A Tamworth Sow.
Rare Pig Breeds
Pigs are descended from the European wild boar and from the wild boar of South-East Asia. There are many native breeds of pig in the UK. Pigs are normally reared in intensive conditions in order to quickly fatten with a heavy reliance on cereals and antibiotics. There is now a growing trend in the commercial market where the valuable qualities of disease resistance of several endangered breeds of pig are being more fully appreciated and are reared under free range conditions.
The Tamworth is a very hardy animal and is suited is to the outdoors. The ginger coat protects the breed from sunburn. The Tamworth is considered Britain's oldest pure breed and is similar in appearance to the Old English Forest Pig. There are differing theories as to how the breed originally developed with one theory being the breed was influenced by the import of red pigs from Barbados. The Tamworth is a slow maturing breed but is known for producing good bacon. Tamworth's are on the vulnerable watch list of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, there are between 200 to 300 breeding sows currently in the UK.