Welsh Sow - BPA

Key Characteristics

The Welsh is able to thrive under all weather conditions. The breed is the most commercially developed of all the traditional breeds producing good sized litters. Average Litter Size in 2009 was 11.24 and the sows make good mothers. The Welsh is ideal for more intensive systems. Pigs grow quickly and carcases grade well for the commercial market.


  • The Modern Welsh Pig can be traced back to an indigenous, white lop-eared breed kept in Wales for as long as records exist.
  • This long, lean, slow maturing pig was found throughout the southern and western counties of the Principality.
  • The Welsh Pig Society was formed in 1922 to focus on improving the commercial attributes of the breed.
  • This led to a dramatic rise in the number of Welsh pigs. In the 1950s Landrace blood was successfully introduced to create a fast growing, easily managed, commercial type pig.
  • This “improved” Welsh pig was identified by The Howitt Report (1955) as one of the three main breeds on which the modern pig industry should be based.
  • However the unrelenting drive towards intensification and hybrid vigour in commercial herds led to a major decline in breed numbers and it has now become a breed at risk.


  • The Welsh is a long, lean, lop-eared white breed.
  • Sows weigh around 150-200kg and boars, 250kg. 
  • They should have well-developed hams and a minimum of 14 teats.


Cross Breeding

Welsh boars are excellent crossing sires for rare breed sows producing leaner, fast growing offspring with improved conformation.


The Welsh is ideal for both pork and bacon production with carcases remaining lean at heavier weights.

Did you know?

In 1955, a report was produced that advised farmers to focus on just three pig breeds, the Large White, the Welsh and the British Landrace, in order to increase profitability. This resulted in the decline of many of our other native breeds. 

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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