Breeds of Swine: Yorkshire

Breeds of Swine: Yorkshire

By Abigail Wehrbein

The next breed to talk about is the Yorkshire swine. According to Oklahoma State, this breed dates back to the mid 1800s when they were first called, the Large White Breed. This breed caught big attention at the great National Show called the Royal in Yorkshire where the name switched and was forever linked to Yorkshire.

Yorkshires are all white in color and have erect ears. They are larger framed, mainly in length. This allows them to be marketed at heavier weights without loss of efficiency. In recent years the Yorkshire breed shows to be more muscular, with a high proportion of lean meat and low back fat. In addition to this, Yorkshires are extremely sound when they walk and are known to have greater durable mothers.

This is why the Yorkshire breed is often known as “the mother breed”. Maternal traits have shown strong throughout years that Yorkshires possess mothering abilities like larger, longer frames and scale to hold larger litters. Maternal traits are part of genetics that can be passed down through sires, or the father, which are measured depending on how the sow will farrow (birth of piglets) and nurture the litter. Traits include number of piglet born alive, number weaned, and 21-day litter weight. Weaning piglets can be done around 3-4 weeks of age after they are born.

One important fact that will strive with Yorkshire boars is the stable mothering lines in genetics that will add to longevity. Statistics have shown that Yorkshire boars compared to Duroc and Berkshire has highest number of litters, litter size at birth, and litter sized and weight at weaning time. Yorkshires take over the swine industry with the largest breed in the United States and Canada. This breed has had the most impact on the swine industry because of everything it contributes including its productivity and performance.

Pictures are from the National Swine Registry.

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