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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.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

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

Storey\'s Guide to Raising Pigs


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