Saturday, May 18Food Security Matters

American Yorkshire Pig Breed Profile

The American Yorkshire Pig is a breed of domestic pig, this specimen is the American version of the English Yorkshire. The American Yorkshire has smaller and looser ears compared to the large, upright ears of the English Yorkshire, and the American Yorkshire Pigs are the most recorded breed of pig in the United States for meat.

American Yorkshires are white, light, or pink and have erect ears. They are the most registered breed of pig in the United States and Canada, and they are also found in almost every state, with the highest populations being in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio. The modern Yorkshire is very muscular, with a high proportion of lean meat and low content of back fat, as well as being very healthy and durable.

American Yorkshire Pig origin

There are three types of pigs known as Yorkshire: large, medium, and small. Only the big type has gained prominence in the United States. It is known that in 1761, Robert Bakewell took an interest in a local tribe of pigs known as the Leicestershire breed and molded them into a large and useful pig that became popular in England. It is very likely that some, if not most, of the best Yorkshire pigs, come from these pigs.

The first Yorkshires in the United States and on the mainland were brought to Ohio around 1830. The Yorkshire breed experienced many ups and downs over the years. In the early 1920s, the Morrell Packing Company of Ottumwa, Iowa, and the Hormel Packing Company of Austin, Minnesota, tried to promote Yorkshires to farmers in the area.

This was after WWI and the lard market was disappearing, they failed to gain popularity with farmers due to their low growth rate and short, tight noses.american yorkshire

Farmers’ favor with the Yorkshires did not come until the importation of many great white Englishmen from the British Isles. Farmers realized what they could do for them and soon began accepting breeding Yorkshire cattle. The farrowing capacity, the largest litters, the longest length, the largest scale, and the structure were in such high demand that many producers were ready to try Yorkshires again, and this time they were successful.

In the late 1940s, there was a period of rapid expansion for the breed. A large percentage of Yorkshires were brought from Canada to the United States, where the breed had been the most popular due to its ability to produce the type of carcass that was in demand in that country. Yorkshire pigs were also imported from England, where they were known for their greater substance, robustness and scale. By selection, and the use of imported pigs, they met the needs of the pork producer and the demands of the market in this country.

Breed Characteristics

The American Yorkshire pig is a large animal, it is mainly white and has erect ears, modern animals of this type are muscular with a high proportion of lean meat. Mature sows have an average weight of between 204 and 295 kilograms, and the average live weight of mature boars ranges between 250 and 340 kilograms, also modern American Yorkshire has a very low-fat content compared to meat.

The modern Yorkshire is muscular with a high proportion of lean meat, data from the American Yorkshire has been kept with great diligence, including growth, sow productivity, and back fat formation, representing the largest source of records. In addition, this American hog can grow up to 6.5 feet long, but rarely longer.

Breed Classification

The breed was developed in Yorkshire, England, around 1761. In 1830, the first Yorkshires were imported into the United States, specifically Ohio, but due to their slow growth, they did not become popular until the late 1940s. At that time, many large pigs were imported from Canada and England for their robustness and their favorite carcasses. The breed improved rapidly thanks to selection. The American Yorkshire Pig belongs to the genus Sus of the family Suidae.

American Yorkshire Pig Behavior

American Yorkshire pigs are active, rough, and strong animals, they can also adapt to a wide variety of climatic conditions, the sows are good mothers, and the average size of a litter is about 12 or 13 piglets per sow, very good for The extensive pig farming system also does well in confined or concentrated conditions.

These kinds of pigs are hardy and robust, and they also tend to do well in different climates despite being hot or cold. They have a reputation for supporting different ecological environments with ease.

Pigs are quite outgoing as they love to roll in the mud. However, they are not dangerous and tend to be calm and friendly. They can be confined easily and without complications, and are primarily considered outdoor breeds.

Pig Habitats

They are farm animals, and their suitable environment is that of any free-range pig, with its pigsty, its adequate food, and water. It can be August with other animals without any problem, it is calm and happy rolling in the mud.

The breed was developed as a vigorous, outdoor breed, but can also work very well being raised in confined or concentrated conditions.


The current largest populations of these pigs are now in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio. Today, the American Yorkshire pig is found in almost every American state, with the highest populations in the states described above.

American Yorkshire Pig Reproduction

The American Yorkshire pig is a tough and strong breed that can withstand deviations in climate and other ecological factors, plus the rate at which sows give birth to piglets is quite high, and these piglets grow very fast.

Sows are good mothers and their average litter size is about 13 piglets per sow, data from Yorkshires pigs have been kept with great diligence, including growth, sow productivity, and back fat formation, which represents the largest source of documented livestock performance records in the world, the quality of Yorkshire pork is excellent as it comes from outdoor pig breeds. The pros and cons of the Yorkshire pig are many, but the latter tend to outshine the other.

FAQ About American Yorkshire Pig

Here are some frequently asked questions about American Yorkshire pigs:

What is an American Yorkshire pig?

American Yorkshire pigs are a breed of domestic pig originating from England. They are known for their white, lean, and muscular bodies, making them a popular choice for pork production.

What is their history?

Yorkshire pigs were first developed in England, and the breed was imported to the United States in the 1830s. Over time, American breeders refined the breed to enhance its meat quality and production traits.

What is their appearance?

American Yorkshire pigs are large, white pigs with erect ears. They have a long body, a straight back, and a relatively lean frame. This breed is known for its clean and sturdy appearance.

What are the key characteristics of American Yorkshire pigs?

  • They have a calm and gentle temperament, making them easier to handle.
  • They are known for their strong mothering instincts and high-quality maternal traits.
  • They have a good feed conversion rate, meaning they efficiently convert feed into meat.
  • Yorkshire pigs are excellent for lean pork production, as they have low backfat levels.

What is their average size and weight?

American Yorkshire pigs can weigh between 600 to 800 pounds (270 to 360 kg) when fully grown, with some individuals exceeding these weights.

What is their lifespan?

The lifespan of American Yorkshire pigs typically ranges from 5 to 10 years, depending on their living conditions and management.

What is their diet?

Yorkshire pigs are omnivores and require a balanced diet that includes grains, vegetables, and protein sources like soybean meal. Proper nutrition is essential for their growth and meat quality.

Are American Yorkshire pigs good for meat production?

Yes, American Yorkshire pigs are one of the preferred breeds for meat production. They produce lean and high-quality pork, making them valuable in the pork industry.

Are they suitable for small-scale or backyard farming?

American Yorkshire pigs are versatile and can be raised on both large commercial farms and smaller-scale operations. However, they do require proper housing, nutrition, and care to thrive.

What are common health issues with Yorkshire pigs?

Common health concerns for Yorkshire pigs include respiratory diseases, parasites, and obesity. Proper vaccination, regular health checks, and a clean living environment can help prevent many of these issues.

How do you care for American Yorkshire pigs?

Care involves providing them with a balanced diet, clean water, suitable shelter, regular veterinary care, and a clean and safe environment. They also need proper space to move and exercise.

Can American Yorkshire pigs be kept as pets?

While some people may keep American Yorkshire pigs as pets, it’s essential to remember that they can grow quite large and require appropriate care and facilities. Additionally, their primary role is in meat production, and they may not have the same temperament as some other pet pig breeds.

What is the market demand for American Yorkshire pork?

Pork from American Yorkshire pigs is in demand due to its lean meat and high-quality attributes. The market demand varies by region and can be influenced by consumer preferences.

See Also:

Facebook Comments Box

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *