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What breed of pigs next

We've had the one go at keeping pigs and had oxford sandy and blacks. They were great but we have nothing to compare them to.
What breeds of pig have you kept and what did you think of them?
Nicky Colour it green

We've had Berkshires, for a few years. then last year for a change had GOS x OSB. I much prefer the GOSxOSB - but.... the other big difference was we have always had gilts and last year we got boars.

the meat is much better, much leaner, and the pigs were much more amiable, despite being intact boars. So I will now always opt for GOSxOSB boars over Berkshire gilts.

I've only ever fattened weaners - no experience beyond that age.

I've had OSB, Berkshires, Large Blacks, Mangalitza and GOS.

Apart from the Mangalitzas, there's not much, really, to choose between the meat. Mangalitzas were stronger and fattier. I think, if pushed, we'd say the OSB were tastiest, and the Berkshires the most docile. But, really, not a lot to split them.

I now go for whatever is available when I want them, locally.

Of course, Gloucester Old |Spots would be my choice. They're docile and friendly but like most traditional breeds, have to be fed carefully so that they don't put on excessive fat. Actually, the OSB's you had last time are a traditional breed which reputedly are less prone than other rare breeds to getting fat.
In your situation, I'd be looking at getting cross breed pigs and in particular, I'd be looking for a Pietrain crossed with a traditional breed. Pietrains are exceptionally lean animals.

Have to agree with Nick, we have had most breeds over the years and there is very little between the taste of them, I guess its more how you keep and feed them than anything

i have met a few sorts of traditional breeds and

gos are comical,clever and friendly . ace for roasts,chops etc if a bit hard to eat (see comical ,etc)

saddlebacks are fairly friendly . good for roasts or bacon/ham

tamworths are charming and fairly easy to look after . good for any cooking style including bacon /ham

mangaltza cross berks were a bit bitey (serious understatement with a few of em )but the one i tamed with treats and ear scratching grew into a hairy monster who made the best dry cure smoked bacon and hams ever.worth the effort if you have fast reactions and a sense of humour and like taming moody critters . from what i know of eating em pure mang are smaller less fatty and probably just as grumpy(shy and a bit defensive really).

large black are docile and ok in a kitchen

i have maybe missed some sort and i have missed the cross breeds as they seem to get either the best or the worst combo of parental characteristics on an individual basis in one litter

diet and life style probably affects eating quality and temperament as much as breed but different types do seem to have different qualities .

I'm with dpack re the Mang cross. Ours were crossed with GOS and were also bitey. I made sure to move faster than they did when in their pen!

Large Blacks were our favourite but we just can't find any suppliers now Sad

We're currently looking for some weaners in the Shropshire / Powys area. Any lop-eared variety or cross considered.

The large Blacks that I bumped off the other week came back as nice dark meat which is nice and sweet. I maybe able to help you out with finding some Large Blacks Perlogalism. There are quite a few people keeping them in your neck of the woods.

The large Blacks that I bumped off the other week came back as nice dark meat which is nice and sweet. I maybe able to help you out with finding some Large Blacks Perlogalism. There are quite a few people keeping them in your neck of the woods.

That would be much appreciated Bodger Very Happy

You may already be aware of this site. Its a bit quiet but there are three breeders shown in Shropshire but in reality there are quite a few more. I've found Janice the club secretary to be very helpful and it might be worth giving her a tinkle when you're ready.

I don't want to influence you in any way, but a friend is a pig keeper, butcher, publican, does B+B and has pedigree Large Blacks. All he says is that the large black is the best butcher's pig around and I assume as he is in the job from birth to plate he has some idea. My own view-I like Saddlebacks, laid back and easy going-normally! I would be inclined to go to a library and take out a book or so on what is the best breed for what you want, But as a newish pig keeper, I would avoid things like Ironage or Wild boar-they need special fencing and attention. I can pm you with a friend's address, in the south west who would be able to give you better advice than me, if you need it.
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