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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 main 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 next winter.  They were developed over the ages in the "West Country" of England.

The 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 bacon pig.  The meat is known for being relatively lean with short muscle fibre, micro marbled fat and its exquisite old world flavour. 

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.

Save an Endangered Breed

 The 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 for 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 endangered.  These breeds represent 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  fossil 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 breed preservation.

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



Now that you have read about them, buy some pork!