The Hampshire breed originated in Southern England. Hampshires are black with white bands encircling the front of the body, also the front legs and feet. Hampshries are meaty and medium in size. This breed has a smooth appearance, has erect ears and are active and alert animals.
Hampshires are characterized by their short, strong legs and their ability to produce quality meat. Hampshire sows are known for weaning a high percentage of the pigs farrowed. This breed is also known for their ability to adapt to very rugged conditions. Their growth rate are generally average or below.
A variety of Landrace strains originated from the famous Danish Landrace hogs that were developed in Denmark in 1895. The Landrace is characterized by its long body length, short legs, and medium to large drooping ears, Landrace swine is meaty on the foot, especially on the rail. Their hams are plump but trim. Their sides are long and uniform in
Landrace sows are prolific and are known to be excellent mothers and having a good litter size. This breed’s sows have been known for their milk producing abilities, reaching their top milk after five weeks of lactation which is much later when compared to other breeds.
Pietrain originated in Pietrain, a village in Belgium from which this breed is named. Pietrain are medium in size and characterized by its white color with black spots. Pietrains carry their ears erect and are commonly referred to as being of piebald markings. This breed has well shaped hams, loins, and shoulders and is very meaty. Pietrains carry an extremely high proportion of lean to fat. Thus Pietrains are the choice breed for fresh meat processing.
However, this breed has a slow growth and has less satisfactory feed efficiency. Pietrains are also susceptible to stress. Pietrain boars are often bred with Landrace sows, as Pietrain sows lack in mothering abilities and in milk production.
Yorkshires, otherwise known as the Largewhites, are entirely white with medium and erect ears. Yorkshire sows have excellent mothering ability, farrow and wean large litters. Yorkshire sows are also noted for their ability to yield high dressing percentage and produce high quality meat. Yorkshires are preferred for their superior growth capability and economic gains.
The Yorkshire or Large White originated in Yorkshire County, England. Yorkshires are known for their ability to cross with and improve other breeds. They are noted to be an active and lean breed. The Large White’s extra height or length of leg enables them to remain active and have long useful lives in the breeding pen.