Danish Standards for Market Hogs
North Carolina State University Animal Science Fact Sheet ANS96-806S. By Matt Claeys
The Danish Standards for the evaluation of market hogs are listed below. These standards have been established for the recognition of Cloverbuds (ages 5 – 8) in the 4-H Market Swine Project area. However, these standards may be used with all 4-H age groups. In this system of determining the level of achievement, the animal should be evaluated against the standard and not the other animals in the particular class.
This system of evaluating the market hog will utilize the USDA yield grade system as well as visual appraisal for muscling and conformation. The formula for the USDA yield grade system is: Yield Grade = (4 x the last rib back fat depth, inches) – muscle score. The muscle scores are defined as: 1= thin muscling; 2= average muscling; and 3= thick muscling. These grades are based on the expected lean cuts yield. Carcasses must be of acceptable quality.
- Purple Group – US No. 1 hogs with superior meat conformation; balance, style, and superior quality; showing production traits of skeletal soundness and youthfulness; free of physical problems.
- Blue Group – US No. 1 hogs with above average meat conformation; balanced and of high quality; showing production traits of skeletal soundness and youthfulness; free of physical problems.
- Red Group – US No. 1 hogs with average meat conformation; US No. 2 hogs with superior meat conformation; free of physical problems.
- White Group – US No. 1 hogs with below average meat conformation; US No. 2 hogs with average or below average meat conformation; US No. 3 and 4 hogs; Utility hogs.
North Carolina 4-H Livestock Overall Objectives
- To develop leadership abilities, build character, and assume citizenship responsibilities.
- To experience the pride of owning livestock and to be responsible for its management.
- To be better prepared for citizenship responsibilities through working in groups and supporting community livestock educational projects and activities.
- To learn skills in livestock production and gain an understanding of the business of breeding, raising, and promoting livestock and their end products.
- To increase knowledge of safety precautions needed to prevent injury to yourself while working with livestock.
- To promote greater love for animals and a human attitude toward them.
- To teach good sportsmanship through a friendly, competitive atmosphere.
- To increase knowledge of animal agriculture by-products and how by-product usage touches our lives each and every day.
The North Carolina 4-H and Junior Livestock Program provides many project area that address the various segments of the livestock industry. Emphasis for all of the projects is on the development of the young person. The youth are the focus of the projects, while the animals and projects are utilized as the vehicle for the progress in the development of youth. Available educational programs cover subject matter materials from production practices to the meat product supplied for the consumer’s plate. For further information about programs and services provided by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service:
Contact the county livestock or dairy agents. County office phone numbers can be found in the phone book Government Section listed within the county section. N.C. State University Extension specialists working with dairy cattle, beef cattle, horses, swine, and small ruminants provide resource support for county/area dairy and livestock agents.
Some additional materials available from North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service:
- ANS 96-006B Evaluating and Recognizing Youth Using the Danish System
- ANS 96-805S Showing Swine
- ANS 96-807S Cloverbud (5-6 Years of Age) Swine Exhibitors Project Guide
- ANS 96-808S Cloverbud ( 7-8 Years of Age) Swine Exhibitors Project Guide
- 10M894comm Pennsylvania 4-H Livestock Judging Manual
- 4-H M-5-3 4-H Swine Production Manual
- 4-H M-5-32 4-H Project Manual – Red Meats
- 4-H L-5-37 Swine Lesson Plans for 4-H Leaders
- Livestock Lessons for After School Enrichment Programs
Darwin G. Braund, Ph.D., Brinton A. Hopkins, Ph.D., Sharon Rogers Department of Animal Science and the following County Agents: Walter Earle (Wilson), Michael L. Hobbs (Buncombe), and Ronald M. Hughes (Johnston).