Tamworth Pig

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What are my special features?

The Tamworth Pig is easily identified by a golden red coat, long legs and pricked ears. The length of the snout is the longest of the domestic breeds. The Tamworth is very hardy, allowing it to be kept in a range of environments such as rough pasture, forest and meadowland. The Tamworth is one of the great dual purpose pigs producing both great pork and bacon.

What is my history?

The Tamworth Pig originated in the Midlands around Tamworth and is the only native breed of pig in Britain which is red. The ancestry of the breed is subject to several conflicting claims and theories. The Tamworth is thought to a descendant from the Old English Forest pig. At the end of the 18th century, when many native breeds were ‘improved’ by crossing them with Chinese and Neapolitan stock, the Tamworth was not deemed fashionable and hence left alone being considered the oldest pure English breed.

Well over a century ago, when landowners, farmers, hotel keepers and cottagers kept pigs to cure their own bacon, the Tamworth enjoyed popularity as it produce white-fleshed carcasses with long sides and big hams.

Why am I forgotten?

The popularity of the breed fluctuated with the demands of the meat market and numbers reached a critically low level in the 1970’s. During the later 20th century, Tamworth’s were both exported and imported. This is vitally important to a breed with small numbers and potential inbreeding problems.

Don’t lose me… cook me!

Please read more about me and monitor my progress on the RBST WatchList 2014.