Welsh Pig

Back to the archive >
Welsh Pig

Welsh Pig

The Welsh pig is white with lop ears meeting at the tips just short of the pig’s nose. The perfect Welsh was described by George Eglington, the Father of the modern breed, as ‘pear shaped’. It has a curly tail, a long body with large deep hams. It possesses lean broad set legs. They are known for their hardiness and ability to thrive wide variation of conditions. They are equally suited to both outside and inside breeding. The pig has sufficient back fat to retain traditional pork flavor, as well as a high degree of intra muscular fat. It produces well developed hams which are prized for their quality. It has what many consider to the ideal ratio of meat to fat, at 70% meat 30% fat.The Welsh Pig is closely linked with Wales, being the result of the amalgamation of breed societies from around the country. The Welsh Pig was first referenced in the 1870s when considerable trade of the Welsh and Shropshire pigs into Cheshire occurred. They were fattened on the byproducts of the dairy industry. The Old Glamorgan Pig breed society was created in 1918. This was driven by an increased demand for bacon and pork due to import restrictions brought about by the start of the First World War. Similar types of pigs were bred in the counties of Carmarthen, Pembroke and Cardigan. This resulted in the formation of the Welsh Pig Society for West Wales in 1920. The two breed societies were amalgamated in 1922 to form the Welsh Pig Society.After the Second World War the Welsh Pig went from strength to strength. Increased availability animal feed led to an explosion in numbers for the breed. The number of Licensed Welsh boars expanded from 41 in 1949 to 1,363 in 1954. The number of Welsh Sow registrations rose from 850 in 1952 to 3,736 in 1953. In 1955 the Howitt identified the Welsh, along with the Large White and Landrace as one of the three breeds on which the Modern Pig Industry should be based. Since the 1980s the number of registrations has declined, but the breed continues to play a valuable role in crossbreeding programmes. The sows allow for ease of management with good milking ability to give fast live-weight gain and good killing out percentage in the progeny. The modern Welsh Pig can be traced back to an indigenous, white lop-eared breed kept in Wales for as long as records exist. Unfortunately, hybrid pig production by commercial breeding companies caused a dramatic decline in Welsh Pig numbers. Coupled with the shift to a preference for a leaner less fatty carcass and an increasing intensification in farming methods, the number of pure breed Welsh Pigs dwindled. It was on the verge of extinction at the turn of the century. Due to this, in 2005, the ‘Welsh’ was declared an endangered species, and has since been classified as a rare breed. Recent records show that only 82 new Welsh pigs were registered in 2002. The total number of registered pedigree sows was 709 in 2011.

  • Hai imparato qualcosa di nuovo da questa pagina?
    Did you learn something new from this page?

  • YesNo
Back to the archive >

Territory

StateUnited Kingdom
Region

Wales

Other info

Categories

Breeds and animal husbandry