So I have been thinking–which is the best breed of pig to get in the future?
Firstly, what you want out of the pig has to be taken into consideration, what’s its purpose-a pet? a breeder whose offspring you can sell on or are you wanting some nice tasty bacon from your porker?
When I eventually get a small stock of pigs for the smallholding I will factor in a number of things. I want a good yield from the pig of good quality meat to be more self-sufficient or to trade or sell with other smallholders or the public and I would be after a breed that is easy to handle and good tempered.
In this blog I will be discussing my personal views on some of my favourite breeds and why I prefer or favour them. All views are entirely down to personal choice of course!
Tamworth: A British breed. A great big gingery pig with lots of character! These are by far one of my favourite pigs! Tamworths have prick ears so always look like they are standing to attention and awake! hardy pigs who thrive on being reared outdoors and have good mothering qualities are a perfect traditional breed to have on a smallholding or to graze in woodland.
Gloucestershire Old Spot: A British breed. These are nice looking pigs with a good yield for meat. This breed has many or some black spots or patches on its body and has a good tasting yield of meat so popular to todays market. The breed is hard-wearing so perfect for outdoor grazing and smallholding. The pigs have lop ears and are perfect if you have an orchard to graze them in every so offten on the windfall apples which they love!
British Saddleback: A British breed. A combined breed which is a mixture of the Essex saddleback and the Wessex saddleback. I would love to have these pigs on a smallholding as the breed is known to be particularly hardy and good grazers so would be perfect outside in a decent patch of land. Additionally, the markings on these pigs are of course Saddle-like and very striking.
British Lop: A British breed with droopy lop ears. The British Lop eared Pig are good mothers and good meat yielders so popular with smallholders and breeders alike. They are amiable and easy to manage too.
Kune Kune: A breed originally kept by the Maoris in New Zealand. A small hairy pig which is popular due to its gentle and friendly nature. Also because of its small size it is easier to move and deal with. I would love to keep these as they are a perfect choice for a small herd for a cottager or smallholder as they are small, easy pigs and are sociable animals.
For more information on the different Pig Breeds and how to care for them take a gander at the links below:
Below are some photos getting to know the Swiss Rare Breed Pigs out in Switzerland!