The Poland China pig breed, surprisingly, is one developed in the US and not in either Poland or China, as the name would suggest.
The breed was first developed in 1816 in the Miami Valley of Ohio in the US by crossing the Polish pig breeds with Big China pigs. The breed is officially the oldest American Swine breed in existence and was first bred on a farm in Warren County, Ohio. In fact, a monument to highlight this accomplishment was erected near where the breed was developed.
The breed was developed by a trustee of the Shaker Society in the US in 1816, John Wallace, who secured a Big China boar and two sows from a farm in Philadelphia. Contrasting claims say the original Poland China breed was named David Magie, who resided in Ohio.
Historians claim that it was in the year 1846 when farmers stopped crossing the Poland China breed with other breeds.
Picture above- RAR Genetics
Uses and Characteristics -
A breed best known for their long body, big frame and leanness, The Poland China pig remains one of South and North America’s most popular swine breeds.
Picture above - Certified Pedigreed Swine
Typically, the Poland China pig is black in colour, usually with up to six white patches located on the face, feet or switch. In fact, to be counted as a pure form of the Poland China breed, a hog must not have more than one solid black coloured leg. They are known for their large size, with one specimen (Big Bill) recorded weighing a mammoth 1,157kgs!
As mentioned, the breed is one of the USA’s most popular pork breeds, with Poland China’s also ranking number one in US Pork production for pounds of hog per sow per year. At full maturity, a Poland China sow can weigh anything from 226-295kgs, with boars weighing anything up to 360kgs.
Poland China sows are noted for their productivity and for being very prolific. Sows can have anything up to 17 piglets per litter. An extremely calm and docile breed, Poland China pigs are outstanding feeders, making them perfect for pork production purposes. They are primarily raised for producing meats such as bacon, sausages, hams and pork chops.
A hardy breed, they can live anything up to 10 years old and have strong legs and feet. A very intelligent breed, Poland China pigs also try to avoid getting dirty, a very hygienic breed.
One of the oldest surviving swine breeds in the US and still the most popular, the pig breed developed from two very contrasting types, the Poland China.