Friday, July 4, 2008

Guide to Selecting Breeds of Swine

This guide to swine raising except for the pictures is also distributed and reproduced by the Department of Agriculture - Livestock Division, Farmers Information Technology Services Section at Father Selga Street, Davao City

There are many imported breeds in the country today and it’s sometimes difficult to determine the best breed most suited to our conditions. Here is a guide to help you select the breed to raise depending on your purpose, money and experience.

Yorkshires are entirely white with medium, erect ears. Sows have superior mothering ability, farrow and wean large lifters and are excellent milkers. They adapt well to confinement but not to rugged conditions. Slaughter animals yield a high dressing percentage, produce fine quality meat and compare favorably with other breeds in growth and economy of gains.


Landrace are white, have short legs and medium to large drooping ears. The sows are noted for their excellence in mothering ability and litter size. They are heavy milkers and produce pigs with superior rate of growth and efficiency in feed utilization. When crossed with other breeds, they produce pigs of highly acceptable carcass quality. They are however, weak on the feet and legs and have problems adapting to rugged conditions. Such defects should be corrected by proper selection and breeding.


The Duroc color is of varying shades of red. The sows are prolific and are good mothers. They produce pigs that are superior in growth rate, feed conversion, and their performance under rugged conditions is better than any of the white breeds-

Hampshire are black with a white belt around the shoulder and body. They are generally short legged and lack body thickness. The sows have a reputation of weaning a high percentage of the pigs farrowed and are able to adapt to very rugged conditions. The growth rate, however has generally been average or below.


Berkshires are black with six white points - four white feet, some white in face and tail. The ears are erect and inclined forward as the animal grows older. They are known for their style, meatiness and good adaptability to rugged conditions. They have desirable length, depth and balance of body but lack good growth and efficiency in converting feed to weigh gain. The sows are not as prolific as the other breeds.


The Pietrain is a very meaty type of pig with spotted black and white color. It has well-shaped hams, loin and shoulders. Ears are erect. The carcass has a high lean meat percentage, but it has a poor body constitution. Feed efficiency is not really good and they are a little bit slow grower. This breed is also highly susceptible to stress. Thus, Pietrain is only worthwhile in crosses but not as purebreds.

The Philippine Native pig is either black or black with a white belly. Varieties include Ilocos and Jalajala. The Berkjala, Diani, Kaman, Koronadel and Libtong breeds were all developed from this breed. It is now thought to be extinct. The breed is very prolific; in average the gilts could exhibit signs of sexual maturity as young as 4 to 5 months. They have a low feed conversion ratio. Growing swine reach 60 kilos during the 6 to 8 months fattening period. This breed is popular throughout the Philippines for Lechon (broiled whole pig).


mary_fadriga said...

Hi, i would like to know where to get a good Berkshire boar for breeding. Thank you.

mary_fadriga said...

Hi, i would like to know where to get a good Berkshire boar for breeding. Thank you.

tagalivestock said...

hi ms.mary, thanks for dropping by and sorry for long delayed post. the breeds that are most common here are landrace and largewhite. but kindly refer also to the post: davao commercial hog farms-- you can inquire from those farms..thanks