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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Breeds of Livestock - Tibetan Swine

Breeds of Livestock - Tibetan Swine


tibetan-1.jpgThe Tibetan on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is especially adapted to the high, cold climate and to being on pasture all year round. It is characterized by:

  1. Light body weight (about 35 kg in mature animals.)
  2. Alertness in running and jumping, with quick responses for guarding against attack from other animals.
  3. Narrow head and long straight snout, to faciltate searching for feeds under the ground.
  4. Black hair coat, with long and dense bristles (length 12 cm, about 2 to 3 times longer than other breeds) which protect it from the three times as dense as in Sichuan native pigs) which protect it from the strong solar radiation of ultra-violet rays and also from the cold weather on the plateau.
  5. Highly developed digetstive organs; the length of the intestine is about 36 times its own body length (in Sichuan pigs, the intestine is only 28 times its body length). This is presumably a mechanism responsible for the pig's ability to utilize shrubs as feed, as well as the stems, roots and hard seeds of wild plants.
  6. Ability to deposit fat in the body. The internal and visceral fat is about 15 percent of bodyweight (for other pig breeds, 7 to 10 percent).
  7. Muscles with a marble appearence and meat with a special flavor.
  8. Low prolificacy, with a litter size of 5, weaning percent of 69, and 5 pairs of teats.


Cheng, P. (1984) Livestock Breeds of China. Animal Production and Health Paper 46 (E, F, S). Publ. by FAO, Rome, 217 pp.

Mason, I.L. World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds. Third Edition. C.A.B International. 1988


Miles Tracy


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Added April 3, 1997; updated February 28, 2002


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