British Saddleback Pigs

Appearance

A medium to large lop eared pig, mainly black but with an unbroken white band running over the shoulders and down to both front feet. It may also have a white tip to its tail, white hind feet, and white on the snout, but this is not necessary.

Character

A docile pig, with good mothering skills. It is also very hardy and a good forager.

Meat quality

A good dual-purpose pig for combined pork and bacon production.

History

The British Saddleback, formed in 1967, is the result of the amalgamation of the Essex and Wessex Saddleback. These two pigs shared similar colouration but had different characteristics. The Wessex Saddleback originated in the New Forrest. It was entirely black except for a band of white hair stretching over its shoulders and down its forelegs. The Essex pig was developed in East Anglia and like the Wessex Saddleback was mainly black. However in addition to the wide band of white across the shoulders and down the forelegs it had white back legs and a white tip to the tail. The Essex Pig was considered to be the fancier pig 'the gent’s pig' whilst the Wessex Saddleback was 'the farmer’s choice'. Both Breeds were very popular during the second World War when nearly half the total pedigree sow registrations were from the Essex or the Wessex. Sadly though, when the industry started to favour intensive production other breeds replaced these pigs. Fortunately the TV programme "Jimmy's Farm" has recently revived the public’s interest in these pigs.

Numbers

According to the Rare Breed Survival Trust these pigs are 'At Risk'. This means there are less than 500 breeding sows registered in this country.