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About Tamworth Hogs

In keeping with our goal of using "heritage" breeds, we are acquiring and raising Tamworth Hogs. These old breeds are very rare and indeed are on the endagered list, meaning they are at risk of extinction, and are well worth preserving. As with all of our livestock we give our hogs names as we feel closer to them that way and they each have their own personality.

Physical Appearance

Tamworth hogs range from golden red to dark red, and it is thought that the red pigmentation is what prevents them getting sunburned. They have a long snout, upright ears, and a long, lean, and deep-sided appearance (rather than the roundedness of today's industrially-farmed pigs), and generally have a smooth hair coat without swirls or black spots.

History

Originally raised in Ireland and known as the "Irish Grazer", these hogs were imported to a farm in Tamworth, Staffordshire, England in the early 19th century. Their more distant origins are unknown, but they are thought to be a direct and true descendant of an Old English breed, as various physical traits are thought to come from wild boar. They were exported to to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand about 50 years later, by farmers who used them for everything from moving rocks and clearing pastures to hauling carts to selling live to providing great meat. Their numbers dropped dramatically with the rise of "industrial" pigs, but the breed is slowly coming back one piglet at a time.

Hardiness

Tamworths are hardy and adaptable, generally disease resistant, and do not need sheltering even in harsh weather (they have been known to make their own "shelters" when necessary). As with our heritage Highland Cattle, our Tamworth Hogs are favored for their ability to forage for food in less than ideal settings for most pigs. They compliment the cattle by grazing for their food, rather than relying largely on humans to provide for them. These hogs are helped by additional grains, however, which we give them regularly.

Temperament and Behavior

Olive and her pigletsTamworths are typically known for having good mothering instincts, especially in suckling piglets. While they do not always yield the same number of offspring at one time as modern pigs, they may breed longer. We have learned through experience that they need just the right place for birthing. Their size puts the newborns at risk of being smothered or crushed.

Said to be intelligent and occassionally cunning, these hogs quickly learn to respect the electric wires we use, along with our stone fences, to carve out the multiple, manageable rotational pastures and enclosures for our expecting sows and their new families.

Excellent Meat

These hogs yield high-quality lean meat, without fat marbling common in many breeds. Their meat is known for excellent bacon, for which it was bred in Tamworth, but as "the other white meat" it also cooks up tender and moist like a good steak.

Our hogs and all of our livestock are raised on open pasture. The Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Turkeys, Hogs etc all gets lots of fresh air, sunshine, a wide diet of what nature provides.

Manures from the different animals provide other animals with vitamins and minerals, the interna; parasites that effect Cattle as an example, are dead ended by the hogs. The fowl eat the fly larve out of the manure and thereby reduce the number of fly’s and negate the need for chemical sprays

This is natures way of animals helping other animals.

Size

These medium-sized hogs. Boars may weigh from 535 to 800 pounds and sows from 450 to 650 pounds.