The various strains of American Landrace swine are the descendants of
the famous Danish Landrace hogs that were developed in Denmark in the 1890s.
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
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 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
The 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
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
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.