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Large Blacks

Large Black PigsVulnerable’ on the RBST Watch list

The South Yeo herd of pedigree Large Black Pigs
Having experimented with a variety of rare breeds including Saddleback, Berkshire , Gloucester Old Spots and Tamworth , we fell in love with the docile Large Black for its character and taste.

Breeding gilts, 'Blossom' & friend

The breed is Britain’s only all black pig and is on the watch list of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and classed as ‘Vulnerable’ with less than 300 registered breeding sows (RBST). They are long and deep in body and have large lop ears which reach to their snout, covering their eyes and making them easy to handle as they cannot see too far ahead. Their dark skin pigmentation helps them to resist sunburn, making them ideal for keeping outdoors. As they are a long pig they are very good for both bacon and pork and also produce excellent hams when crossed with breeds such as the Duroc.

Large black sows are excellent mothers and can rear large litters. We currently have four registered pedigree sows from the Princess, Fashion and Skylark bloodlines. Our young boar is from the rare Defender line.  Because the pig gestation period is close to 4 months and piglets are with their mothers for 8 weeks before weaning, each pig has 2 litters a year. We have them in phase so there are litters every 2 months and consequently fresh pork and bacon etc every 2 months too.

Large Black Pigs being watched over by Gem

Our pigs are reared outside for most of the year on grass, only being brought inside for closer monitoring at farrowing time or if the field becomes exceptionally muddy in the winter; they tend to be far happier outside. We move their run annually once the ground has been turned over and plant barley on the ground they have been on previously. The barley then provides us with our own straw for bedding and grain to mill to feed back to the pigs. It is important not to keep pigs on the same ground year after year as the ground can become ‘pig sick’ and lead to health issues; it is also good to take a crop off the ground before re-seeding back to a conservation grass mix as pig feed is high in copper which could be fatal to sheep if put straight back on the pig ground to graze. The old boys knew what they were doing with mixed farming after all!

Owing to their placid nature, they are not great escape artists unlike our earlier experiences with Tamworths (but that is another story); they are kept behind a simple 2 strand electric fence powered by an old car battery and recharged with a small solar panel. If they turn over their ground sooner than anticipated we simply enlarge their pen by moving the electric fence.

Large Black Pig happily rooting

Demand for traditionally reared meat from known provenance has led us to develop a customer base. We have sold to friends and by word of mouth referrals for a number of years and have now expanded to sell directly to local customers and those further a field by chill pack couriered delivery. The taste of rare breed meat is nothing like what you find at the supermarket and really has to be tried for its succulent flavour – and the crackling is positively mouth-watering… if you would like to try some joints or even a ½ pig for the freezer (butchered of course), please contact us.

We like to raise our animals as naturally as possible and avoid using medications or growth promoters wherever possible by using good stockmanship and observation. Once the foundation stock was purchased we have not brought any more animals on to the farm, helping to prevent the potential for importation of pests or disease.

Curiosity

Large Black Pig Breeders Club:
A Large Black breed society was formed in 1889 to help promote the breed. Owing to prejudice against coloured skin in pork, pig numbers declined dramatically during the 1960’s. The breed is now experiencing resurgence in popularity with many small herds now throughout the British Isles . There are 257 registered keepers in Britain with 6 boar bloodlines and 24 sow bloodlines with a total of only 996 animals registered for breeding (203 boars and 793 sows: source BPA stats Jan 2007). For further information, see the Large Black Pig Breeders Club and British Pig Association websites.

Breed Standards:

  • HEAD - Well proportioned. Medium length, broad and clean between the ears.
  • EARS - Long, thin and well-inclined over the face.
  • JOWL AND CHEEK - Freedom from jowl. Strong under-jaw.
  • NECK - Long and clean.
  • CHEST - Wide and deep.
  • SHOULDERS - (Important) Fine and in line with ribs.
  • LENGTH - (Of the utmost importance)
  • BACK - Very long and strong.
  • LOIN - Broad and strong.
  • RIBS - Well sprung.
  • SIDES - Long and moderately deep.
  • BELLY - Full, straight underline, with at least twelve sound, evenly spaced, well placed teats and starting well forward.
  • HAMS - Very broad and full.
  • QUARTERS - Long, wide and not drooping.
  • TAIL - Set moderately high and thick-set.
  • LEGS - Well set, straight and fat. Fine bone.
  • PASTERNS - Strong.
  • SKIN - Blue-black. Fine and soft.
  • COAT - Fine and soft, with moderate quantity of straight black silky hair.

GENERAL MOVEMENT
Active

GENERAL QUALITY AND CONFORMATION
Good carriage on sound feet with length and well developed loin and hams.

Livestock, Pork and Sausages Sales

Please see the ‘For Sale this week’ section or telephone / email us for availability or orders

Pigs for sale
We often have a waiting list for weaners for both fattening and breeding, so if you are thinking about trying some Large Blacks, please contact us well in advance to avoid disappointment. All litters are Birth Notified with the British Pig Association but we only select animals that conform to breed standards to register with the BPA for breeding; it is important to realize that not every piglet born will have the desired qualities from which to breed, so there may be some wait for the good ones.

Large Black Pigs

Registered breeding stock All registered stock come with BPA papers & are ear notched

Gilt weaners

£80.00

Weaners sold at 8-9 weeks. If older, we ask an additional £1 per day on top of the 8 week price to cover the cost of additional feed and keep

Boar weaners

£70.00

Older stock POA
Unregistered fattening stock
Gilt weaners £60.00
Boar weaners £45.00

Meat
Our pigs are taken to a local abattoir, thereby minimising stress of the animal, and are then butchered and packaged by a professional butcher. We now use 2-3 butchers depending on what is required of the meat; e.g. one for particular sausage flavours, one for pork only, one for bacon and gammon etc. Pork is sold by the half animal or orders for individual joints can be taken and cut to your specification by the butcher. Do contact us to see what we have available at the moment – as we are a smallholding, not a commercial farm, we do not always have a continuous supply.

We have our own meaty sausages made and have regular favourite recipes such as traditional farmhouse, pork and herb, pork and leek, and pork and apple.

Meat Price List

To download a copy of our meat price list, please click on the icon

Joints or each ½ or whole pig can be cut by our skilled butchers to your specification. Some options are as follows:

1

Head
- To make brawn or head cheese
- Bath chaps from the cured pigs cheeks

2

Spare rib roast
- on/off the bone as an excellent roasting joint (a large joint if rib & blade left whole)
- collar bacon if cured for boiling / baking

3

Loin
- left whole as a joint or cut to give chops
- Foreloin for cutlets
- Middle loin for Loin chops
- Chump end for boneless Chump chops
- Pork Escalopes from the boned out meat
- Prized Tenderloin from the fillet of meat that runs on the top of the loin
- cured to give back bacon or left whole with the belly to give a long folded rasher

4

Leg
- kept whole for a large roasting joint or cut into 2-3 smaller joints on/off the bone & lovely crackling…
- cured to become gammon steaks or a joint, and once cooked is called ham

5

Trotters
- used for soups or stuffed

6

Belly
- Quite fatty but gives wonderful crackling
- Thick end (nearest shoulder) for slow roasts
- cubed for rillons or to add to casseroles of less fatty meats
- Spare ribs for BBQs
- cured it becomes your streaky bacon

7

Shoulder or hand & spring
- on the bone or boned or rolled for slow roasting; hand for pot roasts
- often used for diced pork for stews / casseroles / stir frying or for sausages
- cured for picnic ham

Some email feedback from our happy customers:

“I’ve just had delicious pork chops for supper - mmmmmmm - really good - well done!”

“Great pork!! Really enjoying the meat we bought from you. Please put our names down for another half pig when you next have some”

“…the last bacon that we had was absolutely superb.  In fact I think I would say that it was the best”

If you would like us to inform you when we are due to have fresh pork available, just send us an email and we can add you to our contacts list. Please be assured that we will not pass on your details to any third parties.
We are often asked why, if the pigs are a rare breed, we do not keep them all rather than sending them to the butcher. By eating the produce of rare breeds, you are in fact helping conservation - it encourages more people to keep more of them and therefore you will be helping to save rare breeds. In order to preserve the breed, only the very best should be kept or sold for breeding and surplus stock can be reared for food. There are also always more male pigs than are required for breeding and these usually find their way into sausages.

We have foundation in food hygiene certificates and follow HACCP procedures.