Middle White

Middle White pig

Key Characteristics

Like most traditional breeds of pig the Middle White is a hardy pig but does require more shelter than some breeds and can struggle in extreme heat or extreme cold. The average litter size is around 8.99 piglets (2009 data) and the breed is known for having good maternal instincts. The Middle White has a very gentle nature. The breed roots less than other breeds of pig and is thus more suitable for certain outdoor systems and less likely to damage fencing.

History

  • The Middle White originated by crossing Large White and Small White pigs in the 1850s in Keighley in Yorkshire. 
  • The Middle White became known as a specialist pork producer and in the first half of the 20th century was very popular and widely exported. 
  • The breed was known as “The London Porker” because of high demand for Middle White pork in the capital. 
  • However the increasing demand for lean pigs for bacon production led to a decline in the Middle White’s numbers in the UK. 
  • However with customers increasingly interested in quality meat the Middle White has enjoyed something of a resurgence and Middle White pork again commands an enviable reputation.

Appearance

  • The Middle White is a medium sized breed. Sows weigh around 200kg and boars around 280kg.
  • Middle Whites are white pigs with characteristic snub noses and large prick ears. 
  • The breed has a stocky build and is more compact than many pig breeds.

Uses

Meat

The Middle White is an early maturing, specialist pork pig and produces an excellent carcass when taken to weights of 65-70kg liveweight at around 3-4 months. The breed is not really suitable for taking to heavier weights as it tends to put on fat. Another possible market for the Middle White is in the production of excellent suckling pigs, weighing 10-14kg liveweight. The breed is known for having a good killing out % and one famous example of the breed butchered in Chicago killed out at a remarkable 90%.

Did you know?

The Small White breed from which the Middle White was originally created, is now extinct. 

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

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