Other common names: Middle Yorks Pig; Middle Yorkshire Pig; Middle White Swine
The Middle White pig is a rare breed of domestic pig which originated in Yorkshire, England in the 1850's. Its name comes from the fact that it was between the size of the Large White pig and the Small White pig, a breed which became extinct in 1912. When the National Pig Breeders Association was founded in 1884 in the UK, the Middle White along with the Large White and Tamworth were the three foundation breeds. Though its numbers have rebounded somewhat, the breed is listed as endangered by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Appearance / health:
The Middle White pig is best known for its sharply upturned snub nose, and large, upright, pricked ears. Middle Whites, as the name implies, are medium sized white-colored pigs with pink skin, erect ears, and slightly dished faces.
Despite their energy and gregarious nature, pigs are sensitive animals. They are easily stressed by travel, vaccinations, extreme temperatures, and new surroundings. Stress makes them susceptible to ailments like pneumonia and bronchitis (due also to their small lungs relative to their size). They are also susceptible to animal viruses like influenza. Pigs commonly suffer from mad itch (or pseudo rabies), dysentery, and parasites (lice, ticks, and ascarid worms).
Healthy pigs have shiny hair, bright eyes, strong appetites, and high energy. Their normal temperature is 102.5F. Deviations from the normal temperature and other signs of poor health including diarrhea and coughing should promptly be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.
Behavior / temperament:
As omnivores that love to eat, pigs can be fun to watch while they explore their surroundings in search for something to munch on. They use their snouts to smell and unearth a potential meal. They are intelligent and social animals that quickly get used to the presence and affection of humans.
Some pigs are intelligent enough to learn tricks, obey commands, and use a litter box. Because they have no sweat glands, they tend to cool themselves by rolling in water or mud. The mud that dries on their skin serves as a sunscreen and protection from parasites like ticks, lice, and flies.
Housing / diet:
Pigs are active, curious animals that require room to explore, exercise, and just be their natural energetic selves. Sufficient space, relative to their size and weight, is a primary consideration because pigs that are crowded or confined to small spaces become stressed, and healthy growth and development is hindered.
Although constantly roaming and appreciative of open yards and fresh air, pigs also require a shed or housing that will let them sleep on a dry and clean area at night. Ideal ambient temperatures are 60-70F. Warm shelters with wood chip bedding are a must during cold months; water misters are recommended for the hottest months.
Pig housing should also include a feeder and a drinking water dispenser (usually a water barrel). Access to a water source makes it convenient to clean or hose out the pig shelters (and the pigs) as needed. Chain link fencing, shade trees, and a pond are recommended for backyard habitats.
Pig owners are advised to check with local authorities for legislation regarding the ownership and keeping of pigs in their homes and backyards.
As omnivores that eat plants and animals, pigs will consume almost anything that is edible like fruits, roots, flowers, grass, insects, worms, all types of meat, and even leftover scraps from the dinner table.
Unlike ruminant animals (cattle and goats), pigs have a single stomach. For healthy and fast growth, pigs require a high-energy diet composed of grain (corn, oats, wheat, barley), plus protein and vitamin supplements. Most commercially available feed for pigs combine various farm grains and the necessary supplements to ensure rapid and efficient development.
Pigs are best allowed to self-feed or eat as much as they want during the day to enable them to grow as fast as they normally can. Feeding should always include a good supply of clean, fresh drinking water.
Rare Breed Pigs, early maturing nature, quality pork production, optimal meat outcomes
huge hams, long sides, Selective breeding
The Great Escape
Well we had pigs - they had a little paddock just beyond the meadow for the sheep. We got them from the women's prison near Maidstone. Great idea - prison farms but the government prefers to shut them down and keep humans and pigs alike in battery farm conditions. We have a long way to go in human & animal welfare.
Well pigs are great. Our main pig keeper used to say "a dog looks up at you, a cat looks down at you but a pig looks you in the eye".
The pigs, on the whole, were well behaved. They loved a scratch behind the ears. They'd chat with humans and sheep alike. And they would escape.
Once we were sat at dinner when a merry trio were seen heading towards the main gate and the (very busy) lane. Dinner abruptly halts and each amateur pig herder is out there chasing them back across the narrow bridge across the wide sheep field and thankfully back into the enclosure. It seems that scratching against a metal wire fence is a very effective escape plan. Thank goodness for bailer twine..
From Hairybear Jul 24 2015 2:10PM
New Pastures Rare Breed Pigs
The Middle White is a rare but distinctive breed. This "beautifully ugly" pig more than deserves its fame as a British pork pig of the early 1900s. The Middle White proved very popular and went from strength to strength (whilst the Small White breed became extinct in 1912). However numbers declined sharply when, in the Second World War and during meat rationing, the emphasis was placed on bacon pigs. The breed society formed in 1990 (together with its Patron Antony Worrall Thompson) have reawakened enthusiasm in these outstanding pigs.
The Middle White can offer a unique breed characteristic - a short nose that makes it ideally suited for grazing, as opposed to rooting. It is able to obtain a considerable part of its dietary requirements from grass alone (except in extreme weather conditions). The sow is an excellent, milk-yielding mother, being extremely caring of her young, yet generally placid and easy to handle. The hardiness of the Middle White sow combined with its docile nature makes it an ideal outdoor pig. It does not require elaborate housing or even expensive fencing.
The early maturing nature of the Middle White enables it to be used for quality pork production from 16 to 18 weeks of age. The Middle White boar used on other pure breed females, produces a cross breed that possesses most of the attributes of this special breed. Pork from the Middle White boasts a wonderful much appreciated taste, almost forgotten in these days of modern commercial production. Because of its desirable flavour/characteristics it is increasingly appreciated now and into the 21st Century.
From Truella May 3 2011 3:43AM