Certain characteristics make a pig what it is and the Idaho Pasture Pigs (IPP) are no exception. The Idaho Pasture Pig Registry is dedicated to promoting this breed to its full potential and the breed standard is an important part.
The Idaho Pasture Pig (IPP) is a medium sized breed of pig developed in 2006 with ongoing selection to breed to the stated ideal standards. The Idaho Pasture Pigs are exceptionally friendly, have a calm disposition, and has been bred to graze instead of root.
Disposition: Friendly and curious disposition. Aggressive behavior definitely disqualifies pig from breed selection. A natural maternal instinct to protect the piglets is desired.
(Compliments of Podunk Pastures)
(Compliments of Mouse Creek Farm)
(compliments of Richards Family Farm)
(Compliments of White Bison Farm)
Size: A medium sized pig with sows maturing to 250-350 pounds and boars maturing to 350-450 pounds plus or minus a few pounds. Sows greater than 400 pounds and boars greater than 500 pounds could be disqualified.
Color: Colors noted upon birth can be black/white, ginger/black, brown/white, cream, ginger, tri-colored , or solid black. Colors may fade slightly with age. The pattern of the pig's coat will vary.
Head: Medium length snout with an upturn or dish on the end to allow grazing and discourage rooting. The snout should be wide and compliment the overall shape of the head. It should not be tapered, not be long and straight, nor should it be completely snub and dished, all of which disqualify pig from breed selection.
These piglets demonstrate nice wide snouts that run uniform from the eyes to the end of the snout.
(Ginger pig picture is compliments of Podunk Pastures)
(Picture on the left is compliments of Thome Grown Family Farm)
Both of these sows demonstrate excellent snout length and a very nice upturned snout.
Eyes: Set well apart and symmetrical. No blindness at birth.
Teeth: Must be set well in mouth and no over or under bite should be apparent.
Wattles: Pigs may or may not have wattles. One wattle on either side is also acceptable.
Ears: Well set apart and can be erect or drooping, but there is a preference to erect ears.
Both of these piglets demonstrate alert eyes and well spaced ears. The piglet on the left has more droopy ears while the piglet on the right has high, erect ears. Both are acceptable for the Idaho Pasture Pig breed.
(compliments of Money Pit Farm)
Neck: Medium length, blending well between the body and head. Not excessively short or long.
This boar has a well-developed shield along his front shoulders as well as a nice level back line. He is a good example of an older adult boar!
(compliments of Courser Meadows)
Back: Long and level back is appropriate for breed standard. The back should be proportionate to the animal and the medium sized pig.
Both of these pigs have great length in their backs, well-proportioned front and hind quarters, nicely positioned tail sets and perfect medium sized snouts that upturn very well. Fantastic examples of the the Idaho Pasture Pigs in varying ages!
Ribs: Deep and well-defined ribs without being overly round is the preferred breed standard.
The sides of the pig should be deep and follow the ribs back to the hams. A straight bottom line is preferred. No rounded or barrel shaped sides with the exception of bred gilts or sows.
Loin: A broad and long loin area is ideal.
Quarters: They should be wide coming back from the loin with a good high tail set.
Hams: Well developed and pronounced hams that are full all the way down to the hocks is ideal.
Legs: The legs should be straight coming down from the shoulders. They should be strong and keep the pig's hocks to where it is standing up off of the pasterns with the cleats off of the ground. Some flex of the foot is desired to be able to traverse the ground properly. The legs should be square under the body to provide ease of movement.
*Pictures used with the consent of Dr. John Carr
Good examples of the legs coming straight down from both the hind and front quarters in both of these pigs. You can note the shield already forming on this young boar. There is a noticeable difference in the ear carriage of both of these pigs, but both of them are acceptable for the breed standard. Both of these pigs have very nice upturned snouts and the length is slightly different between the two, with both of them meeting breed standard!
(Both of these pictures are compliments of Boots & Bare Roots Farm)
Underline: Straight from the ribs to the hams. Evenly and well-spaced teats should be present on both boars and gilts on either side of the underline. Preference should be given to 5 or more evenly spaced teats on either side of the midline, but is not a disqualifying factor.
Here is a good example of nice, evenly spaced teats.
(Compliments of Thome Grown Family Farm)
Reproductive Organs: All breeding stock, while meeting the above standards, must also, without exception, be free from congenital defects (e.g. umbilical and scrotal hernias, Atresia Ani (blind anus), cryptorchid boars, extra cleys, hermaphroditism, rectal and uterine prolapse). Two testicles are visible and/or able to be palpated in young boars. Undescended testicles do not fit breed standard.
Good example of two well positioned testicles on a young boar (above) and an adult boar (right). You can also note the nicely developed hams, nice high tail set, and great leg conformation in both pigs.
(Piglet picture compliments of Mouse Creek Farm)
(Adult boar picture compliments of The Wild Way Farm)
This boar is just a year old and you can note his even and well-defined testicles. He has a nice high tail set. From seeing additional pictures of him, we know he has a good leg structure, but want to point this out for reference. On this picture, because of the way he is standing, his legs appear to be too close together and don't come straight down from his ham region. If this was true, and not just a fluke because of the way he was standing, he wouldn't have good leg structure that fit into the breed standard. We know that isn't the case and this is a beautiful boar with many good traits to pass on to his offspring!
(Compliments of Lazy Pig Homestead)
Nice view of newborn piglets!
(Compliments of Sonstar Family Farms)
Great picture depicting donuts on a sow giving birth. These donuts usually develop within 24 hours of birth.
(compliments of White Bison Farm)
Pictures depicting the teats of gilts just prior to birth! (compliments of Mouse Creek Farm)
Litter Size: The average litter size of the Idaho Pasture Pigs is 5- 7 for a gilt (first time mom) and 8 - 10 for a sow.
Growth Rate: The following chart depicts the average growth of the Idaho Pasture Pigs.
Amazing picture depicting the varying ages of piglets. Front piglet is 2 months old, Middle piglet is 4 months old, and the piglet at the back is 6 months old.
(Compliments of Atypical Roots)
(Compliments of Atypical Roots)
Note: Some differences may be noted due to time of the year, location, and feed schedule, but overall growth rate should fit very closely with the above chart.
The Idaho Pasture Pigs are comprised of three different breeds of pigs, so there will be some variety in the shape and conformation of the pigs. The goal is to make sure your breeding quality pigs fall into the stated breed standard. All those that do not make breed standard will still produce amazing quality pork and should be butchered as such.
Each pig will vary slightly in conformation. We have tried to provide some good and bad examples of both body type and head/snout conformation in the pictures below.
This is an absolutely perfect picture depicting the short, upturned snout that fits his overall head shape and conformation. Again - not all pigs are exactly the same, but this is what should be strived for in the Idaho Pasture Pigs.
(Compliments of Rosewood Farms)
Please note the up-turned end of his snout. This is a major component in getting a good grazing pig. Pigs with straight snouts at the end of their nose are more likely to root and Idaho Pasture Pigs are NOT meant to be rooting pigs. The goal is to preserve this breed to it's highest standard!
This is another picture of a pig with a Great head and a overall Perfect build. You will note his nicely proportioned chest and shoulders with the rest of his body as well as the good definition of his butt muscle. His head is portioned very well to not only his snout, but the rest of his body. This boar has a little longer snout then the previously pictured boar, but still has a Great upturned snout making him another beautiful example of a pig that resembles the "goal to achieve"!
(Compliments of Gattis Farm)
Here is a picture of a piglet from the front, so you can see the overall good width of the nose going from the head to the snout. It is a little difficult to tell in this view, but again this piglet has a nice upturned snout at the end. You can also note the definition of the shoulder and chest as well as the butt muscles. It is more difficult to tell how your piglets will turn out right at birth, but by 4 - 6 weeks old you can really start to tell the overall conformation of their body shape as well as the face and head. If you have a snout that is too narrow and doesn't compliment the head at 8 weeks old, it is rarely going to change at this point. This isn't to say it doesn't happen and each year we personally have one or two that we hold onto for about 3 months to give them time to mature into themselves before we make a determination, but usually by 4 - 6 weeks you will have a good idea. If you aren't sure, then it isn't recommended that you sell them as breeding quality!
A good way to see the good conformational traits as the pigs progress are noted in the pictures below. We have a few different examples of the same pig in various ages of life.
The ginger piglet shown in the top two pictures is the same gilt. Once as a young piglet and again as a four months old! This pig has beautiful front shoulders, great looking ham region, a nice straight back, and a very nice looking head. She is maturing exactly like we want to see the Idaho Pasture Pigs mature. (Young picture is compliments of Strix Hill Farm) & (Older picture compliments of Ashley)
The gilt shown above is pictured once as piglet at about 2 weeks old and again at about a year old. You can note how the wrinkles on the end of her snout as a young piglet matured into a snout with a beautiful upturn just like we want in the Idaho Pasture Pigs. (Compliments of White Bison Farm)
The piglet picture in the next few pictures is the same piglet from different angles. The piglet is about 4 weeks old and is a perfect example of a good quality breeding piglet. He has a nice wide snout with a good number of wrinkles on the end. You can note his snout is already upturning in these pictures. To compliment his head is a spectacular body with a long straight back, good hind quarters and front shoulders, a good high tail set, and nice leg placement!
Here are some additional examples of some good quality conformation!
Nice Head and Upturned Snout
(Compliments of Himelrigh Farm)
Great underline and teats on this sow! She also has a great leg line from the back down through her leg.
(compliments of Black Rabbit Homestead)
Nice wide snout from eyes to end of snout. Great front shoulders!
(Compliments of Ann)
This is a picture of a mature sow with a nice back line and good head. Again, note the upturned snout that gives them the ability to graze very well!
(Compliments of Courser Meadows)
Gorgeous depiction of an upturned snout!
(Compliments of Red Brick Ranch)
There are gorgeous front shoulders and a well proportioned body in this beautiful pig!
(Compliments of Shanley Family Farm)
Beautiful Upturned Snout and beautiful size for this mature sow!
This picture is a great example of both good breeding quality piglets as well as a non-breeding quality piglet. The snout on the black piglet on the left is long and straight and doesn't have any wrinkles whereas the piglet in the middle and the right both have nice wide snouts with great wrinkles. All of these piglets have nice erect ears and alert eyes. This is a great representation of the variety of piglets found in a litter. Not all of them are breeding quality and no breeding quality piglet should be based on color!
(Compliments of White Bison Farm)
Here is another Great picture showing the difference in snouts in young piglets. The 2nd piglet from the front has a straight snout with absolutely no wrinkles at all. The other piglets in this picture all have shorter snouts with quite a few wrinkles and will continue to upturn as they mature.
(Compliments of Podunk Pastures)
This is a unique sow! Her snout is not the ideal, medium-sized length, but she does meet breed quality. When a piglet is born that has a shorter snout, we recommend keeping that piglet in your pastures and watching how they grow for the first few months. This sow is a mature pig and is equal in size and growth rate to the other pigs her age. She has a gorgeous back line, leg and shoulder stance, and underline. Although her snout is shorter then recommended, her growth rate is perfect therefore she does make breed standard. Many times a shorter snout like this one, will mean that the pigs will carry more of the Kunekune trait and won't grow as fast as recommended. Keeping this pig in your herd and determining growth rate over a few months will help you determine if the pig will make breed standard.
(Compliments of Drunken Arrow Farm)
This is a good example of a young piglet with a shorter then recommended snout. This does not mean this pig is immediately disqualified from breeding standards, but instead does mean you should keep this piglet in your herd and determine growth rate before deciding on whether this piglet does or does not meet the breed standard requirements!
(Compliments of Thome Grown Family Farm)
Conformation traits that are not ideal in the Breeding Quality Pigs!
Note the long straight snout in this ginger pig. There is no upturn at all. You will also note that she apprears to have a more rounded back line then is preferred. She is a good example of a butcher pig!
These two siblings are a good example of how one has a good growth rate and the other is not growing as well. A good growth rate is important for good quality breeding piglets.
You can note the huge growth difference in the pigs pictured to the left. They are all about the same age and it is very clear who is not growing as fast. This pig does not match the breeding standards based on the slow growth rate. Keeping this genetics out of the breeding pigs is going to continue to improve and maintain the fantastic growth rate of the Idaho Pasture Pigs. He sure will taste good though, so all pigs have a purpose!
(compliments of Carrie)
The pigs shown in the following pictures is the same pig in different positions. Note the long, straight snout which is what disqualifies him from breeding quality. The rest of his conformation is absolutely spectacular and he will produce some fantastic cuts of meat, but should never be bred!
The pictures below are a variety of pigs with certain characteristics that disqualify them from becoming a breeding quality Idaho Pasture Pig.
Straight snout with no upturn or wrinkling on the end!
A straight snout without wrinkles is one indicator of a non-breeding quality piglet. As with all young piglets less then 4 - 6 weeks old, it is best to keep an eye on them and see how they mature before making a decision.
This is a straight snout on this piglet. There doesn't appear to be many wrinkles, just like the picture above. The physical appearances do change as the piglets mature, so waiting until the piglets are a at least 4 - 6 weeks old will ensure that they will provide a better representation of whether the piglet is breeding quality or not.
Narrow and straight snout. Note the lack of any wrinkling on the end of the snout!
There is a long straight snout on this pig with a very narrow snout. You can also see how his legs tuck under instead of coming straight down from his hind quarters.
This pig has a rounded back instead of the long straight back that is preferred. You can also see how the hind legs tuck under instead of coming down nice and proportioned the rest of the body.
You can easily see the difference in the snouts of these two pigs. The pig on the left has a long, straight snout whereas the pig on the right has a gorgeous upturn at the end of the snout!
Straight Snout with no Upturn!
Narrow and straight snout