Large White Pig: Facts & Characteristics


Large White pig is an exotic breed of pig that has its origin in Yorkshire in England. It is also called English Large White or Yorkshire. The Large White breed of Great Britain is known in Canada and the United States as the Large Yorkshire, or Improved Large Yorkshire. The original Large White pig was extremely large and coarse, but the type has been considerably modified by selection, and possibly by the judicious use of other blood. Owing to the improvement effected in the breed, the term “improved” is commonly inserted in the name. Large Yorkshires occupy a prominent place in Great Britain, where they are regarded as the leading bacon producing breed. In Denmark, they are used exclusively for crossing on the sows common to the country, and the very finest bacon brought into England comes from this cross. In Canada, they are more numerous than any other breed, and they are being imported into the United States in large numbers.

I love this particular pig breed because of a few things listed below. In fact, it has always been the first of all recommended exotic pig breeds for commercial pig farming. Any time you ask me this question: what is the best pig breed for commercial pig farming? My answer will always be this. The best breed of pig for commercial pig farming is Large White or English Large White. This is because of their characteristics.

Also Read: Nutritional Requirements of Pig

Characteristics of Large White Pig (Large Yorkshire)

  1. A Large White pig has a moderately long head, have a slightly dished face and a broad snout.
  2. Its neck is fine, long and evenly full to shoulders with deep and wide chests.
  3. Additionally, they have long, level and wide back.
  4. Mature boars have weights between 300 kg and 450kg and mature sow weighs between 250 kg and 350 kg.
  5. Large White pigs possess good carcass quality.
  6. The breed is entirely white in color.
  7. The breed is highly prolific and an efficient feed utilizer.

Large Yorkshires are one of the largest breeds of swine. They vary considerably in type, and it requires skill in selection to breed them of uniform character. When intelligently selected, they are profitable feeders, growing rapidly, and becoming ready for the packer at an early age. As previously noted, they are well adapted to produce bacon for the English market, as they furnish a long side, and a good proportion of lean to fat. They are reasonably hardy and very prolific. Being more than ordinarily prepotent, they are exceptionally valuable for crossing on the fatter types of hogs, giving to the progeny greater length and less tendency to excessive fatness. They are rather better adapted to pen feeding than to grazing.


Also Read: How to Start Modern Pig Farming in Africa

Hints on Selection

Large White Pigs vary considerably in type and general qualities. The more old fashioned strains frequently possessed extremely short, turned-up snouts, with the lower jaw projecting beyond the upper. While many good pigs possess this peculiarity, it is too commonly associated with very undesirable qualities to deserve popularity. Animals with this peculiarity of snout often have a heavy jowl, neck, and shoulder, a short side, and a general lack of quality. Then there is another extreme: the long, scrawny neck, narrow chest, long, coarse-boned, puffy legs, and bristly coat. This type is even more objectionable than the other. Pigs of this type frequently have good length, but they are not a good bacon type, because they lack quality, which is essential to the production of the best bacon. They are also hard feeders, and a good bacon pig is an economical producer.

Coarseness is more objectionable in the sow than in the boar, but care must be taken not to get the bone too fine. The bone of the sow should be strong, but should be very clean-cut in appearance, and the legs should be of only medium length- In addition to the things looked for in any boar of bacon breed, the Large Yorkshire boar should possess a large ear, and heavy bone, though the bone should be clean, and give evidence of strength and quality combined. A Large Yorkshire boar with light bone and a head resembling that of a Berkshire, will seldom prove a satisfactory sire. Black hair on a Large Yorkshire should disqualify. Blue or black spots on the skin are objectionable but are difficult to avoid, and the aim must be to reduce them to a minimum.


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