Heritage breeds were the first generations of pigs introduced into the pork industry. These breeds are now rare due to the intensive commercial farming methods, which have done away with free-range production. Confining animals into massive pens, often on concrete floors, with no access to grazing and natural instinctive socialization has resulted in the once popular breeds becoming almost extinct.
The English Large Black and the Tamworth are two rare breeds we are currently raising on our farm. In addition to pasture raising these beautiful animals, we supplement their daily feed by milling our own custom blend of peanuts and hay for a special peanut-finished pork that is absolutely delicious!
The English Large Black
Also known as The Large Black, Devon, Cornwall or Lop-Eared pigs, the breed originates from the Old English Hog established in the 16th and 17th centuries. Large Blacks have long, deep bodies, which produce excellent and quite tasty bacon. They have distinctive long, floppy ears that completely cover their eyes and are often attributed to their docile nature. Their black coloring makes them hardy in extreme temperatures and protects them from sunburn.
The Large Black was born to graze. They are instinctively good mothers and have exceptional milking abilities. They are able to rear sizable litters off simple rations and a placid temperament ensures they can be contained behind a simple electric fencing system. Happy pigs produce excellent and succulent pork.
The Tamworth Pig
The Tamworth is one of the oldest pig breeds. It is the most direct descendant of the native pig stock of Europe that, in turn, descended from wild boars. The breed originated in the Midlands of England and takes the name from the town Tamworth in Staffordshire.
The Tamworth is a red colored breed with a long head, prick ears a straight face and snout and a long, narrow body. They have a long neck and long legs. They are deep-sided hogs and not as wide of backs as hogs of a thicker breed. The ham is muscular and firm. The Tamworth has good bone structure, strong feet and great hardiness.
The Tamworth is a very hardy animal and are good mothers. They are particularly suited for grazing, salvaging crops or following behind grazing cattle. They are disease resistant and tolerant of extreme temperatures. Primarily a bacon-pig, the Tamworth declined in popularity because of competition from modern breeders, as it is not suitable for the intensive confined rearing methods. The Tamworth is highly adaptable and suited to both quality pork and bacon production, particularly in grazing operations.