Vietnam is considered a country with the highest biodiversity in the world. According to statistics, Vietnam has dozens of rare and precious pig breeds distributed across the country at the present.
In recent years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with several localities have successfully restored and grown many local pig breeds of high economic value.
Mong Cai pig
Origin and distribution: Mong Cai pig is native to Mong Cai city in Quang Ninh province. It is raised in many provinces in the North, the Central and the Central Highlands of the country with the largest number compared to other local pig breeds.
Physical characteristics: Mong Cai pig is divided into 2 groups based on its bone size: large bones and small bones. The Mong Cai pig has a black head, a white triangular or diamond-shaped dot in the middle of the forehead, and white snout; while the back, buttocks, and neck are black in the shape of a saddle, the rest of Mong Cai pig’s body is covered with white color.
The Mong Cai pig’s fertility is pretty high as a pig can produce 10-16 piglets/ pregnancy. The weight of newborn piglets is 0.5-0.6 kg, with the lean rate ranging from 32% to 35%.
Practical uses: Mong Cai pig can be purebred for meat or as a breeding sow to mate with the exotic male pig to reproduce F1 hybrid for commercial production.
Origin and distribution: I pig is a local pig breed in the North of Vietnam. However, due to the low economic efficiency and in danger of extinction, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Dabaco Group Vietnam have raised this pig breed to preserve its origin.
Physical characteristics: The fatty I pig breed, also known as I Nhan pig (Wrinkled I pig), has a low percentage of lean meat with a high percentage of fat in its meat (the lean ratio only reaches 36%, while the fat is 54%).
I pig only reaches the weight of 40 – 50kg, even though it has been raised for a year while the breeding pig for meat only takes 6 months to gain 70-80 kg weight.
Practical uses: I pig can be raised for conservation, or for being a specialty, and further processing.
Origin and distribution: Ban pig is mainly raised in mountainous areas, such as Mai Son, Thuan Chau (Son La province), Dien Bien Dong, Tua Chua, Muong Nhe (Dien Bien province), and some mountainous districts of Hoa Binh provinces with a high density in Da Bac, Cao Phong, Lac Son, Mai Chau, Tan Lac.
Physical characteristics: Ban pig has jet black hair and black skin. Some have white dots on their forehead, four legs, and the tip of their tail. Ban pig’s hips have a mane.
Its snout is sharply pointed and small, while the face and head are long and small, with small ears. This pig breed has a slim belly, small and long legs with vertical grow hooves.
Fertility: the female pig is in first heat once it has reached its 5-6 months of living. The average number of healthy newborns is 6-6.5/ litter; weaning piglets after 60 days old is 5 – 6 piglets; the weight of a newborn is 2.5 – 3.0 kg.
Ban pig breed’s growth speed is very slow. It only reaches 4.4 kg after 2 months of being given birth, and 28 – 32 kg after 8 months.
Practical uses: it can be raised for specialty pork.
The Vietnamese local pig breeds usually have a high percentage of fat and slow growth speed. However, their lean meat, as well as their fatty meat, are especially delicious and firm.
Nowadays, some pig breeds are potentially named in a list of protected rare and precious farm animal genetic resources of Vietnam, like I pig, Ba Xuyen pig, pastured pig, Man pig (black pig), Tap Na pig, Van Pa pig, and more.
A Luoi pastured pig
Origin and distribution: A Luoi pasture pig is originated in the Central region of Vietnam and grown on the Truong Son mountain range (Annamite Range) in Thua Thien Hue, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, with the highest density in mountainous districts of Thua Thien Hue, such as A Luoi, Nam Dong, Huong Tra, and Tay Giang rural districts in Quang Nam province.
Physical characteristics: A Luoi pasture pig’s hair is black, or black and white, long and thick. The snout is long with small bones. This pig breed has weak pegs, a saggy belly, thin skin with sparse hair.
Fertility: male pigs are mature when they reach 3 months. They can be mated after 4 months, and usually used at 7 – 8 months. Female pigs are in heat for the first time after 10 – 12 months.
The number of newborns in general and healthy newborns, in particular, is 6 and 5 – 6 piglets respectively; a sow gives birth from 1.2 – 1.5 times/ year. The weight of a newborn pig is 0.4 kg. Piglets start to wean when they are 3 kg at 2 months old.
The average weight at 12 months old of a pig is 50 kg. The weight of an adult pig is 70kg for males and 60 – 70kg for females. They consume about 7 – 8 kg of swine feed of each kg weight gained.
The lean proportion is 40%, and the fat one is 28%. A Luoi pasture pig has high resistance to diseases, harsh environments, and poor nutritional conditions.
Practical uses: A Luoi pasture pig can be raised for specialty pork due to its delicious taste which is loved by consumers.
Binh Thuan pastured pig
Origin and distribution: Binh Thuan pastured pig is raised mainly in Ham Thuan Bac and Tanh Linh in Binh Thuan province. Physical characteristics: Binh Thuan pasture pig has jet black hair with a firm body, big forehead, long face, and straight snout.
Fertility: the pig starts to be in its heat for the first time after 8 months, and it can be mated at 8.5 months old. The pig can reproduce for the first time after 12.3 months of being raised. The number of newborns and weaners is 7.6 and 6.7 piglets respectively. A weaner weighs 6 kg at 70 days.
Practical uses: Binh Thuan pasture pig can be raised for specialty pork.
Chu Prong pig
Origin and distribution: Chu Prong pig is raised in Chu Prong rural district in Gia Lai province.
Physical characteristics: the pig is coated by white fur with randomly unshaped black dots which are quite unclear when they come to the eye areas, the forehead, or the whole body of the pig.
Chu Prong pig has a relatively small head with upright ears and a slightly wrinkled face. The pig has a straight back, and a quite slim belly with 10 – 12 teats; and big, strong, and firm legs.
Fertility: the female pig is in the heat for the first time at 6 months of age, and gives birth when it reaches 12 months old. The number of healthy newborns and weaners is 7 and 6.5 piglets respectively.
A newborn will turn to be a weaner after 56 days. The weight of a newborn pig is 0.43 kg, and 4kg for a weaner after 56 days of age, and 35kg for an 8-month-old pig.
Practical uses: Chu Prong pig can be raised for specialty pork.
Ha Lang pig
Origin and distribution: Ha Lang pig is raised in Ha Lang and Bao Lam rural districts in Cao Bang province.
Physical characteristics: Ha Lang pig has many similar physical features compared to Mong Cai pig: white belly with a saddle-shaped black color over the shoulder.
However, Ha Lang pig is still featured by its own characteristics: large body, short and round snout, wrinkled big face, big and short legs, a saggy belly without touching the ground.
Fertility: the sow has 10 – 12 teats. It can reproduce from 8 – 10 newborns/ pregnancy. The sow can be mated for the first time at 210 – 236 days old with a weight of 43 kg.
The number of weaners is 7.43 – 9.11 piglets/ litter. A piglet will weigh 4.0 – 4.5 kg once it has reached 42 days old, and 42 – 46 kg for an 8-month-old one.
Practical uses: Ha Lang pig is raised as a breeding sow.
Sin Ho burnt-sienna pig
Origin and distribution: Sin Ho burnt-sienna pig has been raised in Bac Me, Hoang Su Phi, and Vi Xuyen rural districts of Ha Giang province.
Physical characteristics: the pig’s hair is burnt-sienna and silver, long and hard. The body is short and firm. Sin Ho burnt-sienna pig has small and upright ears, straight back, excepting some pigs have slightly saggy back.
The pig has small legs so it walks on its hooves. It has chestnut-like quick eyes in a burnt-sienna color, a long and pointed snout, a long and small tail, slim and firm belly. Its gait is agile and steady.
Fertility: the pig can be mated for the first time after 260 days old, and it can give birth at 380 days old. The number of healthy newborns and weaners is 7.4 and 6.5 respectively.
A weaner weighs 6 kg; a piglet will start to wean at 60 days old. The sow can have 1.7 litters each year. An 8-month-old piglet weighs 40 – 42 kg. The slaughter weight of this pig breed is 50 kg. It consumes 4.3 kg for each weight gained.
Practical uses: Sin Ho burnt-sienna pig can be raised for meat in areas with poor farming conditions; and for specialty pork.
Origin and distribution: Huong pig takes its root back a long time ago in highland rural districts along the China – Vietnam border of Cao Bang province: Hoa An, Bao Lac, Bao Lam, Ha Lang. And at the present, this pig breed is also mainly raised in those areas.
Physical characteristics: the pig is covered by white fur and white skin, with a black head and buttocks, and a grey color in the intersection of black and white which is almost comparable with Mong Cai pig.
However, unlike the Mong Cai pig, the Huong pig does not have a white saddle-shaped color that goes over its shoulder. Instead, it has a white streak running from the forehead down to the snout.
The pig has a medium-sized head with small and upright ears, slim and firm belly without being saggy to the ground as it is with the Mong Cai pig. Huong pug has big, long, and strong legs, a relatively straight back, a long face without wrinkles. The pig has 8 – 12 teats, but the common number of teats that a Huong pig has is 10 teats.
Fertility: Huong pig can give birth for the first time at 13 months old. The number of healthy newborns and weaners is 8 and 7 respectively per litter, with a litter interval of 215 days. The weight of a newborn pig is 0.4 kg, and 5kg with a 60-day-old weaner. A piglet will weigh 45kg as it reaches 8 months old.
Practical uses: Huong pig can be raised as a breeding sow to mate with exotic male pigs for households farming in Cao Bang provinces, as well as neighboring provinces. Besides, the Huong pig can be used as specialty pork.
Origin and distribution: it is an indigenous pig breed that originated from mountain areas and the Truong Son mountain range in Quang Binh province.
Physical characteristics: Khua pig can have a body covered fully by black color, with black skin, and white dots on 4 legs. On the other hand, a Khua pig can have black skin and hair with white patches on its body. The snout is generally long and strong. Khua pig’s back is quite straight.
Fertility: the maximum weight that a Khua pig can gain is 35 – 40 kg. The sow can give birth to 5 – 7 newborn pigs/ pregnancy.
Practical uses: Khua pig can be raised for specialty pork.
Kieng Sat pig
Origin and distribution: Kieng Sat pig is mainly raised in rural districts of Quang Ngai province, including Ba To and Tay Tra.
Physical characteristics: the pig has hair and skin covered completely with a jet-black color. The face is straight with a quite long snout, straight legs, a short and slim body, medium-sized and upright ears. The farrowing sow might have a saggy back.
Fertility: the pig is in the heat for the first time when it reaches 4 – 5 months old. The number of healthy newborns is 6 – 9/ litter; the number of 60-day-old weaners is 6 – 9/ litter.
The weight of a newborn pig ranges from 2.5 – 3.5 kg, and 32 kg with a weaner. Kieng Sat pig has a very slow growth speed: a 2-month-old piglet only weighs 4kg; and 30 – 40kg with an 8-month-old one.
Practical uses: Kieng Sat pig can be raised for specialty pork.
Man pig (Black pig)
Origin and distribution: Man pig originated and raised mainly in some rural districts of Hoa Binh province, such as Kim Boi, Da Bac, Ky Son, Tan Lac, and Cao Phong.
Physical characteristics: Man pig is a small pig breed, with a small face, long snout, firm and short body, small and upright ears, straight and slightly saggy back.
Man pig has long and hard hair; 64% of skin and hair are in jet-black color, and 36% of skin and hair are in black with white dots and patches in the forehead, the top of the tail, and the feet. Man pig has jet-black skin, even the snout, teats, 4 feet, and the toes are black as well.
Fertility: It takes longer for Man pig to be mature (as it matures at 7 – 8 months old). The pig will give birth for the first time at 360 days of age, with 1.3 litter/ sow/ year.
The number of healthy newborn pigs is 5-6 babies/ litter with a weight of 300g/ baby. A 10-month-old piglet will weigh 35kg, and gain 160g of weight/ day, which means it consumes 6.5kg of swine feed per weight gained.
Practical uses: Man pig can be raised in poor farming conditions; and raised for specialty pork.
It is proven that if there is an innovative, modern, and closed farming process used with the assistance of the local authorities in building and promoting the brand, many indigenous pig breeds will not only be successfully restored, but they also grow stronger and provide greater economic value for farmers and businesses; for a typical example, they care Mong Cai pig, Huong pig, Man pig, Pasture pig, and more.
Origin and distribution: Meo pig is a pig breed that belongs to the H’Mong ethnic group. It is raised by H’Mong families in some mountainous communes. Meo pig has been bred purely for a long time by the H’Mong ethnic people in the all-year-round cool highland areas.
Physical characteristics: Meo pig is a fairly big pig breed with balanced growth. The pig has black skin and hair. The skin is thick, while the hair is long and hard.
Meo pig has a big, wide head, a big forehead with a hair whorl, a pretty long snout, medium-sized and forward-facing ears. Its shoulder is wide, and its back is long, straight, flat, and slightly arched. The pig belly is big and long, but not saggy. Its bow legs are long, straight, making it stand on its front two hooves.
Fertility: the weight that a newborn pig can get is 0.47 kg. The number of newborns given at each time of pregnancy ranges from 4 – 6. The number of healthy weaners is 4.0 piglets; the weight of a weaner is 4.83 kg.
Practical uses: Meo pig can be raised for specialty pork
Muong Khuong pig
Origin and distribution: Muong Khuong pig is mostly raised in Lao Cai province, especially Muong Khuong rural district. Muong Khuong pig is mainly raised in the Northern midlands of Vietnam.
Physical characteristics: the pig has hair and skin covered in by a jet-black color, or black color with white dots on the tip of the tail and four legs; the hair is sparse and soft. Most Muong Khuong pigs have a long, straight, or slightly curved snout, a wrinkled forehead, and big ears that are slightly forward-facing.
Fertility: the pig will get matured when it reaches 5 – 7 months old. The sow usually gives birth for 1.2 – 1.3 litters/ year. The newborn pig weighs 600g. The number of healthy newborns is 5 – 6 babies/ litter. A 12-month-old piglet can weigh 90 kg.
Practical uses: Muong Khuong pig can be raised in poor farming conditions; and raised for specialty pork.
Muong Te pig
Origin and distribution: Muong Te pig is raised in Muong Te district, Lai Chau province.
Physical characteristics: the pig has jet-black hair covering the whole body, with a fairly big head, a pretty long and curved snout, a wrinkled face, forward-facing ears, a saggy back, and belly. The pig has 10 – 12 teats.
Fertility: the pig will be in heat once it is 200 days old. The sow will give birth for the first time when it gets 400 days old. The number of healthy newborns and weaners is 7.5 – 6.5 respectively per litter. A newborn pig weighs 0.4 kg, a new weaner weighs 4kg, and an 8-month-old piglet weighs 46kg.
Practical uses: Muong Te pig can be raised for specialty pork.
Lang Hong pig
Origin and distribution: Lang Hong pig originated in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang province. It is raised popularly in the lowland provinces, the downstream valleys of the Cau River, Thuong River, and Luc Nam River.
Physical characteristics: Lang Hong pig has pretty same physical characteristics as the Mong Cai pig.
The Lang Hong pig has a black head with a white triangle in the middle of its forehead. There is a white line spreading across and running down to the belly and the legs in the middle of the ears and the neck.
Its back and butts have a black patch stretching to the tail and the legs. In some cases, that black patch looks like a saddle, while in other cases, it is just a usual black patch with an unstable border.
The pig has a fairly big head, a small and quite long snout, big and hard ears facing forward, a short neck, a long and saggy back. In some cases, the pig’s back is so saggy that wrinkles appear and run from the back to the belly. Due to its big and saggy belly, its teats touch the ground very frequently.
The pregnant pig has protruding teats touching the ground, big and flat butts, the big and high base of the tail. Lang Hong pig has medium-sized legs, and a saggy belly, which makes it look short and weak.
When they are piglets, their feet are pinched. But when they have grown up, their walk will be more comfortable. The dewclaws can touch the ground. Lang Hong pig has short and sparse hair, with slightly pink skin.
The snout is quite wet. The eyes are quick. Its tail is always swinging. The pig usually has 12 teats. It is very rare to have a Lang Hong pig with odd numbers of teats, or flat teats.
They generally have teats in vertical lines in a balanced way with horizontal lines. Lang Hong pig is a fat-oriented pig breed, which is the reason why it becomes more difficult for this pig breed to walk with the whole feet and teats touching the ground.
Fertility: Lang Hong pig can reproduce 1.6 – 1.8 litters/ sow/ year; with the number of healthy newborns of 10 – 12 babies/ litter. A newborn pig weighs 0.45 – 0.6 kg. The slaughter weight of a 10 – month – old pig is 55 – 65 kg
Practical uses: Lang Hong pig can be raised as a breeding sow.
Lung Pu black pig
Origin and distribution: in Meo Vac rural district, Ha Giang province.
Physical characteristics: it has black hair and skin, with 6 white dots on the forehead, four legs, and the top of the tail. This pig breed does not have the saddle-shaped white patch spreading over the shoulder like Mong Cai pig.
Lung Cu black pig has thick and short hair, rough skin, floppy, and small ears, a medium-sized snout. The pig has a straight back and firm belly which is different from the Mong Cai pig.
The thing that makes Lung Pu black pig stand out is its white tuft located on its forehead which creates a hair whorl running up to the crown of the head.
Fertility: Lung Pu black pig can reproduce 1.5 – 1.6 litters/ sow/ year, with the number of healthy newborns of 8 – 10 babies/ litter. The number of weaners is 7 – 9 weaners/ litter.
A newborn pig weighs 0.45 – 0.6 kg. The pig has a big stature. A 10- to 12-month-old pig can weigh up to 90 – 100 kg. And an adult pig can weigh approximately 130 – 140 kg.
O Lam pig
Origin and distribution: in Tri Ton district, An Giang province
Physical characteristics: the pig has white hair and skin with black dots (white and black patches). The pig has a fairly big head, small eyes, a long snout, straight or slightly curved face, quite big ears which are often turned sideways when the pig is standing solidly.
The hair is thick, hard. O Lam pig has a short neck, straight shoulder, straight and short back, moderately deep chest, firm or slightly saggy belly. With short legs and weak hind legs, the O lam pig uses its whole feet to walk.
Fertility: the fertility of the pig breed is very good, with high-quality milk and professional child-raising skills. The number of healthy newborns is 7 – 11 babies/ litter. An 8 – month – old pig can weigh 50 – 60kg. The carcass ratio is 72 – 76%.
Practical uses: O Lam pig can be raised as a breeding sow.
Van Pa pig
Origin and distribution: mainly in Pa Ko and Van Kieu, in Dakrong rural district, and Huong Hoa in Quang Tri province.
Physical characteristics: Van Pa pig looks like a mouse, with black and silver hair and skin, sometimes adorned with a fawn-brown color. The pig has a straight back, a slim body, a big head and neck, a pointed snout, and small ears. An adult Van Pa pig can weigh 35 – 40 kg.
Fertility: Van Pa pig is a pig breed with low fertility. The weight of a newborn pig is 250kg. Van Pa pig can be mated for the first time when it is 7 – 8 months old. It can reproduce 1.5 litters/ year.
The number of healthy newborns and weaners is 6-8 and 5-7 respectively per litter. A 10-month-old pig weighs 35kg. Van Pa pig has a percentage of lean meat of 37%, and a percentage of fat of 28%. This pig breed meat is delicious.
Practical uses: Van Pa pig is mainly raised for specialty pork in mountainous areas.
Xao Va pig
Origin and distribution: it has been an indigenous pig breed for a long time of the ethnic groups in the Northwest rural districts of Nghe An province (Que Phong, Quy Chau, Ky Son).
Physical characteristics: Xa Va pig has black hair and skin, with ivory-yellow-color four legs. This is a small pig breed, with a slim body, a fairly small head. There is a solid bond between the head and the neck of this pig breed.
Xao Va pig has a long and quite pointed snout. The Xao Va pig forehead is less wrinkled than other pig breeds. The ears are facing forward. The legs are small, as it uses its hooves to walk. The back is straight and slightly saggy.
Fertility: Xao Va pig is in its heat for the first time when it is 11 months old, and gives birth at 15 months old. The number of healthy newborns and weaners is 6.7 and 5.9 respectively per litter. A 94-day-old weaner can weigh 6.0kg.
Practical uses: Xao Va pig can be raised for specialty pork.
Origin and distribution: Soc pig is originated and raised popularly across the Highlands provinces and mountainous areas in the South – Central Coast of Vietnam.
Physical characteristics: Soc pig has 3 main colors: jet black, black and white, and stripes (black and burnt-sienna stripes scratching along the body). The stripes change over the ages of the pig, as the burnt-sienna color will get faded and turn to brown-black color.
The pig has thick brown-black skin, with long hair. The mane hair of this pig breed is long, hard, and bristled. The legs are small, as it walks on its hooves. Soc pigs can move very fast.
Fertility: the number of healthy newborn Soc pigs reaches 6 – 8 babies/ litter. The number of weaners is 5 – 7 weaners/ litter. A newborn pig weighs 0.41 kg. And a 12-month-old pig can weigh 40 – 45 kg.
Practical uses: Soc pig can be raised for specialty pork.
Origin and distribution: Tap Na pig has been a local pig breed for a long time of ethnic groups living in mountainous districts in Cao Bang province, such as Bao Lac, and Thong Nong. In addition, Tap Na pig is raised in neighboring areas within the province, such as Bao Lac, Hoa An, Bao Lam, and more.
Physical characteristics: Tap Na pig has a characterized color of black skin and hair, with 6 white dots including one in the middle of the forehead, 4 white dots on 4 legs, and one on the top of the tail.
Particularly, Tap Na has a black belly, without the white saddle-shaped patch scratching over the shoulder, as it does with Mong Cai pig. Tap Na pig has a straight face, a fairly big head, slightly floppy ears; a big, yet saggy belly; big, long, and firm legs.
Fertility: Tap Na pig can reproduce 7 – 8 healthy newborn babies per litter. The number of weaners is 6 – 7 weaners/ litter. A 45 – day – old weaner can weigh over 6kg. An 8 – month – old can weigh 52 – 54 kg.
Practical uses: Tap Na pig can be raised for specialty pork