American Landrace

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    Photo from Bib

    In previous articles, I highlighted some rare pig breeds, but the American Landrace is one of the more common breeds you\'ll find in the United States. It is a breed commonly used for bacon production, but they produce a fair share of milk for their litters, and they can reproduce efficiently. Studies have shown that the height of their milk production begins at around 5 weeks of lactation.

    History of the Breed

    It comes from Danish Landrace, going all the way back to 1895. The Large White pig of England was crossbred with native Danish pigs, which gave way to the Landrace breed. Because it was able to breed such a prime pig, Denmark became one of the heaviest bacon exporting countries in the world, with England as the primary consumer market.

    Denmark then entered into an agreement in 1934 with the US to introduce the pig in North America. Throughout the decades, the American Landrace became a distant breed within its own right, having been bred alongside Swedish and Norwegian breeds in the US. The US was able to get breeding restrictions from the Danish trade deal lifted, since these pigs breed well with other pig types.

    As a result, there are four other varieties of Landrace pigs in the United States. They are one of the reasons why darker tasting meats like the Berkshire became crowded out by the more convention bacon and pork products from the Landrace. It is one of the more mainstream commercial breeds you\'ll find on the market.

    Landrace Qualifications

    They have smooth, light skin and longer bodies than other breeds, and a less pronounced back arch. They have a long snout, floppy ears and a clean jowl. They are most desired with lighter skin, with dark spots generally frowned upon by some breeders, but freckles are permissible according to breeding standards. However, black hairs are also considered a defective trait. Those with dark spots are not allowed to be registered under the Landrace name. They are the fifth most registered pig in the United States. Because of their lighter skin, they are pigs that require plenty of mud to cake on their skin to protect them from sunburn.

    These are very good pigs to have on any farm, and the more you have the better. And aside from producing plenty of milk, they also make great mothers for their offspring.

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    Photo from ncar.gov

    Sometimes they are hard to guide, since their floppy ears tend to block their sight, but they have an even temperament. It is a great pig to breed other pigs like the Berkshire or Yorkshire. Some have complained of management problems, but they are not high maintenance, requiring plenty of feed and mud just like any other pig.

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