British Saddleback pigs at Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park
Sus scrofa domesticus
The Saddleback is known to be a very hardy breed well suited to an extensive system. Average litter size in 2009 was around 9.98 piglets and the breed has excellent maternal instincts. The breed is very docuke and suited to outdoor systems.
- A large, lop eared, deep bodied pig.
- Sows weigh around 270kg and boars, 320kg
- Black body with white ban around the saddle and front legs.
- The hind feet, nose and tail can also be white.
- There can be considerable variation in type as would expect in a breed that is an amalgamation of two separate strains.
History of the British Saddleback pig
The British Saddleback is the amalgamation of 2 breeds: the Wessex Saddleback and the Essex.
There were black and white belted pigs in the west country as far back as the early 19th century and they were much renowned for their bacon.
The Wessex Saddleback breed developed and remained popular and the first herd book was published in 1918.
The Essex was a breed of similar age and renown and the first herd book was also published in 1918.
The Wessex was always more numerous than the Essex and by the 1960’s with the pig industry heavily focusing on ‘white’ breed the Wessex and Essex were amalgamated to form the British Saddleback in 1967.
The breed is noe considered Minority rather than Rare and is spread throughout most of the UK.
Boththe Wessex Saddleback and the Essex are extinct in their original form (although there has been a re-creation of the Essex breed)
Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park is proud to be a member of the RBST, whose mission is to ensure we do not lose the diversity of our native breeds. They do this through a programme of monitoring, saving and promoting the breeding & registration of rare and native breeds.
Meet some more of our rare breeds
Do you want to hear all of our latest news and events first?
Sign up to our newsletter to hear all of Jimmy’s Farm news and events before everyone else