The breed was founded in 1919/20 in the village Pietrain, Belgium, by cross-breeding French, British and wild pigs.
It became popular in its native country before being exported to other countries, such as Germany and the U.K in the 1960s, to produce an efficient modern pig breed with higher quality meat, high yielding carcass at lower feed cost and less fat production.
The Pietrain is renowned for its very high yield of lean meat, however, this is often associated with the presence of the halothane gene for Porcine Stress Syndrome.
For this reason, the use of purebred Pietrain in pig production is relatively rare and it is most commonly found in crossbred and synthetic terminal sire lines.
A small number of purebred herds are maintained to supply stock for these breeding programmes.
Wall and Sons in the U.K, first made use of the Pietrain in a synthetic line based on a Pietrain / Saddleback. This was used by the Walls Meat Company in one of the earliest examples of a breeding programme specifically designed for integrated pork production.
The Pietrain is a very popular terminal sire in Germany and Spain, two of Europe’s largest pig producing countries.
The Pietrain is white with black spots. Around the black spots, there are characteristic rings of light pigmentation that carry white hair. It is commonly referred to as having piebald markings.
The Pietrain pig carries its ears erect and the breed is considered of medium size.
The Belgian breed is easy to handle and generally known as a quiet pig. They are sociable and do well both outdoor and indoor.
Its carcass has a muscle-to-carcass ratio that is the highest of any known breed, giving the Pietrain its unique potential for improving other breeds.Photo credit: Pedigree Pietrain Pigs