Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS)

Growing breeding stock of the Leicoma pig in Germany


The breeding stock of the most endangered pig breed Leicoma rose to 83 sows and 21 boars in 2019. Previously, Leicomas had only been bred in one breeding farm since 2012. The IBV has successfully advertised further breeding companies for this robust pig breed.

In 2015, the IBV (Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity, launched a call for interested breeders in a BLE (Federal Office for Agriculture and Food) press release to avert the extinction of the Leicoma. At that time there were less than 30 breeding animals of this pig breed. This was responded by over 60 interested breeders who were forwarded to the only Leicoma breeding farm at the time by the IBV. Numerous activities followed in the federal countries. To maintain diversity within the breed, Leicoma sows were successfully inseminated with frozen semen reserves from earlier Leicoma boars. Four federal countries are now offering payments for breeding this endangered pig breed. In 2019, the success of these measures was reflected in a dynamic increase in the number of Leicoma breeding animals and farms. In the meantime two pig breed societies keep a breeding book for this breed of pigs.

The outstanding characteristic of the breed is the high meat quality. It inherited this favorable characteristic from the Duroc pig, which strongly contributed in the development of the Leicoma pig. Other advantages of the Leicoma are its robustness, its pronounced motherliness with high milk yield and its high fattening performance. Despite these advantages, this breed of pigs was almost extinct. The Leicoma was bred especially in East-Central Germany, a region with the most fertile soil in Germany. From the 1990s, many farms gave up pig farming due to changes in the economic environment. Added to this was the displacement of native pig breeds by highly fertile hybrid sows. As a result, the number of Leicomas declined rapidly. Through the engagement i. a. of the IBV, some farms have rediscovered the advantages of the Leicoma and contributed to the increase in breeding stock.