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Which breed of pig would you favour for beginners?
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Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 12:25 pm    Post subject: Which breed of pig would you favour for beginners?  Reply with quote    

We're wanting to purchase a couple of weaners in the next few weeks. As complete novices to the 'pig game' we're not sure which breed to go for, although Gervase favours traditional breeds like the Gloucester Old Spot. We've read all the available info and asked around, but we'd be interested if any of you could recommend a particular favourite breed and why. I quite like the idea of Large Blacks which I gather are Welsh in origin and an old breed.

All thoughts or advice gratefully received.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm in the same position as you, most of my research has pointed me towards tamworths as a good first time pig.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have reared two sets of weaners - the first pair were Tamworth x OSB and the second were Old Spots.
The Old Spots were very laid-back and docile and generally stayed put in their enclosure. The Tamworth/OSB were a lot more sparky and interested in what was going on, but managed to commando roll through the electric fence quite a few times.

In terms of eating qualities, the Tamworth/OSBs were very fatty (on the cusp of being too fat), but the flavour of the meat was superb - almost gamey - and the crackling was the best I have ever eaten. The GOS were a lot leaner, but the meat is much milder. Very nice, but not as special as the first pair.

That is about the sum of my advice and knowledge so far.

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
I'm in the same position as you, most of my research has pointed me towards tamworths as a good first time pig.


Actually us too...but I keep feeling that perhaps we should go down the rare breeds route on the basis that if we're going to do it, we may as well do something 'different' from the pack. What do you reckon?

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Judith wrote:
We have reared two sets of weaners - the first pair were Tamworth x OSB and the second were Old Spots.
The Old Spots were very laid-back and docile and generally stayed put in their enclosure. The Tamworth/OSB were a lot more sparky and interested in what was going on, but managed to commando roll through the electric fence quite a few times.

In terms of eating qualities, the Tamworth/OSBs were very fatty (on the cusp of being too fat), but the flavour of the meat was superb - almost gamey - and the crackling was the best I have ever eaten. The GOS were a lot leaner, but the meat is much milder. Very nice, but not as special as the first pair.

That is about the sum of my advice and knowledge so far.


And very helpful indeed! Thanks so much Judith. But just to clarify (sorry, small brain) were the first pair (i.e. the Tamworths) 'special' in terms of the flavour of the meat...or the fun and Territorial Army games they provided you with?

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mary-Jane wrote:

Actually us too...but I keep feeling that perhaps we should go down the rare breeds route on the basis that if we're going to do it, we may as well do something 'different' from the pack. What do you reckon?


Totally agree, but on the basis I'll be doing this for years to come I'd like to break myself in gently. Remember Jimmy's farm and the almost extinct Essex pigs dropping like flies?

I don't know if i could handle that stress

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mary-Jane wrote:
And very helpful indeed! Thanks so much Judith. But just to clarify (sorry, small brain) were the first pair (i.e. the Tamworths) 'special' in terms of the flavour of the meat...or the fun and Territorial Army games they provided you with?


LOL. I meant the flavour of the meat, but I think the first two were probably more interesting as pigs as well.

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have tamworths and I've never tasted meat like it. They are prone to running to fat but if you time the slaughter properly and are strict on the feeding regimen you'll be rewarded with the best tasting pork ever. The extra fat just takes some getting used to as we're all used to dry, lean, white pork I suppose. The fat definitely adds to the flavour imo and if you simmer it off in the biggest chunks you have the best 'dripping' for making roasties.
Are tamworths not a rare breed anymore?

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
Totally agree, but on the basis I'll be doing this for years to come I'd like to break myself in gently. Remember Jimmy's farm and the almost extinct Essex pigs dropping like flies?

I don't know if i could handle that stress


True - but as we've had to recently endure a stillborn lamb and then a wether dropping dead, I would hope we'd find it less stressful than poor Jimmy, even if the breed we coose is rare. And his livelehood depended on the pigs...but ours doesn't. Does yours? Or are you doing it for food like us?

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mary-Jane wrote:

True - but as we've had to recently endure a stillborn lamb and then a wether dropping dead, I would hope we'd find it less stressful than poor Jimmy, even if the breed we coose is rare. And his livelehood depended on the pigs...but ours doesn't. Does yours? Or are you doing it for food like us?


Just for food, and fun!

What swung it for me was being given some Tamworth Bacon, the rind was larger than the meat! I think the whole idea of raising something which is the total opposite of modern porkers appeals to me.

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
Just for food, and fun!

What swung it for me was being given some Tamworth Bacon, the rind was larger than the meat! I think the whole idea of raising something which is the total opposite of modern porkers appeals to me.


Oh us too, without a doubt!

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33857
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My vote is for OSBs.

I went for them because I knew nothing much. I wanted smaller, robust, disease resistant pigs, who weren't bolshy, and would taste nice as bacon or pork. They scored highly on all points. And get girls, not boys. I couldn't see any difference in taste, but the boy tried to escape more, pushed me over more and was bolshier.

fenwoman



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 509
Location: Tydd St giles
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
I'm in the same position as you, most of my research has pointed me towards tamworths as a good first time pig.

Blimey no chance. They are one of the more 'lively' pig breeds.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

fenwoman wrote:
Blimey no chance. They are one of the more 'lively' pig breeds.


'Sociable' is the word that keeps cropping up!

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 06 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
fenwoman wrote:
Blimey no chance. They are one of the more 'lively' pig breeds.


'Sociable' is the word that keeps cropping up!


For 'sociable' and 'lively' may I read 'bloody escape artists'?

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