Landrace is a pig breed that produces high quality meat and is raised specifically for bacon. Animals are bred all over the world in private households and farms, they do not need special care, but it is important to understand their features.
The Landrace breed was bred in Denmark by crossing. The new variety has improved over the years under strict government control. The Danes refused to export live pigs during World War II, when the best representatives of the breed were exported to Sweden. Eventually, the individuals reached England and Ireland. The British first imported the Landrace from Denmark in 1949. In 1953, further imports of registered breeding stock were made.
The popularity of the breed has contributed to the decline in the number of rare breeds in the UK. Howitt's report in 1955 recommended that farmers increase profitability by focusing on only three breeds of pigs - British Landrace, Great White and Welsh. Many farmers acted in accordance with the recommendations, as a result of which some rare pig breeds disappeared. In the 1980s, the genetic base was expanded with the import of new individuals from Norway and Finland. These developments have made the Landrace unique among other breeds.
Adults of this species have an impressive mass and a significant supply of subcutaneous fat. Representatives of the described breed with 90–110 kg of live weight of meat products have about 4–6% fat. Their meat stands out for its special positive characteristics, the bacon part occupies a larger percentage of the carcass. Adult males gain weight up to about 320 kg, females are slightly less in weight, but they are valued for their high reproductive capacity.
One individual is able to bear up to 15 piglets, while with each birth, starting from the first, the number of drives increases. Young growth of this breed demonstrates an average growth - half a kilogram per day. A pig weighs 90–110 kg already 6 months after birth or 190 days.
Pigs have large, long bodies, mainly due to the presence of 2 or 3 super-sized vertebrae (15-16, not the usual 13). The leg is elongated, straight. The muzzle looks small, the ears are large in size, almost always weigh in front of our eyes, therefore they are called lop-eared. The thorax in the girth of the male can reach 1650 mm, in the female pig - 1550 mm, while the length of the male body is up to 1850 mm, and the length of the female one is up to 1700 mm. The body is covered with small white bristles.
Landrace individuals are highly valuable as a beef breed, as their piglets gain weight quickly and sows are productive. These pigs are very popular with private owners and farms.
The only thing that needs to be taken care of is a high-quality and complete diet, as well as comfortable conditions of detention. Often, unhealthy diet has negative consequences. For example, the fertility level drops, the reproductive quality of sows also decreases several times.
The Landgrass pig breed is a very hardy animal. This breed has been used effectively to improve the productivity and quality of pigs in Italy as it was bred with others.
Pros and cons
Like most breeds bred, this species has both advantages and disadvantages. Landrace is a pig breed that has received many positive reviews from breeders. Among its main advantages are the following:
- the sow is highly fertile: less than 10 piglets appear very rarely, only the first few times, and sometimes their number reaches 20; survival with proper quality maintenance is also at a high level, the breed fell in love with private breeders, since the mortality rate is only 10%;
- young growth, which from one month already reaches 8-10 kg in weight; after birth, the piglets weigh 1.7 kg, and if taken from the mother, then the weight will quickly increase to 20 kg;
- the breed in question is very hardy, it easily acclimatizes, the weight does not decrease; in most cases, growth does not stop, although it slows down;
- in the first place of the positive characteristics - the quality of the bacon provided; Layers of lean meat are much thicker than fatty ones when compared with other meat breeds.
However, despite such a number of advantages, the landgrass also has its disadvantages.
- Physically, it is believed that this breed of pig is bred specifically for bacon. In adult males, the chest in girth is 1570 mm, while the body is 1750 mm long on average. Thus, it turns out that the carcass has narrow proportions.
- The main disadvantage of Landrace is capriciousness to the content. If the breeder makes even small mistakes in the care or feeding, then the fertility of the sows drops sharply.
What are the conditions for keeping pigs?
To protect against adverse weather conditions, prevent disease, and fight parasites, it is necessary to equip a special room for raising pigs. One boar accounts for 6.25–7.5 m², for farrowing - 7.5–9.0 m², for a sow - 1.8–2.7 m². The flooring should have a rough finish, preferably with the floors in the room filled with cement. Adequate drainage must be ensured. In a rural setting, the body can consist of 3x2.4 or 3x3m handles with an open courtyard of almost the same size, or in some cases slightly longer. The height of the walls from the floor should be 1.2–1.5 m.
For farrowing, some of the handles can be converted into farrowing arms, acting as a fence. They are made from pipes 5 cm in diameter along the walls at a distance of 20-25 cm from the ground. Prolonged exposure of pigs to bright sun can lead to overheating, even in moderate weather. It is advisable to plant trees in the open yard. It is very important to comply with the temperature regime and sanitary and hygienic standards both indoors and in the pen.
If you neglect the rules, then individuals will not gain weight and will often get sick, and young livestock may even die. Poor quality, untimely nutrition also negatively affects the health of pigs of the described breed.
Landrace do not like cold, they are very sensitive to drafts and changes in air temperature. The most comfortable mark for them is considered to be + 20 ° C and above. That is why it is necessary to install high-quality heating before settling in the piglets. No crush should be allowed, for each individual it is first required to calculate the free area . If there is not enough space in the barn, then you should think about how to breed a smaller breed.
The humidity level also plays an important role. It should be dry, clean inside the room, the litter should be changed as needed. If the humidity is high, then the likelihood of an infectious disease in the pig increases. Walking grounds can be sown with grass, the pig can eat it in the interval between feeding.
Landrace is a purely bacon breed, so it is best to forget about the typical diet that is available to other breeds. Ordinary foods such as oats and corn are also not suitable, as they are the main reason for the deposition of a large amount of fat, rather than creating layers of meat. Barley is the ideal food for Landrace; it can be successfully replaced with rye. Gradually can be added to feed soy, cake and bran.
Vegetables, herbs, meat and bone meal must be present in the diet. Fish should not be given at all - it is it that causes the unpleasant smell of meat . As a last resort, it should be removed from the feed at least 30 days, and sometimes 60 days before slaughter.
It is very important to observe the feeding regime at home: since the described animals do not know the measures and do not feel satiety, therefore they overeat. As a result - either obesity in individuals, or overfeeding leads to poisoning.
It is best to give a complete meal twice a day, not exceeding the norm, clean after the trough. In winter, when pigs spend more energy to keep the body warm, three meals a day are permissible, but no more. It is imperative to introduce protein supplements into the pig diet, if there is pasture for walking, then the need for vitamin supplements disappears. Green beans are great for complementary feeding; in the absence of pasture, B12 can be added.
Sometimes antibiotics are introduced into the diet at the rate of 11 mg per 1 kilogram of the consumed diet. Grain in compound feed must be crushed.
If there is a lot of fiber in the diet, then the energy efficiency of the consumed feed increases, and weight gains faster. It is important not to overfeed the sows as they tend to produce weak piglets and sometimes they just crush them.
Important characteristics to consider when building a good sow are:
- litter size;
- general condition of piglets;
- the ability to produce enough milk.
Each producer at the time of creating his herd should acquire individuals that are distinguished by high characteristics. When selecting a sow for a breeding herd, it is necessary to choose an animal weighing about 90 kg. The choice of wild boar is extremely important, especially for breeding a farm. It must be purchased from a breeder or farm with sufficient information about the animal. A worthy individual will weigh 90 kg approximately 5-6 months after birth.
Sows must weigh at least 100 kg before breeding. The frequency of ovulation increases during subsequent periods after puberty. Thus, it is beneficial to postpone breeding until the second or third estrosis. Litter size increases on average with subsequent pregnancies , so it is beneficial to select a sow from the breeding herd after her fifth or sixth litter.
Of particular importance is the way the sows are fed before breeding. A good diet for 10 days helps speed up ovulation. After mating, pigs should be fed a limited but well-balanced diet until the last six weeks of gestation and then resumed with a full diet.
The gestation period of a sow ranges from 109 to 120 days, with an average of 114 days. Pregnant animals should be housed in groups in separate enclosures and should not be with young pigs to avoid fights that sometimes lead to miscarriage. About 3 m³ of space should be available to each sow.
Pregnant animals should be allowed to walk in the morning in the pasture.
The mortality rate is high during farrowing and in the first week. It is advisable to place sows in special enclosures with restraints so that they do not transmit offspring . The temperature inside should be at + 24– + 28 ° C for the first time, a decrease to + 18– + 22 ° C is possible only after 6 weeks. The lamps are suspended at a distance of 45 cm from the floor.
The birthing pens will need to be thoroughly cleaned before transferring the sow. This will help prevent disease in the piglets. The pig is also washed, the feed ration is increased by replacing one third of the regular feed with wheat bran. The sow should be monitored closely to determine the approximate farrowing time and feed should be stopped 12 hours before delivery. Full farrowing usually takes 2 to 4 hours.
It is advisable to be present and watch out for an animal that can inadvertently crush the offspring.
It is advisable to remove the piglets immediately after birth. Each will need to be cleaned of mucus, making sure the airways are clear. The umbilical cord should be tied at a distance of 2–5 cm from the navel. It is cut with disinfected scissors, then treated with iodine. They can be fed immediately after birth. Young individuals eat 8-10 times a day at the beginning.
The death of a sow after farrowing is possible due to mastitis and other problems. You can transfer to another pig. To ensure the reception of piglets, the sow must be separated from its own litter for a short time. After that, the sow is connected to the piglets, on which a disinfectant is first applied to mask odors.
Orphaned droppings can also be grown on artificial feeding. The milk replacer should consist of one egg yolk mixed thoroughly with one liter of cow's milk. This mixture provides a well-balanced diet, but does not provide the required amount of iron. To compensate for the element, one eighth teaspoon of ferrous sulfate can be added to one liter of formula milk. Male piglets not selected for breeding can be neutered between 3 and 4 weeks of age.
Important! The normal age for weaning piglets from the mother is 8 weeks. The sow should be separated from the litter for several hours every day to avoid stress.
Possible diseases and their prevention
Often, when raising pigs, problems arise, since these animals, in the absence of the proper level of maintenance and vaccination, can get sick. Some infections lead to the death of not one individual, but an entire livestock. All pigs must be vaccinated against plague at 2-4 weeks of age. The tribes are tested for brucellosis and leptospirosis. Animals purchased for the farm must be isolated from other animals for 3 to 4 weeks.
One of the most common problems in piglets is anemia. It is a consequence of the lack of the required amount of iron in milk. In this case, additional ferrous sulfate is given to the piglets orally together with milk. Proportion: 0.5 kg of ferrous sulfate per 10 liters of hot water. The solution must be applied daily from birth.
Intramuscular infection is more effective in preventing anemia.
Of the diseases of adults, viral infections are in the first place, namely:
- African plague is one of the most important viral diseases in pigs, a systemic disease that has been reported in most countries;
- diarrhea caused by delta-coronavirus, similar to epidemic diarrhea, but with very low severity;
- Ebola is a very important infection in humans; of the five species, the Ebola Reston virus does not infect humans, but it can infect pigs;
- Japanese B encephalitis, caused by a virus found in South Asia, is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes a reproductive problem;
- Epidemic diarrhea is caused by a coronavirus resulting in vomiting and diarrhea with a mortality rate of up to 100% in piglets under 2 weeks of age;
- porcine circovirus, caused by porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), causes dermatitis and nephropathy with high mortality;
- cytomegalovirus infection is common, its sequelae are often minor, and is characterized by rhinitis causing sneezing;
- the respiratory coronavirus usually has no clinical significance, but produces antibodies that protect against viral transmissible gastroenteritis;
- transmissible gastroenteritis is a very important and highly infectious disease in pigs with severe reproductive effects, where diarrhea can cause 100% mortality in piglets under 2 weeks of age;
- vesicular exanthema is clinically indistinguishable from foot and mouth disease, therefore it is of great importance.
It is worth considering the following diseases caused by insects:
- Ascaris suum is the world's most important intestinal parasite; it causes great economic damage to farms;
- mange scabies - a skin disease caused by an external parasite (mite); it is characterized by severe edema, which negatively affects the growth of pigs;
- Trichinella - an infection without clinical signs; the pig's body is a suitable reservoir for the life and reproduction of the parasite;
- coccidiosis is caused by intracellular protozoan parasites; manifests itself as diarrhea in piglets;
- pneumonia caused by metastrontium worms is a common occurrence in pigs raised outdoors;
- Cryptosporidium , a coccidian-like parasite that causes diarrhea
- Trichuris suis (whip worm) is a colon parasite that causes diarrhea in growing pigs
- red stomach worm causes gastric gastritis;
- Haematopinus suis - a louse that causes anemia; it is the main carrier of smallpox.
Among bacterial diseases, the following are worth highlighting:
- pleuropneumonia - a disease of bacterial origin with high respiratory exposure; toxins can often cause sudden death with nasal hemorrhage;
- actinobacillosis is caused by systemic bacteria that infect farms; causes arthritis, pneumonia, or skin discoloration in animals of all ages;
- rhinitis is an inflammation of the tissues inside the nose, which is why it becomes distorted (atrophy);
- Bordetella bronchiseptica - a bacterium accompanied by fever or pneumonia in pigs; if complications do not arise, and the disease passes without the presence of toxigenic pasteurella type D multicides, then the disease is not serious;
- colibacillosis E. coli mainly affects piglets during milk feeding, causing high mortality;
- colitis , an infection of the large intestine that occurs mainly in pigs between 6 and 14 weeks of age; it is characterized by diarrhea without blood with little or no mucus;
- leptospirosis , a disease caused by bacteria that affects the kidneys and genitals; can cause reproductive problems;
- salmonellosis is an important bacterial disease that causes food intoxication in humans; clinically, salmonellosis manifests itself as diarrhea or pneumonia;
- postpartum Agalaktia syndrome - the pathology is manifested by inflammation of the udder (mastitis) and the reproductive tract (metritis), which leads to poor milk flow or a decrease in its amount;
- mycoplasma arthritis - a frequent occurrence on pig farms, causes arthritis in pigs;
- listeriosis , a rare systemic bacterial disease that can cause septicemia in piglets and reproductive problems in sows
- tuberculosis is rare today; it causes nodules in the lymph nodes in the neck, leading to the need to slaughter livestock ahead of schedule.
Nutritional deficiencies can also cause the following problems:
- Biotin deficiency is rare , but it can manifest itself as a change in skin condition, followed by hair loss and immobilization of the legs;
- deficiency of vitamin E or selenium is manifested by the sudden death of recently weaned piglets;
- osteoporosis, rickets, D deficiency and osteoporosis are characterized by a lack of calcium, phosphorus, or vitamin D, resulting in weak bones prone to fracture;
- Aflatoxins are mycotoxins formed during dry periods and are of great importance as they are carcinogenic, causing a decrease in the synthesis of proteins that affect pig growth; the result is a weakened immune system;
- salt poisoning affects the central nervous system;
- toxicosis fumonisin - a powerful mycotoxin that produces pulmonary edema with a high mortality rate;
- zearalenone toxicosis is an estrogenic toxin in corn.
There are other diseases that are common in this breed of pigs, namely:
- hernias among many congenital anomalies are the most common; they are classified as developmental defects and have very low heritability;
- stomach ulcers - usually characterized by swine anemia, pale and bloody feces;
- sunburn is most common in free-range pigs;
- Congenital tremor is a sporadic disease in which newborn piglets experience tremors; it appears from birth and leaves with age.
The presented breed is not cheap and this disadvantage is noted by many livestock breeders, but with proper care, the result is worth it. Already at a short distance, piglets overtake other breeds in weight and height, it takes less time to slaughter, and accordingly, it is possible to arrive earlier.
The quality of the meat is excellent. You need to understand that not all food is ready to be consumed by the representative of the breed in question, and it is also very important that the room is warm. Piglets gain weight best when they are free-range, where they can get additional vitamins from fresh grass. With a few good sows, it is very quick to recruit herd for a small farm.
For more information on this breed of pigs, see below.