Belgian Landrace Pig
The Belgian Landrace Pig is a breed of domestic pigs that originated in Belgium. They are one of the most common and popular pork breeds amongst the other ‘landrace’ strains, and are extensively reared all across Belgium. Not merely its tasty meat, but also its success in meeting with the demands of the world market has made it popular among the breeders, sellers and consumers in many other countries.
|Also Known As||Belgian White Pig, Belgian Lop-eared, Improved Belgian, Belgian Improved Landrace, Landrasse B (German), Poppel (French), Landrace beige (French), Indigene ameliore (French), Belgijska zwisloucha (Polish), Veredeld Landvarken (Flemish), Belgisch Landvarken (Flemish)|
|Characteristics||Both males and females have a muscular stature and a long body, with a wide forehead, heavy drooping ears, a large, slightly-rounded and muscular back; while the hind legs are slightly lowered, the rump is a little fallen; the limbs are short and solid|
|Personality Traits||Docile, adaptable|
|Uses||Meat (pork) production|
|Size||Medium to large|
|Popular Traits||Good fertility; females make good mothers with plenty of milk for babies; piglets attain age of slaughter quickly; excellent stress resistance|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
|Litter Size||10-12 piglets per litter|
|Country of Origin||Belgium (Northern)|
|Registration and Qualification Information||British Pig Association|
History and Development
The development of the Belgian Landrace practically began in the 1920s. This breed was created from importing English swine breeds. This was done to ‘grade up’ their standards like that of the German Improved Landrace. This process continued for more than a decade, between 1930 and 1945.
In 1945, they were also bred with the Dutch Landrace, and a few other breeds like those from Luxembourg in 1955, Germany in 1971, and the Czech Republic in 1974, with an aim to strengthen the bloodline.
Presently, this breed is also used to improve the quality of the meat of other breeds. Apart from being one of the “four major commercial breeds” in France, these pigs are also used in quite a few other countries.
The number one goal of the pork industry in Belgium is to produce a very high quality fresh, lean meat that has minimum fat cover. In this regard, the Belgian Landrace pig could prove to be successful in meeting the demands of producing top quality fresh pork for the consumer marketplace. The meat this breed produces is lean and tender.
This breed has also attracted dealers from other countries that have similar goals in the production of high-quality crossbred pigs. The Belgian Landrace, thus, is an excellent example of selective crossbreeding that can produce high quality and tasty but fresh pork consistently.
- Because Belgian Landrace is excellent in meeting the demands of a specialized environment, and is one of the most common market breeds, it is often referred to as the ‘butcher’s pig’.
- There are eight stations all across Belgium in order to test over 5,000 Belgian Landraces each year to isolate those that are capable of further improvement.