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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Keeping pigs
...Farrowing pigs
...Feeding pigs
>..Pig breeds
...Pig Selection
...Weaning piglets

Many years ago pigs were selected and bred for their beauty.

There are some staggeringly fat pigs in nineteenth-century paintings; with the quantity of fat on those creatures you can certainly see why Jack Sprat's wife was the fat one. Today pigs have been bred to be leaner almost everyone prefers lean pork; in fact, the ideal pig would have an extremely long back and four rear legs. When you sell meat the reason for this is quite clear: everyone wants the chops and leg. The head and hand and spring we could do without.

We have Large White boars and Landrace sows. This gives us the virility of the Large White and the finer body of the Landrace. The French Pietrain pig is often bred into this mixture. Again the aim with modern pigs is for leanness and high birth numbers.

To be more traditional you can go for Gloucester Old Spots; these pink and black pigs have become popular again in recent years and they do produce excellent pork. They are also enthusiastic outdoor pigs so if you want to clear some land, they will thrive and look decorative at the same time. To get more ethnic still you can choose a Tamworth. These orange hairy pigs are an instant reminder of Tudor boar hunts; they are slow growers but if you are not in a hurry and are not aiming to make much money, it is interesting to have a go. Actually one way to make money from the more unusual breeds is to rear them to sell to other enthusiasts.