The Conclusion

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White pigs (part two)
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Now the most numerous pig in Britain (and probably in the world), the prick-eared and hearty Large White, with its slightly dished profile, is well adapted to intensive farming systems for bacon and pork.There was, briefly, a small Yorkshire Blue-and-White, or Bilsdale Blue, which became extinct in the late 1950s. But creating blue-and-white bacon pigs by crossing Large White boars on Large Black sows was common practice for a long time.

White pigs (part two)

Large White sows on pasture in the early years of the twentieth century.

For many years the term 'Yorkshire' included a wide range of sizes within the breed. They evolved into the Large White, Middle White and Small White, with an increasing Chinese influence as they became smaller. A prize- winning sow, Lady Kate, was accompanied in its railway truck to all the shows by the devoted wife of its owner, who would sit beside the sow and 'reckon up on her fingers its thirteen crosses from the Chinese'.

White pigs (part two)

Large White, famous worldwide and probably the most populous of any breed. In many countries it is still known as the Large Yorkshire. Outdoor boars tend to be rather hairier than the indoor gentlemen used by the big commercial companies.

A boar named Arch Trespasser was exhibited at the Royal Show as a Small White at one year old, as a Middle White at two and as a Large White at three.
The prick-eared Small White, said to have originated from shipboard white Chinese pigs landing at Plymouth and Bristol in the eighteenth century, became oddly popular with well-known breeders of Shorthorn cattle as well as the toy of aristocrats: many a lord and gentleman renamed it as a breed after himself, and even Prince Albert exhibited some. His pigs were 'magnificent specimens of fat and cleanliness' but also 'absolutely gasping for breath', their snouts being so pug-like. Not surprisingly, the Small White was extinct by about the time of the First World War.

White pigs (part two)

Small White boar and sow in the early 1900s. The Small White was described in the 1890s as 'not so much a tenant's pig as a landlord's or a gentleman's pig', with a snout 'much contracted and quite turned up ... like the nose of a pug dog'.

The Middle White was a more sensible and less extreme pig, and by the 1930s it had become famous as the London Porker and suckling pig. It was widely exported, especially to Japan (where it was a royal favourite and where a shrine was erected to a Middle White boar).

White pigs (part two)

White pigs (part two)
Middle White, evolved from the old Large Yorkshire crossed with Chinese pigs in the nineteenth century. At some stages in its history the snout became so squashed in profile that breathing could be a problem.

It was about the size of a Berkshire but much lighter-boned. Today the Middle White is smaller than most British pigs and is a rare breed, valued for early maturity as a pork pig and crossing well for pork and bacon with other breeds. It is instantly recognisable by its squashed face.

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