Large pink sow lying on side in straw with piglets feeding

Key Characteristics

The British Lop is a hardy breed and a good forager. The breed is well suited to an extensive system. The breed has a reputation for prolificacy and litters of 12-14 are normal. The sows have excellent maternal instincts. British Lops are generally placid and easily managed in spite of their size.

  • The British Lop is a large breed. Sows weigh around 300kg and boars around 350kg
  • British Lops are long and lean pigs.
  • They are white in colour with large, lop ears. 
  • They are similar in appearance to a Landrace or a Welsh but much deeper in the body

History

  • The British Lop is a descendent of the lop eared, white pigs that lived in the farmyards of the south west for centuries. 
  • These pigs avoided much of the trend of using Asian breeds for improvement and remained a breed well suited to surviving on very little and making use of otherwise unproductive land. 
  • The breed society was formed in 1920 under the name of the National Long White Lop- Eared Pig Society. 
  • The name was changed to the British Lop Pig Society in the 1960s. 
  • As with most of the other rare breeds the decision in the 1950s to concentrate pig production on just three breeds (Landrace, Large White and the Welsh) was disastrous for the British Lop. 
  • Numbers dropped and coupled with the breed’s relative confinement to the south west, the Lop became very rare. 
  • The breed today is still very rare but there are now herds throughout the country.

Uses

Although not widely used in commercial pig farming the British Lop is a leaner breed than most of the rare pig breeds and less prone to becoming overfat. A daily liveweight gain of 0.45kg and a killing out percentage of around 80% is achievable. An extensively reared pork pig (70-75kgs) should be ready for slaughter within 160-170 days. British Lops can be reared under more intensive systems and an intensively reared pig should reach pork weight within 110- 130 days. British Lops can be taken on to cutter and bacon weights and produce a quality lean carcass. The breed is an efficient convertor of low quality feed.

Did you know?

The breed is called the 'Cornish Lop' by some breeders due to it originally being based in the Westcountry.

Breed Societies

For more information visit British Lop Pig Society