Breeds Of Pig

Commercial Breeds Of Pig

Pigs which are kept by farmers for commercial purposes are;

  • Large White
  • British Landrace
  • Welsh
  • British Saddleback (Wessex Saddleback)

The two most important breeds for pig farmers are the Large White and the British Landrace.

Large White and British Landrace Pigs

  • Sows of both breeds consistently produce litters of 10-12 piglets.
  • Both breeds produce good quality pigs for meat production.
  • They both grow quickly.
  • The skin of both breeds is white.
  • Both breeds are very efficient at food conversion.

Large White Pigs

  • A very popular breed.
  • The breed was developed by Yorkshire factory workers during the 19th century.
  • It’s a strong breed.
  • Easy to rear.
  • Produces lean meat.
  • These pigs have white skin, prick ears and alert feature.

British Landrace Pigs

  • This breed originated in Scandinavia.
  • The pigs are suited to indoor systems.
  • This breed is not hardy.
  • They are a lean breed with a good length.
  • Their long carcase makes them very suitable for bacon production.
  • The pigs have white skin and lop ears.
  • The piglets grow faster than other breeds.

Welsh Pigs

  • This breed is similar to the British Landrace.
  • A popular commercial breed.
  • The pigs have white skin.
  • They are a lean breed with a good length.
  • This breed can be reared indoors and outdoors.
  • The sows have good mothering abilities.

British Saddleback Pigs

  • British Saddleback pigs have a blackcoat with a white saddle just behind their front legs.
  • Also known as the Wessex Saddleback.
  • A hardy outdoor breed.
  • Popular for crossbreeding.
  • The sows have good mothering abilities.

Minor Breeds

  • Gloucester Old Spot
  • Tamworth
  • Large Black
  • Middle White
  • Berkshire

Gloucester Old Spot Pigs

  • An English breed.
  • Gloucester Old Spot pigs have white coats with distinctive black spots on them.
  • Originally lived in apple orchards and woodlands.
  • A hardy breed.
  • Produces fine bacon.
  • Can produce many offspring.

Tamworth Pigs

  • An outdoor pig.
  • Dual purpose breed for lean pork and bacon production.
  • Tamworths are moderate sized pigs with long, lean bodies.
  • They have a red coat and prick ears.
  • Tamworth sows can produce large litters.
  • They can be lively pigs.

Large Black Pigs

  • This is a hardy and docile breed of pig.
  • They are a long, black coated pig with lop ears.
  • Large blacks produce excellent bacon.
  • The sows have very good mothering qualities.
  • This breed are capable of rearing large litters.

Middle White Pigs

  • Middle White pigs originate from Yorkshire.
  • They have been bred from Large White and Small White stock.
  • This breed has a white coat with a flattened face and nose.
  • They have pricked up ears with feathery hairs around the edges of the ears.
  • These are early maturing pigs.
  • Middle Whites are reared for pork.
  • They are good natured pigs.

Berkshire Pigs

  • Quite a rare breed of pig.
  • Berkshire pigs now have a black coat.
  • Originally had a reddish coat which sometimes had spots on it.
  • They have prick ears with white on their face, feet and the tip of their tail.
  • This breed are fast growing.
  • They are produced for their juicy pork joints and chops.
  • Berkshire pigs have a good temperament.

Imported Breeds

  • Duroc
  • Hampshire
  • Belgian Pietrain
  • Maishan
  • Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig

Duroc Pigs

  • Originates from United States.
  • A very hardy breed.
  • Has an attractive colour.
  • Can grow quickly.
  • Quality of meat good.
  • Meat is juicier and flavoursome.

Hampshire Pigs

  • Originates from the United states.
  • Good for cross breeding.
  • Quality of meat good with high lean content and good hams.
  • Not a prolific breed.

Belgian Pietrain Pigs

  • Good quality meat with high lean content and great hams.

Maishan Pigs

  • Originate from China.
  • A prolific breed whose sows can produce 20 piglets.

Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs

  • An ornamental breed.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.

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Click on the image below to go to to find out more about this book entitled Storey’s Guide To Raising Pigs.

Storey\'s Guide to Raising Pigs