Yorkshire pigs are one of the most common
pig breed in North America. They are white and have upright ears. Black spots
are not permitted. While the Yorkshire breed comes in three distinct sizes --
small, medium and large -- only the latter is traditionally found in the American
pork industry. They are an extremely muscular pig and the typical Yorkshire
carcass contains a great deal of lean meat, with little fat on the back.
The Yorkshire breed was developed
in Yorkshire, England, in 1761. In 1830, the first Yorkshires were imported to
Ohio; however, they have a slow growth rate, which made them less popular until
the late 1940s. In the 1940’s the focus of the pork industry became more
focused on size and many large Yorkshires were imported from Canada and England. The breed
then improved rapidly through the selection of imported pigs.
Today, Yorkshire pigs are found in nearly
every American state, with the highest populations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio.