Other common names: Large Black; Large Black Hog
The Large Black pig is one of the oldest British pig breeds, with its origins coming from the Old English hog of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Large Black pig is considered to be extremely docile and very hardy.
In the UK, the Large Black pig is one of 8 pig breeds on the list of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists the Large Black breed as "Critical."
Appearance / health:
The Large Black pig is all black, and has lop ears and a long, deep body.
Despite their energy and gregarious nature, pigs are sensitive animals. They are easily stressed by travel, vaccinations, extreme temperatures, and new surroundings. Stress makes them susceptible to ailments like pneumonia and bronchitis (due also to their small lungs relative to their size). They are also susceptible to animal viruses like influenza. Pigs commonly suffer from mad itch (or pseudo rabies), dysentery, and parasites (lice, ticks, and ascarid worms).
Healthy pigs have shiny hair, bright eyes, strong appetites, and high energy. Their normal temperature is 102.5F. Deviations from the normal temperature and other signs of poor health including diarrhea and coughing should promptly be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.
Behavior / temperament:
As omnivores that love to eat, pigs can be fun to watch while they explore their surroundings in search for something to munch on. They use their snouts to smell and unearth a potential meal. They are intelligent and social animals that quickly get used to the presence and affection of humans.
Some pigs are intelligent enough to learn tricks, obey commands, and use a litter box. Because they have no sweat glands, they tend to cool themselves by rolling in water or mud. The mud that dries on their skin serves as a sunscreen and protection from parasites like ticks, lice, and flies.
Housing / diet:
Pigs are active, curious animals that require room to explore, exercise, and just be their natural energetic selves. Sufficient space, relative to their size and weight, is a primary consideration because pigs that are crowded or confined to small spaces become stressed, and healthy growth and development is hindered.
Although constantly roaming and appreciative of open yards and fresh air, pigs also require a shed or housing that will let them sleep on a dry and clean area at night. Ideal ambient temperatures are 60-70F. Warm shelters with wood chip bedding are a must during cold months; water misters are recommended for the hottest months.
Pig housing should also include a feeder and a drinking water dispenser (usually a water barrel). Access to a water source makes it convenient to clean or hose out the pig shelters (and the pigs) as needed. Chain link fencing, shade trees, and a pond are recommended for backyard habitats.
Pig owners are advised to check with local authorities for legislation regarding the ownership and keeping of pigs in their homes and backyards.
As omnivores that eat plants and animals, pigs will consume almost anything that is edible like fruits, roots, flowers, grass, insects, worms, all types of meat, and even leftover scraps from the dinner table.
Unlike ruminant animals (cattle and goats), pigs have a single stomach. For healthy and fast growth, pigs require a high-energy diet composed of grain (corn, oats, wheat, barley), plus protein and vitamin supplements. Most commercially available feed for pigs combine various farm grains and the necessary supplements to ensure rapid and efficient development.
Pigs are best allowed to self-feed or eat as much as they want during the day to enable them to grow as fast as they normally can. Feeding should always include a good supply of clean, fresh drinking water.
heavy dead weight, quiet smallholder pig, quality meat, homemade bacon, good foragers
slow growth rate
Rare Breeds Survival, large floppy ears, vulnerable species, Excellent Moms
Sally the pig!
When I met my husband-to-be, he had a pet pig, Sally, and she was very protective of him! Once you’d earned her trust, and was willing to spend considerable time scratching her, she was really lovely, very demonstrative and full of life. A pig has the ability to eat almost anything. She used to eat a few cups of pig chow, mixed with boiled vegetables and chopped apples, twice a day. As a treat, she ate bread and butter, soaked in milk. Don’t feed your pig onions or salt. Salt intake can be fatal.
When we moved, Sally lived in her own pen, next to the horse stable, and ran around with the horses. Personality-wise, she was a character and very mischievous! She was a large breed of pig, but could be very gentle when resting her head on your lap. A major watch-out is hot weather. As pigs can’t sweat, they need plenty of shade, a decent shelter, and for their feet to be hosed down, with lukewarm water. Don’t use cold water as your pig might go into shock. A pig won’t be everyone’s choice of pet, but we miss Sally now that she’s gone..
From Cherylynn Jan 9 2015 1:09PM
Large Black Pigs
The Large Black Pig, as a breed, has seen its share of hard times with numbers declining to the point of near extinction in the 60's but due to hard work and dedication has made a steady comeback. It is still considered a vulnerable species by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and other organisations but i think that just makes them all the more special.
The Pigs themselves are good and hardy, and make good foragers, the breed is particularly good for traditional farming and crofts and I think that our pigs enjoyed their lives with us in the setting we put them in. I don't think they enjoyed the chest freezer half as much though but that is the reason we got them in the first place.
We sent them to slaughter and got enough meat to fill a good sized chest freezer, they are a long pig so they were great for bacon and pork. The quality of the meat, even from frozen, was surprisingly good and having homemade bacon was just sublime.
Just look at them, below, with their faces in the trough, happy as Larry..
From coliwob Dec 31 2014 5:34PM