Landrace sow – photo by Karen Nicoll

The History of the Landrace

The Landrace breed is a relatively modern breed and was developed in Sweden. Like the Large White, it was one of the prominent breeds of improved pigs that went on to have a significant impact on pig genetics throughout the world.

In the mid 1900s the Landrace was developing as one of the new modern breeds, used for the production of both pork and bacon.

Although its coat and skin colour makes it prone to sunburn, it is still regarded as being relatively hardy and suited to both intensive indoor production and extensive outdoor systems.

The breed is most notably known for its length of body, floppy ears and slightly dished face, as well as its production characteristics. Today the modern Landrace has a good reputation for producing large litters, good milk production, high growth rates and lean carcasses.

The disadvantages of the modern breed are that they are more suited to intensive productions systems with commercial feed rations, and do not always perform as well in less intensive environments.

The Landrace also became well known for its ability to produce hybrid vigour in crossbreeding, and is often used as a terminal sire in production systems.

The Landrace became popular in New Zealand in the late 1900s in commercial herds, and was suited to most breeding and rearing systems for the production of both bacon and pork.

Worldwide the numbers of Landrace are still high, although in New Zealand their numbers are declining as commercial production systems now use predominantly commercial hybrids.

Landrace sow and boarLandrace sow and boar