About American Landrace Pigs
various strains of American Landrace swine are the descendants of the famous Danish
Landrace hogs that were developed in Denmark in the 1890’s. It resulted from
crossing the Large White hog from England with the native swine. Largely through
the use of the Landrace Denmark became a great bacon-exporting country.
In the early 1930s the United States Department of
Agriculture entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
Denmark for the purchase of 24 Danish Landrace. This stock was to be used for
swine research studies with the stipulation that this breed would not be
propagated as a pure breed for commercial use. The foundation stock of the American Landrace
were those hogs that were bred pure or that carried a small infusion
(one-sixteenth to one-sixty-fourth) of Poland China blood. Thirty eight head of
boars and gilts were imported from Norway that carried Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish
Landrace blood. Their blood was blended into the American Landrace and helped give
a broader genetic base to the breed.
For 15 years the Landrace were used in numerous
comparisons with American breeds. As a result of this work, four(4) new breeds were
registered by the Inbred Livestock Registry Association.
In May of 1949, the USDA petitioned the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Denmark to release its restrictions on the propagation of
purebred Landrace in the United States. This request was granted, and the
American Landrace Association was formed in 1950 to register and promote the
sale of purebred breeding stock.
American Landrace has a long body and sixteen or seventeen pairs of ribs. They
have a less-pronounced arch of back than most breeds of swine, sometimes almost
flat. American Landrace pigs have a long and narrow head with a clean jowl. Their
ears are large and heavy and are carried close to their face. They have an
admirable meatiness about them on foot and particularly on the rail. Their
rumps are long and comparatively level and their hams are plump but trim. Their
sides are long, of uniform depth, and well let down in the flank.
American Landrace pigs must be white and dark skin spots are
considered undesirable. A few freckles on their skin is allowed but black hairs
are not. Black Spotted pigs are not eligible for registration.
American Landrace sows are prolific and good mothers, and generally have plenty of
milk; however, studies have shown that they reach their top milk production
after five weeks of lactation which is later than other breeds compared.
American Landrace, which are noted for their
ability to farrow, cross well with other breed, and raise large
litters, are the fifth most recorded breed of swine in the United States.