Tamworth pigs have all the qualities needed by those who wish to rear a free-range pig. They are hardy, healthy and make very good mothers. They are also friendly, ‘talkative’ and full of character. In addition to being great for clearing scrubland, they produce excellent quality pork and bacon.
Tamworth are an ancient breed of pig. They are the oldest surviving pure Breed in the British Isles and part of their heritage is Irish as it was Sir Robert Peel who took Irish forest Pigs- 'Irish Grazers' to his estate in Staffordshire. The 'Irish Grazers' were bred on his estate and the Tamworth breed was started. While the number of breeding sows has increased, they are in fact, still considered ‘at risk’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
They have attractive red- gold hair and prick ears. They are known for being inquisitive so you should have a good fence. The sows make excellent mothers, producing lots of milk and being docile. It makes a great free-range pig as it is suitable to be reared outdoors in all weathers. Their red colour also makes them resistant to sunburn in hot weather.
A big advantage of the Tamworth is it’s ability to produce white- fleshed carcasses with long sides and excellent hams. Their meat came top in a ‘taste test’ carried out by Bristol University which used both commercial and rare- breed pigs in a scientifically controlled experiment.
Weaners can be finished successfully in 6-7 months. Slower finishing is preferable as the meat will be firmer and leaner. In order to produce the best meat, you should feed your pigs on a varied diet. We have fattened pigs using various feedstuffs, apples, potatoes, vegetable peelings, hay, silage, fodder beet, and grains. The resultant meat has been full of flavour with reliable crackling.
Crossed with Gloucester Old Spot, it produces a very good dual purpose pig or crossed with Wild Boar, it produces lean, gamey meat. This particular cross is referred to as ‘Iron Age’. We also supply cross bred piglets in these combinations.