American Yorkshire Pigs
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About American Yorkshire PigsAbout American Yorkshire Pigs

The American Yorkshire is arnbreed of domestic pig and is the American version of the Yorkshire pig (nowrnknown as the English Large White pig). Yorkshire pigs are white and have erectrnears. The modern Yorkshire is very muscular, with a high proportion of leanrnmeat and low backfat. They are also very sound and durable animals. Yorkshiresrnare classified into three types: large, middle, small. Only the large type ofrnYorkshire pig has ever gained any prominence in the United States.

rnrnThe Yorkshire breed was developedrnin Yorkshire, England. In 1761, Robert Bakewell became interested in a localrntribe of hogs known as the Leicestershire breed and he molded them into arnlarge, useful hog that became popular in England.

rnrnIn 1851 Joseph Luley, one ofrnthe greatest breeders of his time showed a team of his Yorkshire hogs in thernclasses for the Large White Breed where they immediately attracted widespreadrnattention. Yorkshires became s more than a breed of local repute, became arnbreed of National recognition.rnrnThe Yorkshire pig also owesrnmuch of their fame in those early years to the herd of N. Wainman of Carhead.rnOne day Wainman was riding by as a working man was exercising his sow duringrnthe mid-day dinner break. Delighted with the look of the pig, Wainman bought itrnfrom the working man on the spot based on what Wainman described as anrn"uncontrollable impulse." That pig was a descendant of Luley'srnanimals and it is through her descendants that some of the entries of the firstrnpig herd book can be traced back. Wainman’s pig became the dam of CheimsfordrnDuchess, the first Carhead winner at the "Royal" Show, and one of thernfirst, if not the first Yorkshire pig to be exported.

In 1884 the National PigrnBreeder's Association was founded with Lore Moneton as its first President. ThernAssociation began the task of compiling annually a volume of the Pig Herd Book.rnToday, Yorkshire hogs are classed as belonging to the Large White breed, butrnprior to that they were just listed as Yorkshires.

rnrnIn the United States aroundrnthe early 1920's, the Morrell Packing Company of Ottumwa, Iowa, and the HormelrnPacking Company of Austin, Minnesota, tried to promote Yorkshires to farmers inrntheir surrounding areas. After World War I, the market for lard was quicklyrnvanishing and Yorkshires failed to gain popularity with farmers in these areasrndue to their slow growth rate and short, pugged noses.

rnrnHowever during the latern1940's, the pig industry experienced a period of rapid breed expansion andrndemand in the United States. A large percentage of Yorkshires were importedrnfrom both England and Canada where the breed had been very popular due to theirrnlarge carcass and having a greater substance, ruggedness, and scale than otherrnbreeds of pigs. All of these qualities made the Yorkshire very attractive to pigrnbreeders in the United States. Importing pigs with these strong qualitiesrnallowed the United States to meet consumer’s leaner meat/pork demands.
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rnrnYorkshire breeders have alsornled the industry through the utilization of the "STAGES" geneticrnevaluation program. From 1990-2006, Yorkshire breeders submitted over 440,000rngrowth and backfat records and over 320,000 sow productivity records. Thisrnrepresents the largest source of documented performance records for pigs in thernworld.rnrn 
rnrnToday the Yorkshire is thernmost common breed of pig in the United States and Canada. They are found inrnalmost every state now, with the highest populations being in Illinois,rnIndiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio.


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