The Large White
is a breed of domestic pig originating in Yorkshire. They are one of the most
common pig breeds. Large Whites in the US are referred to as American
Yorkshires, or just Yorkshires.
As one would
expect Large Whites are large and white. They have erect ears and a dished
They were originally
developed as an outdoor breed, but today they are favored by commercial pig
in 1868, the Large White was one of the original founder breeds of the National
Pig Breeders' Association (now known as the British Pig Association) and the
first herdbook was published in 1884. The early history of the breed in
Yorkshire is difficult to trace. The huge, coarse-boned and leggy white pigs of
the region were crossed with other breeds.
Before the end of
the 19th Century, British Large Whites had already establishing themselves all
over the world. Innovative pedigree breeders were exporting breeding stock as
far as Australia, Argentina, Canada and Russia as well as most countries in
The Large White
has proved itself as a rugged and hardy breed that can withstand variations in
climate and other environmental factors. Their ability to cross with and
improve other breeds has given them a leading role in commercial pig production
systems and breeding pyramids around the world.
In the early
1970s the development of modern performance testing programs led to an increase
in world-wide demand for Large White breeding stock from the United Kingdom.
From 1970 to 1973 more than 8,500 pedigree Large Whites were exported to all
parts of the world. In the early 1990s, the switch in the USA from payment on
live weight to payment on lean meat percentage led to another great wave of
exports of Large White genetics from Britain.