • Require much space to thrive.

 4. Gloucestershire Old Spots Pigs

Gloucestershire Old Spots Pigs
Amanda Slater from Coventry, England, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Gloucestershire, old spots pigs with their compliant nature, is a rare English pig breed. Their bristles are white with black spots, and they have their namesake from the county of Gloucestershire.

The males of this breed weigh around 270 kgs when mature, while the females weigh approximately 225 kgs. Their head is long with a mildly concave nose. The ears of Gloucestershire old spots are often dropping down in a way to even objecting

their vision.

Gloucestershire is now known to be a very rare breed. They are listed to be minorities. There are now less than 1000 females left to be used for breeding.


  • Gloucestershire old spots pigs are good for foraging.
  • This breed possesses a fatter ratio as compared to other breeds.
  • Gloucestershire old spots are hardy winter animals and handle cold climates very well.
  • They have excellent maternal instincts.
  • Gloucestershire old spots produce a fair amount of milk for their litters.


  • Their white skin exposes them to a higher possibility of sunburn.

 5. Hereford Pigs

Hereford pigs, with their docile temperament, are perfect for cold climates. They are a domestic pig breed and graze perfectly on grassland. The United States is the place of origin for the Herefords.

A mature male Hereford weighs more or less 359 kgs, and a female Hereford weighs 269 kgs at maturity. They have a very flexible nature and are hence suitable as a domestic pig breed.

Their coat is reddish while their belly, face, and legs are white. Their flexible nature and easy to raise quality make them perfect for handling pig breeds for the first time.


  • Hereford pigs do a great job at rooting.
  • You can quickly raise this breed on pasture.
  • This pig breed has an excellent meat production.
  • These pigs are easy to maintain.
  • Hereford pigs are generally good mothers to their litters.


  • This pig breed is rare and challenging to be found.

 6. Hampshire Pigs

Hampshire pig
MamaGeek at en.wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hampshire pig is a domestic breed of pig. Their physical characteristics are mainly upright ears and a black coat accompanied by a white band of bristle around the front leg area. Hampshire pigs have well body-built and long legs.

This breed’s boars have a mature weight of 300 kgs, and sows of this breed weigh approximately 250 kgs at maturity. Hampshire pugs have an average-sized body.

Hampshire pig breed being susceptible to all climates is a go-to option for people looking forward to raising cold-hardy pig breeds in chilly temperatures.


  • Hampshire pigs grow rapidly.
  • These pigs have excellent maternal instincts.
  • The sows of the Hampshire pig breed live longer.
  • Hampshire pigs have a good quality of the carcass.
  • They have a compliant temperament.
  • Pigs of the Hampshire breed are excellent at foraging.
  • Hampshire pigs produce a large number of litters.


  • Hampshire pigs require a large amount of space to live.
  • They are hardly found and quite a rare breed.
  • Hampshire pigs are not picky with their food and eat everything they find around and thus make themselves prone to being affected by harmful food.
  • These pigs can often be stubborn.

 7. Red Wattle Pigs

Red Wattle Pigs
Mark Whitby from USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Red Wattle pigs originating in the United States are a threatened domestic breed of pig. Their main characteristics are typical wattles and reddish bristle coats. They are quite suitable for the extensive management of pigs. These medium-sized animals have an approximate height of about 47 inches.

Red wattle boars have an average maturity weight of 340 kgs, while the sows of the red wattle pig breed weigh approximately 250 kgs.

With the least requirement of clean drinking water and a place to sleep, this pig breed is a perfect choice to raise in chilly climates.


  • Red Wattle pigs are very well suited to the native environment.
  • These pigs are robust and hardy.
  • These pigs grow fast.
  • Red Wattle pigs have a very mild temperament.
  • They are good at foraging.
  • They are not so prone to diseases.
  • These pigs are also very active.


  • Red Wattle pigs require a large area to thrive.
  • They also need protection from predators.
  • These pigs do need proper fencing or boundaries.

 8. Large Black Pigs

Large Black Pigs

Originating from the United States, a Large Black pig is a domestic pig breed. As their name suggests, pigs of this breed are large and have a black coat. Meat from pigs of this breed is delicious and highly flavored.

Being good foragers, they add up to the quality of its meat. Large Black pigs are also known by the names – Boggu, Cornwall Black, or Devon. The masculine division of this breed possesses a maturity weight of 350 kgs. The feminine ones of large black pigs weigh 300 kgs approximately when fully grown.

Being hardy and sustainable to different climate types, large black pigs can choose between pigs that can be raised in cold winters.


  • Large Black pigs are perfect as bacon and can be successfully used for producing bacon.
  • The sows of large black pig breeds are perfect mothers.
  • They produce a considerably right amount of litters.
  • These pigs are great at foraging.
  • Large Black pigs are well suited for extensive farming of pigs.


  • Large Black pigs can easily catch diseases if not taken proper care of. • Due to their large size, pigs of this breed require a lot of space to thrive.

 9. American Yorkshire Pigs

American Yorkshire Pigs
Mark Peters from Baltimore, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

American Yorkshire is a domestic pig breed. They are nothing but the American sort of the English Yorkshire but with a smaller body and floppy ears. These pigs are friendly and can be easily domesticated.

Sows of this breed weigh 200-300 kgs and generally give birth to around twelve piglets. The piglets of American Yorkshire grow up faster than many other breeds. Yorkshires live around ten years more or less.


  • Yorkshires produce the top-class quality of meat.
  • These pigs have a very hardy climate tolerance and tend to thrive just fine in different climates.
  • They are easy to maintain because of their calm and friendly nature.
  • They do just fine in closed areas as well.


  • Yorkshires are generally very cunning.
  • They also have a destructive nature.
  • These pigs can get stressed at simple matters.
  • They also create a lot of mess.

Final Thoughts

Before breeding pigs at once, it would be better advised to raise a couple of piglets, mainly seasonal. This would be a test to check if your desired pig breed can thrive in your environment. This will be helpful as a test match before driving into the real game of breeding.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that no matter how hardy and robust the pig breed is, if one wants to be in the breeding and raising game successfully, the person must provide adequate shelter to the pigs regardless of the climate. Once you have ticked these factors, you are good to go and raise pig breeds in chilly temperatures.