The Danish pig

Denmark is among the world’s largest pig meat exporters.

Farmer with pigs

For more than 100 years, the production of pigs and pig meat has been a major industry for Denmark with people all over the world enjoying delicious Danish pork products. Approximately 90% of the production is exported hence the Danish pig industry is among the world leaders in areas such as breeding, quality, sustainable production, food safety, animal welfare and traceability.

The Danish pig is quite unique and is renowned for its excellent eating quality, given its breed combination results in an ideal meat to fat ratio for maximum flavor and texture.

Here is how the famous Danish pig is bred;

Just three breeds are used in the Danish breeding system. Landrace and Yorkshire are used as female lines and Duroc is used as a male line. When two pig breeds are crossed, a “heterosis effect” is obtained, meaning that the quality of the offspring is superior to that of parents’ breeds alone.

In the program, the single breeds have the following abbreviations: L = Landrace, Y = Yorkshire, D = Duroc. When using abbreviations for cross-breeds, the boar is always placed first. For example: the abbreviation LY signifies the offspring of a Landrace boar and a Yorkshire sow and L(YL) means the offspring of a Landrace boar and a YL sow.

Landrace (L)

Danish Landrace, one of the female lines in the Danish cross-breeding programme, is known for its good carcase and meat quality and for being a robust pig with strong legs. Owing to its high fertility, the Landrace is used with the Yorkshire for breeding LY and YL gilts, which are the best cross-bred sows for the production of pig meat.

Pigs in barn
Pure Pork 1

Danish Yorkshire (Y)

Yorkshire, the other female line in the Danish breeding system, has a high meat percentage, high daily gain, high feed efficiency and good meat quality. Fertility and mothering characteristics are excellent. Along with the Landrace, the Yorkshire provides the best cross-bred sows for the production of pig meat.

Danish Duroc (D)

Danish Duroc originates from the USA and Canada from where it was imported in the late 1970s and used for cross-breeding programmes. It is the dominant male line today. Danish Duroc produces large litters and rapidly growing finishing pigs with good feed efficiency and lean meat percentage.

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