Large Black Pigs
Large Black pigs are also called
Cornish Black, Lop Eared
Black, or Devon Black. They
are a rare
heritage breed pig. Their
characteristics are that they are both Large and Black. They have large lop ears,
slight shoulders, a
long body and a longer intestine than most breeds to use feed more efficiently. When food is
plentiful they tend
to put on back fat, that historically would have been needed to survive the
winter. They were
developed over the ages
in the "West Country" of England.
so called "green revolution" is the use of chemical
fertilizers, pesticides and
herbicides. This reduced the cost of grains and making raising
hogs in barns more profitable. Prior to this, Large Black Pigs
were commonly raised on pasture as a
pig. The meat is
known for being
relatively lean with short muscle fibre, micro marbled fat and its exquisite old
Recently, a renewed interest in
pasture raised heritage pork has created a resurgence of the Large Blacks for their hardiness, resistance to sunburn and placid
temperament. They are a valuable breed for small scale outdoor farming.
This breed has a long history on
the west coast. A Large Black
was responsible for starting the Pig
War in 1859.
Large Black Pig is recognized
as a critically endangered breed, not only here but worldwide.
The population in Canada
was down to less than 150 animals in the early 90's. All of the breeding stock are registered purebreds. The Large Blacks on our farm currently account
approximately 1% of the population in Canada. The best of the offspring
are available for
sale as registered breeding stock as our contribution to help replenish this breed.
When supporting the production of
these animals by
purchasing premium meat you play a part in continuing the breed. It
may sound funny to some, but to save this breed you actually have to
eat them. Customer demand is necessary to encourage farmers to
raise these gentle giants.
The heritage breeds of many
livestock species are in
jeopardy because they can not compete economically with other profit driven breeds. As a result the
farms raising them couldn't succeed. Many of these heritage
breeds are now rare or
hundreds and even sometimes thousands of years of selective breeding. They have
the genetic characteristics required to work in an agricultural system without
the benefits of the chemical industry or
fuels. Please endeavour to purchase some of your food from farms
working with registered rare heritage purebreds.
Keeping these breeds alive is largely a numbers game. A
large number of animals need to be produced for food to ensure a
select few excellent animals can be found. Only the best should
be going into the breeding pool to maintain or improve the breed traits.
Unfortunately undocumented animals
don't help the cause of
This is a link to the registry for all
purebred livestock in Canada
This is the number of purebred
swine registered last year in Canada
Large Black Associations