Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science
Breeds of Livestock - Italian Landrace Swine
Italian Landrace has become dominant as an improved breed in Italy. They also have the large drooped ears and white coat that characterizes the appearance of other Landrace strains.
The original stock was brought to Italy from Scandinavian sources, but selection has been toward meat characteristics and away from extremes for the best in bacon production. One can always find selection within a breed to be directed more toward the requirements of the host country, and Italians do not put the emphasis on bacon that is placed there by northern Europeans.
Italian Landrace have been effective in improving the productivity and quality of swine in Italy as they have bred with other breeds and the local swine. Swine producers everywhere have liked the increased litter size, milk production, and ability to mother large litters to weaning of the Landrace. The fact that boars of the breed impart these characteristics to crossbred daughters have made them valued for improving swine of Italy for home consumption and for the rather limited markets abroad.
Italian Landrace may not become a major factor in swine improvement in other countries unless they are found to have characteristics not found in other strains that are especially of value in the concentrated swine production practices of those nations. Fortunately for swine producers around the world, there is considerable divergence among the Landrace strains from which they can and do draw.
Briggs, Hilton M. 1983. International Pig Breed Encyclopedia. Elanco Animal Health