Domestic Pig Breeds
The American Landrace pig is a medium to large breed of domestic pig. It is white in colour and has a long body. This breed is covered in fine hair. American Landrace pigs have long snouts and their ears droop and slant forward with its top edges nearly parallel to the bridge of a straight nose.
American Landrace pigs, which are noted for their ability to farrow and raise large litters, are the fourth most recorded breed of swine in the United States. They are mainly bred for the production of pork. American Landrace pigs are also noted for their smoothness, length of body and lean carcasses, these pigs are prolific, fast-growing and sturdy.
American Yorkshire pigs are whitish in colour and have erect ears. American Yorkshire pigs are the most recorded breed of swine in the United States and in Canada. They are found in almost every state, with the highest populations being in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio.
The modern American Yorkshire pig is very muscular, with a high proportion of lean meat and low back fat, in addition to being very sound and durable. The Yorkshire breed was developed in Yorkshire, England in the county of York. Later the name was changed to ‘English Large White’ but it is known as Yorkshire throughout most of the rest of the world.
There are three types of hogs referred to as the Yorkshire: the large, the middle and the small types. Only the large type has ever gained any prominence in the United States. The modern Yorkshire is muscular with a high proportion of lean meat. Yorkshire data records have been maintained with great diligence, including growth, sow productivity and back fat information, representing the largest source of documented livestock performance records in the world.
The Angeln Saddleback pig is also known as the Angler Sattelschwein. The Angeln Saddleback pig is a rare breed of domestic pig which is grown mainly in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is a large, lop-eared, black pig with a white band around its body which continues down to its forefeet.
Typical sizes are 350 kg weight, 92 cm height (boars) and 300 kg weight, 84 cm height (sows). The sows are highly fertile with much milk.
The Angeln Saddleback pig was crossed with a black and white Landrace pig with a Wessex Saddleback pig and originated in Angeln, Germany. It was accepted as a new breed of pig in 1937. By the 1950’s it commanded a substantial local market share. However, in recent years, it has become nearly extinct as market sentiment has turned against its fatty meat.
The Bentheim Black Pied pig is also known as the Buntes Bentheimer Schwein. It is a rare breed of domestic pig in Germany. The Bentheim Black Pied pig originated in Bentheim, Germany in the early 20th century when local breeds were crossed with Berkshire pigs and Cornwalls pigs.
The Bentheim Black Pied pig became nearly extinct in the 1950s and is now a rare breed with about 100 registered breeding animals. Bentheim Black Pied pigs are medium-sized, lop-eared and coloured white with black spots with grey rings. Boars average 75 cm height, 250 kg weight; sows average 70 cm height, 180 kg weight.
Berkshire pigs are said to be Britains oldest pig breed, originally bred in the Faringdon and Wantage regions of the English county of Berkshire (now Oxfordshire). Berkshire pigs apparently became popular after being ‘discovered’ by Cromwell’s troops while they were stationed at Reading during the English Civil War.
In New Zealand it is estimated that there are now less than a hundred purebred Berkshire sows. Berkshire pigs pork is renown for its superb meat marbling. Berkshire pigs are early-maturing black pigs and often have white on their legs, faces and the tips or their tails. Their snouts are dished and are of medium length. The ears are fairly large and are erect or slightly leaned forward. Berkshire pigs have fine wrinkle-free necks and well-sloped shoulder blades. They have short, straight legs and a straight underline belly.
The Danish Landrace pig is a medium to large breed of pig, whitish in colour with long bodies, fine hair, long snouts and drooping ears. The Danish Landrace pigs are bred for pork production. Production and quality testing have become a regular part of the Danish swine improvement program.
Primarily because of this breed, Denmark became the worlds chief bacon-exporting country and for many years refused to export purebred Landrace breeding stock to protect this position. Danish Landrace pigs have been exported to the United States (see American Landrace), Canada, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, the former U.S.S.R., Albania, Hungary, Greece, Germany and several African countries.
The Duroc pig is an older breed of American domestic pig that forms the basis for many mixed-breed commercial hogs. Duroc pigs are red, large-framed, medium length and muscular, with partially drooping ears.
The Duroc pigs are the second most recorded breed of swine in the United States and a major breed in many other countries, especially as a terminal sire or in hybrids. Durocs pigs can range from a very light golden, almost yellow colour, to a very dark reddish-black colour.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot pig is an English breed of pig which is predominantly white with black spots. It is named after the county of Gloucestershire. The Gloucestershire Old Spot pig is sometimes known as the ‘Orchard Pig’ as they were traditionally pastured in orchards where they ate drop apples.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs have also often been referred to as a ‘bacon’ pig, due to the significant depth of their body that provides a larger percentage of bacon. They often carry more fat than breeds that are more popular commercially. These pigs tend to be very calm, good natured animals, another trait that makes them desirable to small farmers. The females tend to be very devoted mothers, while the males seldom pose a threat to piglets.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot pig is currently on the ‘Critical’ List by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. In the UK the Old Spots is listed as ‘Category 5, Minority’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
The Tamworth Pig is among the oldest of pig breeds, but its population is considered rare and critical. The Tamworth Pig is of ginger to red colouration and is thought to have descended from wild boars, via native pig stock of Europe.
The Tamworth Pig has an elongated head shape and a long narrow body. Their ears are erect and pointed, while the face has rectilinear lines as well as the snout. Colours range from a pale gingery to dark mahogany red. Their bristle protects their skin from the sun, however, when they moult between June and August (in the northern hemisphere), shade is sought along with mud coating to prevent sunburn.
The Tamworth Pigs are a medium sized pig, with a full grown boar ranging from 250 to 370 kilograms and the mature sow from 200 to 300 kilograms. The adult length ranges from 1.0 to 1.4 metres and heights of about 50 to 65 centimetres are common. Their curled adult tail is about 24 to 30 centimetres long. The Tamworth Pig is characterised by having a neck and legs that are long and by deep sides, but narrow backs. Tamworth Pigs have ham structures that are quite muscular. The Tamworth Pig is also known for having excellent foot structure and a good skeletal system. Litter sizes are typically somewhat smaller than commercial breeds.