Other common names: Red Wattle Pig
According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), "The Red Wattle is a large, red hog with a fleshy wattle attached to each side of the neck. The wattles have no known function. They are a single gene characteristic and usually pass to crossbred offspring."
"The origin and history of the Red Wattle breed is obscure and many hypotheses have been put forward. What is certain is that the breed, as it is known today, was derived from the large, red, wattled hogs found in a wooded area of eastern Texas in the early 1970s by Mr. H.C. Wengler. He reported breeding two red wattled sows with a Duroc boar, then breeding the wattled offspring back to the original sow. Over several generations he developed what became known as the “Wengler Red Waddle Hog.”
Appearance / health:
The Red Wattle comes in a variety of shades of red, some with black specks or patches, and red and black hair. Some individuals are nearly black. The head and jowl are clean and lean, the nose is slim, and ears are upright with drooping tips. The body is short coupled and the back slightly arched. Mature animals weigh 600-800 pounds, but may weigh as much as 1200 pounds and measure up to four feet high and eight feet long.
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.
good temperament, Excellent flavor, lean hog, excellent foragers, super hardy, growth rate
escape artists, electric fence
popular lard pigs, good disease resistance, rare pig, love oak acorns, leanest pig alive.Pi
Our Own Little Wilbur!
I am assuming everyone has seen the movie Charlotte's Web at least once in their lifetime. You know the one about an unusual friendship that develops between a pig and a spider. The pig, Wilbur, is determined to do whatever it takes to stop from being shipped off to the the butcher. We had the same situation here, minus the talking spiders.
I have to tell you this pig was so intelligent, in fact it was a little bit scary. She was able to get out of her pen, a little too easy. We would joke that she was the reincarnation of Houdini. Although she was a natural born escape artist she would never go any further than the front porch or our favorite oak tree.
Last year a Red Wattle was delivered to the backyard farm I help out on. It's sole purpose was to be butchered. The owners had bought her because of the extremely lean meat, and both are trying to live healthier lives. I was put to task on getting her ready for butchering. I have always been kind to all animals my entire life, and this Red Wattle, was of no exception. Although she had a destiny in place I brought my daughter down to name her. That is one of the perks of working on this farm, is my kids can name all the animals. In the end my daughter came up with Miss Jiggles, it was funny, cute and it suited her.
I hand feed my Miss Jiggles everyday and kept a steady supply of oak acorns in my pocket for treat time. She was never overly rough or pushy when it was time to feed, and this stood true as she got bigger. I would take my lunch break over at an old oak tree, and I would let her out of her pen at this time. She would walk right behind and sit down while I ate my lunch. After I finished I would sit and read a book. At some point I started reading out loud and she seemed to become more interested in my lunch break. In fact after a few sessions I had a multitude of animals sitting around me for story time. I am sure it was a sight for any stranger that might have been passing by!
I realize this story is getting rather long, so let me answer the question everyone is wanting to know. How did Miss Jiggles taste? Well after many discussions with the owners it was decided to breed instead of eat. The breed is making a comeback now due to the red meat, and it seemed a more sensible solution. Although her amazing personality was a great part of her being saved.
The Red Wattle would make a fine addition to any backyard farm. I have no issues letting any of my children near her. She is not overly aggressive or pushy. The only time I have ever been knocked over was when we were playing ball, yes you read that right. We were kicking a ball around the backyard with her and I tumbled over her, so it was more my fault than hers. So whether you are looking for healthy red meat to serve to your family or a very unique and interesting pet, you should check out the Red Wattle..
From vilnwv Aug 23 2014 5:25AM
Raising Red Wattle
I recommend Red Wattle Pigs to anyone who wants to raise hogs. They are very smart and easily trained. My piglets ran free and slept on the porch until they were so big, we had no choice but to put them in the pen. They grew extremely fast, and were very low maintenance. They are also excellent foragers, which will save you a lot on food costs. Their meat is one of the leanest, and has a flavor that is unmatched.
We had a lot of fun with our pigs when they were small (less that 150 pounds). They are deep sleepers, and snore rather loudly. We would sneak up on them, so we could hold them. Once they are in your arms and have calmed down, they were rather docile.
All pigs are escape artists, and the Red Wattles are no exception. Because they are very smart, they will return home when it is time to eat..
From Kerri May 22 2013 6:35AM