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Pot-bellied pig

Mudchute is home to several rare and native pig breeds. Pigs are the domesticated relatives of the wild boar (Sus scrofa). The native pig of the British Isles was a large, lop-eared animal kept in pannage systems and backyards. These pigs were crossbred with small, fat, prick-eared pigs from Asia during the 18th century to form the bass of all native British breeds.


Gloustershire Old Spot pig

These pigs are easily distinguished by the large black spots on their backs and the soft floppy ears.

The breed was developed in Gloucestershire when most cottages had a pig in a sty at the bottom of the garden. Windfall apples were the basis of their diet and Local folklore attributes the spots to bruises from falling apples!

With a pedigree dating back to 1913, Gloucester Old Spots are the oldest pedigree spotted pigs in the world. The breed is originally from the Berkeley Vale region and the Gloucester Old Spots were traditionally known as the Orchard or Cottage Pig as they lived in gardens and smallholdings and were reared largely as domestic animals. According to the Guinness book of records the most expensive pig in Britain was Foston Sambo 21, a Gloucestershire Old Spots, which sold at auction in 1994 for £4,200. Discover more about Gloucestershire Old Spots at Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders Club.


Tamworth pig

Descended from the old indigenous species the European wild boar, which is where the red colouring comes from. The Tamworth is recognised as the purest British breed of pig and is regarded as being of a rather primitive type, being a very distinctive pig with long legs, prick ears with a pure red or ginger coat. This however has not always been the case. Around 1800 it was said to be much smaller with shorter legs and ears that were far less prominent. As far as colour was concerned it was described as "spotted red and brown".

Old pictures of the Tamworth show it to have been anything from white or pale ginger with black spots to a ‘red and black' pig. It closely resembled the picture painted by Low of the old ‘Berkshire' and it was not a million miles away from the current requirements of the ‘Oxford Sandy & Black'.

The Tamworth is one of the great ‘dual purpose' pigs producing stunningly good pork as well as equally tremendous bacon. In the mid 1990's the Tamworth came top in a taste test carried out by Bristol University using both commercial and rare breed pigs in a scientifically controlled experiment. It was later suggested that further investigation should take place to establish just what it was that gave the Tamworth meat such a distinctive taste putting it way above all the other breeds.Discover more about Tamworths from the Tamworth Breeder's Club


British Saddleback

The British Saddleback is large, mostly black, lop-eared pigs with a distinctive white band across the saddle and around the legs and shoulders. Originating in 1967, the breed is the result of crossing the Essex and Wessex Saddleback. Saddlebacks are known for being docile, fecund and being excellent mothers as well as their hardiness and foraging abilities.

You can find out more about Saddleback pigs from the British Saddleback Breeders' Club and Rare Breed Survival Trust.

potbellied pig

Pot-bellied Pigs

The pot-bellied pig is a breed of domesticated pig originating in Vietnam. They are considerably smaller than other domestic breeds, growing to the size of a large dog, but weighing 8-136 kg (20-300lb). Unlike our other pigs, pot-bellied pigs have upright ears and a straight tail.

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