About Large White Pigs
The Large White is a
breed of domestic pig originating in Yorkshire. They are one of the most common
pig breeds. Large Whites in the US are referred to as American Yorkshires, or
would expect Large Whites are large and white. They have erect ears and a
They were originally developed
as an outdoor breed, but today they are favored by commercial pig breeders.
First recognized in 1868, the Large White was one of the
original founder breeds of the National
Pig Breeders' Association (now
known as the British Pig
Association) and the first
herdbook was published in 1884. The early history of the breed in Yorkshire is
difficult to trace. The huge, coarse-boned and leggy white pigs of the region
were crossed with other breeds.
Before the end of the 19th Century, British Large Whites had
already establishing themselves all over the world. Innovative pedigree
breeders were exporting breeding stock as far as Australia, Argentina, Canada
and Russia as well as most countries in Europe.
The Large White has proved itself as a rugged and hardy breed
that can withstand variations in climate and other environmental factors. Their
ability to cross with and improve other breeds has given them a leading role in
commercial pig production systems and breeding pyramids around the world.
In the early 1970s the development of modern performance testing
programs led to an increase in world-wide demand for Large White breeding stock
from the United Kingdom. From 1970 to 1973 more than 8,500 pedigree Large
Whites were exported to all parts of the world. In the early 1990s, the switch
in the USA from payment on live weight to payment on lean meat percentage led
to another great wave of exports of Large White genetics from Britain.