The origin of the Kolbroek, one of South Africa's real and unique indigenous pig breeds, is wrapped in mystery. There are two theories as to the origin of the breed. One theory (beyond doubt fiction) maintains that the name had been derived from the Coalbrook ship of the British East India Company which was wrecked at Cape Hangklip, close to Betty's bay in 1778. There were pigs on board the ship, which were rescued and it is believed that the Kolbroek originated from those animals. Historic records indicate that the name of the pigs and their consequent progeny was spelt in various ways, such as Coalbrook, Coalbroek and Kolbrooke. No wonder that some people believe that the name refers to the spotted appearance of the animal. Kolbroek meaning spotted pants in Afrikaans. See the section on the color of the breed.
The other theory (more realistic) is that the pigs were introduced during the 15th century by the Portuguese – since the sea route from the Cape to India was exclusively in the hands of the Portuguese. Having had the monopoly in route, it is apparent that pigs were used for barter (fruit, butter, vegetables, eggs, etc). The type of pig is believed to be originated from China – thus apparently a significant infusion of Sus Indica (a Chinese pig).
The Kolbroek is an excellent forager and will eat almost anything edible, whether it is fallen fruit in the orchard, vegetable waste from the kitchen or crop residues from the market garden. It can survive on very little. It is very hardy, a good forager, and appears to have more immunity to the ordinary pig diseases than our improved pig breeds. The sows are moderately prolific, excellent mothers, usually having plenty of milk. The litter size of the Kolbroek sows normally varies from six to nine piglets most of which tend to survive through to weaning at six to eight weeks.
The Kolbroek is a versatile pig. The breed is well suited for keeping on small farms and small holdings or close to feedlots and milking sheds, especially when they are crossed with other breeds such as the Duroc and Large White for marketing the progeny at 90-100 days of age. When it's crossed, the resultant hybrid vigor is pronounced in superior performance of the progeny through improved growth rates, feed conversion, grading and carcass quality.
The Kolbroek's overall color varies from black with white legs to grey or light ginger with grey or white legs. Prominent white spots (which should be round) are normally found on the flanks and hindquarters of the animal. There is usually a typically long mane on the animals, which bristles up when the animal is infuriated.
The profile of the face is concave with medium long ears. The ear orientation is lateral. The snout is short.
Short and broad.
Back and Loin
The back and loin is short, broad and compact.
The body frame is small and short of length compared to the other pig breeds in South Africa. It has a potbelly, which is a characteristic of the breed. The fat belly almost reaches the ground and contains an accumulation of lard/fat.
Short but very deep.
The hams are fairly well developed.
The legs are short, generally down on the pasterns with fine bone, none of which seem to hinder their gait or movement. They are extremely good walkers. The hooves are dark in color and can grow out substantially due to lack of exercise.
The tail is of medium length and straight.
The Kolbroek has a very docile temperament and is not stress susceptible.