British Saddleback Pig Characteristics & Origin

The British Saddleback pig is a very hardy and adaptable breed of domestic pig which is known for it’s ability to thrive out of doors. It’s a modern breed from United Kingdom.

It was created by merging the surviving populations of two traditional saddleback breed, the Essex and Wessex Saddleback in 1967. Those two pig breeds were merged into a single herdbook.

Both breeds had declined following the publication of the Howitt report in 1955, which found breed diversity to be a handicap to the pig industry in Britain, and established a policy of concentrating production on three breeds only: the Welsh, the British Landrace and the Large White.

About 47 percent of the total pedigree sow registrations were from the Wessex and Essex breed during the Second World War. There were only 2435 licensed Wessex and Essex boars in 1949, almost 25 percent of the total number.

And the sow registration for this two breeds had fallen to 22 percent of the total by 1954. And fewer than 10 percent of registered boars were from the Wessex and Essex breeds.

However, in 2007 the British Saddleback pig breed was listed as ‘endangered-maintained‘ by FAO. And the breed is listed as ‘minority breed‘ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust rather than a rare breed.

Total population of the breed was reported to be only 882 animal in 2012. Read more information about the breed below.

British Saddleback Pig Characteristics

The British Saddleback pig is a large animal with deep body. It is mainly black in color with a white saddle or sheet- a band round the withers, shoulders and front legs.

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Some white is also allowed on the nose, tail and hind feet. The animals have log ears.

Average live body weight of the mature British Saddleback boars is around 320 kg. And the mature sows on average weight around 270 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.

Special Notes

The British Saddleback pigs are very hardy animal, and they are excellent foragers. They are well adapted to local and a variety of climates, and they do very well in extensive pig farming system.

They have been exported to Seychelles and Nigeria where they have performed on coarse grazing in hot climatic conditions. The sows are excellent mothers and are well known for their maternal qualities.

The British Saddleback pig is actually a dual purpose breed, and it is used for both bacon and pork production. It has traditionally been managed on pasture, and the breed has also been used in commercial crossbreeding systems, especially with Large White pigs.

However, review full breed profile of the British Saddleback pig in the following chart.

Breed NameBritish Saddleback
Other NameSaddleback
Special NotesVery hardy, well adapted to a variety of climates, excellent foragers, very good for extensive system, sows are known for excellent maternal qualities, good for both bacon and pork production
Breed SizeLarge
BoarsAround 320 kg
SowsAround 270 kg
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorMainly black in color with a white saddle or sheet- a band round the withers, shoulders and front legs
Country/Place of OriginUnited Kingdom

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