Stock judging: finished pigs and pig carcase

When stock judging finished pigs, the points below should help you to understand what to look for.
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What to look for in finished pigs

Remember 

You are looking for a ‘brick on legs’ capable of producing top-quality meat for the consumer and providing a profit for the butcher

Pay more attention to the most expensive cuts, i.e. ham and loin, with less attention to the ‘cheap cuts’, i.e. shoulder and neck.

Look for a pig that is well balanced and appears healthy.

Finished pigs

A finished pig with markings from 1–7 to show the areas to look for when judging. 1 - Head, 2 - Neck, 3 - Shoulder, 4 - Topline, 5 - Loin, 6 - Spring of rib, 7 - Ham/leg.

Good

Poor

Light jowl

Heavy jowl

Good

Poor

Short and neat

 

Good

Poor

Broad

Too wide

Neat and compact

Soft to touch (fat)

 

Unbalanced

Good

Poor

Long

Short

Wide

Narrow

Slightly arched back

Dipped back

Good

Poor

Long

Narrow

Deep

Short

Full and firm

Shallow

 

Soft to touch (fat)

Good

Poor

Deep

Flat

Full

 

Wide

 

Well-sprung

 

Good

Poor

Well-rounded

Soft to touch (fat)

Firm

Lacking fleshing

Good fleshing development to the hocks

 

Pig carcase

Conformation

Overall

Good

Poor

High proportion of meat to fat

Low proportion of meat to fat

Firm, white fat

Yellow fat

Bruised appearance 

Leg/ham

For pork pigs, refer to the ‘leg’ as in a leg of pork. For bacon pigs, refer to the ‘ham’.

Good

Poor

Well rounded with meat, not fat

Sloping

Round with fat, not meat

Chump

Good

Poor

Convex

Concave

Loin

Good

Poor

Long

Narrow

Deep

Short

Full

Shallow


Shoulder

Good

Poor

Neat and compact

Heavy

Flat

Useful links

Download our guide to stock judging

If you would like a hard copy of A guide to stock judging please contact publications@ahdb.org.uk or call 0247 799 0069.

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