Our Pigs

Heritage Breed Pork

Our herd consists solely of the heritage breed Wessex Saddleback pigs.

The Wessex Saddleback is now recognised as an endangered species by the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia.

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The Wessex Saddleback originated in the New Forest in southern England, where it thrived as a foraging breed for over ten centuries on natural woodland pasture. They are a slow growing breed (with mostly black hair) which was not suited to intensive indoor farming systems. This resulted in the breed’s extinction in its native England.

Some pedigreed animals were imported to Australia back in the 1930’s, however, today their numbers remain low. There are only 150 registered pure breed sows left in Australia.

Over time the intensive industry has developed pigs that grew faster, bigger and cheaper, but this also meant that these pigs were no longer producing the fat that comes with slow growth. It is the fat marbled through the meat of a slow grown pig that gives the pork it’s flavour and moisture.

When most people imagine pigs they immediately think “pink”. A few white hairs are usually overlooked, but the idea of finding black hairs in the pork roast crackling is something most city folk usually couldn’t (or wouldn’t) deal with. 

If Australians don’t start appreciating the succulent pork from our rare heritage breed pigs, we have a real risk of losing these breeds in Australia forever. Due to Australian biosecurity laws, it is not possible to bring live pigs, pig semen or pig embryos into Australia, which means we will never be able to revive the numbers of the heritage breed pigs in our country if they die out.

At the end of the day, until the consumer starts to favour the flavour of the heritage breeds again, they will remain on the rare breeds list, or worse still… be gone forever.

Looking for Wessex Saddleback breeders?

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