Meishan, pronounced “May Shan”. Named for the Chinese prefecture of Meishan a region of lakes and valleys in China. They are part of a sub-group of pigs called Taihu pigs. They originate from the Taihu valley, of Lower Changjiang River Basin. They are a small to medium-sized breed. They are one of the oldest domesticated breeds of Asiatic swine. In the late 1980’s three labs imported Meishan pigs to the U.S. Two of those labs (Iowa State and USDA) were breeding them due to their prolific litter sizes and early sexual maturity. Due to their slower growth rates and abundance of fat they shut down the breeding programs. That meant that the breed could go extinct in the USA. But a few people and zoo’s wanted to raise them, in order to keep the genetics available in the USA for future use as well as for the public’s viewing. All Meishan that are in the USA are descendants of these left over research pigs.
Vision should be mostly unobstructed.
The overall weight of the pig should be such that it is comfortable and able to run and move freely.
Head: Big, wide forehead that has thick and heavily wrinkled skin.
Ears: Big droopy ears, not covering the eyes and overlapping mouth corner. (Ears look like a geisha hand fan).
Nose: Short to medium, slightly turned up, black, or black and pink.
Neck: Short to medium, fat, even with body, heavily wrinkled.
Body: Medium body, with heavily wrinkled, thick skin, black coat which is sparse with hair. Skin under the belly is purple-red.
Back: Strong, level to slight sway.
Tail: Long, black, medium hairy, straight when at rest. Tip in some can be white.
Legs: Vary, some long, some short, black with white socks, strong able to support their size.
Skin/Hair: Thick, heavily wrinkled black skin, hair can be sparse, or heavy depending on climate.
Female Sexual Characteristics: Sows are smaller, head and forehead not as wide. 14-20+ teats.
Male Sexual Characteristics: Boars are larger than most sows with larger broader head and more masculine over all build.
Temperament: Extremely docile, easily controlled, and very lazy.
Average size: Sows 18-26 inches tall. Boars 20-30 inches. With an average length of 38-48 inches.