There are many domestic breeds available worldwide known for their distinctive traits, quality meat, and milk-producing abilities. Breeders are developing more breeds to meet the world’s pork production requirements.
Beautiful White pig breeds are quite popular among the farmers because of their participation in the extensive and intensive breeding systems. These White Pig Breeds are ranked among the top breeds in Great Britain and the United States.
With good looks and cute antics, White pigs are in demand all over the world. They like to bask in mud to avoid getting sunburnt in the summers. They have extraordinary mothering abilities and some breeds are remarkably heavy milk producers. If you want to raise a pig read our guide on Pig Raising 101: A Complete Guide To Pig Farming
Some of the prominent white pig breeds are mentioned below.
White Pig Breeds
- Large White
- Chester White
- American Landrace
- Middle White
1. Large White
Hailing from Yorkshire, Large White is also called English Large White or Yorkshire. In the US and Canada, this white pig breed goes by the names of Large Yorkshire or Improved Large Yorkshire. This is one of Great Britain’s bacon-producing breeds known for its delicious pork flavor.
As the name suggests, it’s a large pig breed that covers themselves in mud to stop them from becoming sunburnt. They enjoy playing with toys and have their head rubbed.
The breed originated in Yorkshire however, the early history is difficult to trace. The native white pigs of the region were crossbred with Cumberland, Leicestershire, and the Middle and Small White. This selective breeding resulted in the development of a new breed, Large White.
Before the end of the 19th century, British Large Whites became a popular breeding stock and exported to Australia, Argentina, Canada, and Russia as well as most countries in Europe.
With their adaptability and hardy nature, Large Whites have become an indispensable part of commercial pig production systems and breeding pyramids worldwide.
If we have to name one thing Large Whites are recognized for it would be their large size, picturesque bearing, erect ears. This white pig breed has a moderately long head, slightly dished face, broad snout, long, fine neck with a deep and wide chest, and long back. Also, the breed is entirely white in color.
This pig breed is used in crossbreeding for intensive pig farming all around the world. Because of their large size, this breed is also known to produce meat on a large scale.
2. Chester White
At first, when the breed was developed it was called Chester County White later the ‘County’ was dropped. Though Chester Whites are hardy souls they require extra care in the summer. They get sunburns due to the hot sun.
Chester White is large, fatty meat pig that can be a bit aggressive sometimes hurting anyone near him. One thing that you may not know about this white pig breed is that they have excellent mothering qualities.
This domestic pig breed is indigenous to Chester County, Pennsylvania. That’s also where they got their name from.
In the early 19th century or more precisely, between 1815-1818, the Chester White breed was first developed using strains of local white pigs of Northeast U.S and a white boar named Woburn. The Woburn was brought by Captain Jefferies of England’s Liverpool for breeding purposes.
Later in 1848, when this breed was debuted at a county fair, the show judge named this white pig breed Chester County White.
Chester White Pigs are recognized for their solid white hides and droopy ears. They are large-sized, fatty pigs with relatively thinner but stout legs and big heads.
It may not be as popular as Yorkshire, Hampshire, or the Duroc for breeding purposes but it is actively involved in both intensive and extensive pig farming. Apart from taking part in commercial breeding operations, this white pig breed is used for pork production.
3. American Landrace
American Landrace is a domestic white pig breed known for its exceptional qualities. Honored as the fifth most recorded Swine breed in the United States, American Landrace is lauded for its ability to farrow and cross well with other breeds.
It may be unknown to many but they produce large litters. The female American Landrace pigs are noted for being prolific and heavy milk producers.
Various strains of American Landrace Swine are descendants of the famous Danish Landrace from Denmark. In the early 1930s, USDA imported Danish Landrace for Swine research studies.
In May of 1949, restrictions were lifted on the propagation of purebred in response to a petition filed by the USDA to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. The American Landrace Association was established in 1950 to register and sell purebred breeding stock.
Further outcrosses with Danish, Sweden, and Norwegian Landrace stock developed and expanded the Modern American Landrace.
The American Landrace is a white hog of long body length, lean with 16 or 17 ribs. They have long yet narrow heads, droopy ears slant forward with their top edges, flat back, plump ham, and long rumps. This pig breed has white body hair.
The sows are prolific, noted for their remarkable milk-producing capabilities, this trait has earned them the title of ‘America’s Sowherd’.
American Landrace is used for breeding purposes and improving other breeds. However, they are well-known for their high fertility and great maternal abilities. This breed is also used for the profitable production of quality pig meat.
This large white pig breed has been around serving humans since time immemorial. In its long history, the breed has seen several highs and lows including a danger of extinction.
A perfect Welsh pig is described as ‘pear-shaped’ which can be seen either from the side or above. Famous for their hardiness and ability to thrive under all weather conditions making Welsh ideal for intensive breeding operations.
This domestic pig breed hails from Wales. It belongs to different Welsh towns like Mid Wales, Montgomery, Cardigan, Carmarthen, and Pembroke.
Now the third-ranking Swin breed in Britain, Welsh remained unknown for decades. The earliest records suggest considerable trade in Welsh and Shropshire pigs into Cheshire.
In 1922, the Welsh Pig Society was established to evolve the breed further. The breed prospered in the 1950s with a dramatic rise in population and became the third sire breed in Great Britain after the Large White and Landrace.
Good days were soon gone for the breed owing to the unrelenting drive towards intensification and hybrid vigour in commercial herds led to a decline in the purebred stock. Now the breed is at risk and termed rare breed.
Welsh is a large-sized animal with a pear-shaped body with thin, unwrinkled skin, and a fine white coat.
They have a moderately wide head, straight nose, and lopped ears, deep neck, flat shoulders, and long, level back. Welsh has widely apart forelegs, deep rib cage, well-muscled loin, thick belly, well-rounded ham, strong hindquarters, and twelve teats.
Welsh breeds are one of the desired crossing sires known to produce leaner, fast-growing offspring with improved conformation. Ideal to be used for breed development and intensive systems.
Prized for their pork and bacon as they grow pretty quickly and carcasses grade well for the commercial pig meat market.
5. Middle White
Middle White breed was developed and originated in Yorkshire nearly the same time as Large White. They are called Middle White as their size is somewhat between the Large White and now-extinct Small White.
As compared to its close relative, Large White, this pig breed grows up pretty quickly and reaches around 61.8 kg within 17 weeks of age. This cheeky, friendly pig is quite popular in Great Britain and scattered over the country.
It is dubbed as ‘London Porker’ because of its demand in London restaurants. Bestowed with a generous layer of natural fat, it is Britain’s only dedicated pork breed.
At the Keighley Agricultural Show in West Yorkshire, many Large White Sows were exhibited by Joseph Tuley. Judges could not agree on some pigs as they were not sufficiently large for the breed. Though they were also not small enough to be categorized as Small White.
Judges summoned a committee decided to call the third class, Middle Breed. In 1852, it was officially recognized as Middle White Breed. Tuley developed the breed further by crossing a boar of the Small White breed with females of the large white.
Middle White is exported to different countries of the world for their good meat quality. In some other parts of the world, it is known as “Middle Yorks”.
Middle White gets recognized for their small nose as if they have run into a wall. They have all-white coats and meaty bodies. Its traits, characteristics are quite similar to that of the Large White. Its size is somewhat smaller than the Large White breed. It has some traits of Small White as well; distinctive pricked ears and a short snout.
As it is established earlier, they are renowned for the outstanding quality of its fresh, uncured meat which boasts robust, porky flavor. They are used as sire breed as some other popular pig breed. Middle Whites also have good maternal qualities.
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