Animals Animal Science Facts
Extension Animal Husbandry ANS96-806S

Danish Standards for Market Hogs


Matthew C. Claeys
Extension Livestock Specialist


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.

Market Hogs

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

  1. To develop leadership abilities, build character, and assume citizenship responsibilities.
  2. To experience the pride of owning livestock and to be responsible for its management.
  3. To be better prepared for citizenship responsibilities through working in groups and supporting community livestock educational projects and activities.
  4. To learn skills in livestock production and gain an understanding of the business of breeding, raising, and promoting livestock and their end products.
  5. To increase knowledge of safety precautions needed to prevent injury to yourself while working with livestock.
  6. To promote greater love for animals and a human attitude toward them.
  7. To teach good sportsmanship through a friendly, competitive atmosphere.
  8. 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:

Some additional materials available from North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service:

ANS 96-006BEvaluating and Recognizing Youth Using the Danish System
ANS 96-805SShowing Swine
ANS 96-807SCloverbud (5-6 Years of Age) Swine Exhibitors Project Guide
ANS 96-808SCloverbud ( 7-8 Years of Age) Swine Exhibitors Project Guide
10M894commPennsylvania 4-H Livestock Judging Manual
4-H M-5-34-H Swine Production Manual
4-H M-5-324-H Project Manual - Red Meats
4-H L-5-37Swine Lesson Plans for 4-H Leaders
Livestock Lessons for After School Enrichment Programs

Reviewed by: 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).


Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Employment and program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
Return to
Extension Animal Husbandry Home Page
NCSU's Department of Animal Science's Home Page
North Carolina State University's Home Page
Last modified Monday, 10-Feb-2003 10:07:12 EST
Lori McBryde, Department of Animal Science.