French Landrace

French Landrace are a large, white breed with heavy drooping ears that point forward in the characteristic Landrace manner. They are a breed that has been selected for skeletal soundness, heavy muscling and for prolificacy. The hams are bulging, the rump is level and wide, and the loin is very muscular. Even though the coat and the colour of the skin of the French Landrace makes it vulnerable to sunburn, it is still considered to be a fairly strong breed, well suited to both intensive outdoor and indoor production systems.

The Landrace strains were first introduced into France around 1930, but it was not until after World War II that extensive importations of registered stock were made. Those imports came largely from Sweden. This was because, at that time, Denmark was restricting exports quite substantially. Selection in France was being heavily directed towards swine that suited the production environment, and the market requirements, of France.

As with all Landrace breeds, French Landrace sows have very strong maternal instincts, and these traits were strengthened through the selective breeding by French farmers. Sows of the breed are said to average 19 pigs per year successfully weaned.

The breed has performance characteristics that very closely approach the Large White with which it has been consistently compared. The length of carcass, freedom from fat, and bacon quality have been especially commendable, with feed conversion efficiency has also been a very favourable point for the French Landrace. At first they were referred to as 'French Swine of Danish Type', but gradually became known by their current name as the breed became more homogenized, and widely distributed. The French Landrace has proven to be very popular for crossbreeding in France, commonly used as terminal boars in three-way cross programs, or as the sires of crossbred sows to be used in such programs. This French strain has also been exported to a number of other countries.