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Published on 9th January 2024 by staff

Australian Yorkshire Pig

Australian Yorkshire Pig
Australian Yorkshire Pig

The Australian Yorkshire Pig originally developed in the Yorkshire region of England from the original breed of domesticated pigs in the country, and was later exported to Australia and North America. Since then, farming this breed has become extensively common, making it the most “dominant breed (of pig) in Australia”. The breed has become extremely popular for their high-quality meat.

Other NamesYorkshire Large White, Large White Pig
CharacteristicsHas a huge and elongated body along with a straight back; ears are erect; some might have black areas on the skin; the snout is long; body covered in fine hair
Personality TraitsAdaptable, intelligent, tamable
Skin ColorWhite, pinkish, pink-to-white
TailShort and twisted
UsesMeat production (basically bacon breed, also popular for lean meat and ham)
Lifespan/Expectancy6 to 10 years
Weight (size)Up to 650 pounds (both male and female)
Height84 to 92 cm
Litter SizeAverage 13 piglets per sow; sows are prolific
Flock Details8-10
DietWhey powder, fodders, soy beans, barley grains, and other grains including berseem, stubble of cultivated crops, tree leaves, wheat straw, millets, and maize
Country of OriginAustralia
(Developed in Yorkshire, England)
Year of Development18th Century
AssociationAustralian Pig Breeders Association Limited

History and Development

It was in the 18th century that the Yorkshire pig was developed for the first time by crossing the large white pig of North England, which is indigenous to the UK, with the smaller, fatter, white Chinese pigs that are smaller but fatter.

In the 20th century, these white pigs became a prominent member of the lean meat category, even though they were originally bred as a bacon breed. The Aussie Yorkshire boars are often employed to act as the sire of colored dams for the production of crossbred litters. The Yorkshire pig is the world’s most widely distributed pig breed at present.

In 2001, the Australian Yorkshire and the Duroc breeds were compared to the Vietnamese swines in a study conducted at the Institute of Agricultural Sciences of South Vietnam. The study concluded that, the Australian breeds have “significant advantage over Vietnamese breeds in growth, efficiency and carcass lean and in littering performance”.

Meat Production: Lean Meat, Bacon and Pork

The Australian Yorkshire pig belongs to the ‘large’ category meat breed, and is the most sought-after pork breed of the country. Presently, these swines has a very muscular structure, yielding a good quality of lean meat and bacon, which have very low back fat.

A normal size, healthy pig would weigh around 200 pounds on an average, while at times, they can even weigh up to 335-350 pounds during slaughter. The piglets grow rapidly, and attain the age for butchering at about 6 months old.

Being marketed worldwide, these pigs are specially modified to cater to the needs of the consumers in Singapore, and are fed only with barley grains and soy beans in place of whey powder, since the consumers of the country have complained that, the latter “gives the meat a milky taste that Singaporeans don’t take well to”. For this reason, a branch of the major Australian Yorkshire supplier named ‘Australian Pork Limited’ has been opened in the country.

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