The Fengjing breed was introduced into the United States under a cooperative effort of the USDA, the University of Illinois, and Iowa State University. Meishan and Minzhu were also introduced with this program at the same time. A total of 144 pigs of these breeds were brought to the U.S. with this program. Iowa State University received 8 Fengjing males for research on July 27, 1989.
Fengjing pigs are considered Taihu pigs because the Taihu Lake is in their region of origin. Both the Fengjing and the Meishan are from this region of lakes and valleys in China. This region lies in the Mid Subtropic Belt, a narrow region between North and Central China, in the Lower Changjiang River Basin and Southeast Coast. This area has a mild climate.
The breeds from China are slow growing and fat, but have a very good taste. They are considered to be resistant to some diseases and are able to consume large amounts of roughage. Fengjing pigs are kept well fed and managed. Their diet consists of concentrates, farm by-products, and water plants.
The Fengjing breed can be recognized by its wrinkled face and skin. Sows grow to be about 69.0 cm high, 98 cm around the chest, and 69.6 kg in live-weight. They have a backfat thickness of 3.5 cm and a dressing percentage of 66.0%.
Fengjing pigs reach puberty at 2.5-3 months of age. This breed is among some of the most prolific breeds of pig in the world. They also have high embryo survival rates and large litter sizes. Two litters per year are common. Third and later parities of Fengjing pigs had 17.0 pigs born, with 12.1 being weaned. Their 240 day weight was 173.6 lbs., with an ADG of 0.75 lbs.
Information compiled by Marcus Johnson, Freshman Honors Student, working with Paul O. Brackelsberg, Professor of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, from Breeding and Reproduction, ASL-R644.
Article and photographs contributed by Max F. Rothschild, Professor of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames.
Further information from FAO Animal Production and Health Paper 46, Livestock Breeds of China, by Cheng Peilieu, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing.