The American Yorkshire is a breed of large domesticated pigs is the American version of Britain’s ‘Large White’. It was developed in the UK, and later imported to the US, and proved to be a great success in the pork industry of the country. This breed is only comparable to the Landrance pigs by size and other characteristics. Currently, the population of this breed is static.
|Characteristics||Large and long by appearance with a straight back; the ears are upright ears; black spots on the skin are accepted for registration, but are not desirable; covered in fine hair and have a long snout|
|Personality Traits||Intelligent, easily-tamed, adaptable|
|Skin Color||White, pinkish, pink-to-white|
|Uses||Meat production (pork in general, bacon, and ham)|
|Lifespan/Expectancy||6 to 10 years|
|Weight (size)||Up to 650 pounds (both male and female)|
|Height||84 to 92 cm|
|Litter Size||Average 13 piglets per sow|
|Diet||Stubble of cultivated crops, tree leaves, fodders and grains including berseem, wheat straw, millets, maize, barley|
|Country of Origin||USA
(Developed in Yorkshire, England)
|Association||National Swine Registry|
History and Development
In 1761, the Yorkshire breed was first developed in the Yorkshire region of England. In 1830, the initial specimens of the Yorkshires were first introduced to the USA, especially in Ohio, from Canada and England. However, it was the slow growth rate of these pigs that restrained it from being popular until the latter half of the 1940s.
Later, the breed started to develop rapidly by selective breeding. Presently, this swine is found in almost all the American states. The modern population is large, with a stout and muscular built, having a high proportion of lean meat.
From the time of its popularity, the data of the pet Yorkshire swines have been diligently maintained, including backfat formation, growth, sow productivity, etc. This is the largest source of documented records of any livestock in the whole world. The highest populations of these pigs are concentrated in Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, and Nebraska.
On April 1, 1893, the American Yorkshire Club was organized for the first time in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Initially a stock company, it was later reorganized in 1948 and became a membership organization.
Temperament and Life Cycle
The American Yorkshire Pig is an intelligent breed that would get tamed very easily. They have a keen sense of smelling. The snout of the Yorkshire Pig helps for their excellent sense of smell. They are omnivorous. Their eating habits are similar to most other pig breeds, with plant matters to carcasses being in their diet list. When they relax, these pigs love to wobble in the mud. In USA they do not have any natural habitat, but are bred in the farms. The boars have considerably been used as a sire of crossbred litters out of colored dams.
These pigs are susceptible to respiratory diseases like pneumonia and bronchitis, parasite infection and influenza.
Although this breed was originally a bacon breed, they gained prominence in the lean-meat category during the 20th century in the USA. With the three genus – the large, the middle and the small – being referred to as the ‘Yorkshire’, the American Yorkshire falls under the ‘large’ category, which is the most popular hog meat in the United States. The modern Yorkshire is very muscular, with a high proportion of lean meat and low backfat, in addition to being very sound and durable.
During slaughter, a healthy Yorkshire would normally weigh 200 pounds in average. They are mostly considered for butchering at 6 months of age. In some cases, they might weigh in excess of 335-350 pounds.
The presence of any one or more of the following attributes would disqualify a Yorkshire pig from being registered:
- Less than six teats on a side
- Any hair other than white on any part of the animal’s body
- One testicle or any pronounced abnormal condition of the testicles
- Total blindness
- Hernia or ruptures
- Evidence of an extra dewclaw. However, a small amount of black pigmentation is allowed on the body of the animal
- Black spots in the skin are very objectionable and any large spots or numerous black spots located on any part of the hog makes the pig ineligible for registry
- The American Yorkshire is considered as the most recorded pig breed in the United States.