Livestock

Pig Breeds

There are nine British rare breeds of pig:

  • Berkshire
  • British Lop
  • British Saddleback
  • Gloucestershire Old Spot
  • Large Black
  • Middle White
  • Oxford Sandy and Black
  • Tamworth
  • Welsh

Decide on the breed that best suits your purpose and environment.

We chose the Tamworth for its rooting abilities, because it's dual purpose i.e. suitable for both pork and bacon production and because it came top in a taste test run by (I think) Bristol University. And, while beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, we think they look great - most, if not all, of the people who come to see them for the first time say, "Oh, they're not pink".

However, we might try other breeds in future, since rooting ability will not be so important. We're not convinced that the meat of one rare breed is tastier than another - it's probably more to do with the general tendencies of the traditional breeds i.e. slower growing and fattier and the method of rearing.

Given the nature of rare breeds, you may have to travel some distance to your nearest breeder.

Rosemary Champion

About Rosemary Champion

Rosemary lives on a 12 acre smallholding in Angus, in the east of Scotland, where she keeps Ryeland Sheep, Shetland cattle and assorted poultry. She was destined to be a smallholder from an early age.

Smallholding shop

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