What are my special features?
The Oxford Sandy and Black Pig is medium sized and well known for its free, active gait and strong straight head with either lopped or semi lopped ears. The breed gets its name from its distinctive coat, which is sandy with black spots. It is a visually attractive calm pig and a prolific breeder. A natural browser and forager, it finishes quickly which is advantageous for farmers.
The breed is light boned with a high ratio of meat to bone on the carcass. It does not take on fat easily and produces lean meat with no markings. The breed is dual purpose, producing high quality fresh meat, bacon and hams.
What is my history?
The Oxford Sandy and Black Pig, sometimes referred to as the ‘Plum Pudding’ or ‘Oxford Forest Pig’ is one of the oldest British pig breeds, having existed for at least 200 years. Traditionally kept by farmers and cottagers, especially around Oxfordshire, the breed is closely linked to the Berkshire and Tamworth pigs found in nearby regions. Thoughts vary on whether it is a cross breed, a new breed, or merely a genetic divergence from the other breeds.
The Oxford Sandy & Black Pig has reached crisis point at least twice in its past, when numbers dropped so low that extinction was a real possibility. The situation was exacerbated by the lack of a breed book, but this was rectified by the formation of the breed society in 1985.
Why am I forgotten?
The Oxford Sandy and Black Pig is still low in numbers, many bloodlines have been lost, although some of the rarest are still hanging on.
Don’t lose me… cook me!