The Large Black pig is a large breed of domestic pig originated from United Kingdom. It is particularly native to Cornwall, Devon and Essex. The breed is also known by some other names such as Boggu, Cornwall Black and Devon.
The breed actually resulted from the amalgamation of black pigs from two geographically separate areas, Cornwall and Devon in the South-West of England, and Essex, Kent and Suffolk in the east.
The Large Black pig is the only British pig breed which is entirely black in color.
It was most common and was a popular breed in the early 1900s, and it was exported to many areas of the world. But it’s total population declined after the Second World War as farmers turned to more productive pig breeds which were more suitable to intensive pig farming system.
And the Large Black pig breed was almost extinct by the 1960s. Although the total numbers have slowly risen, but the breed is still considered as ‘vulnerable‘ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Rare Breeds Canada and American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Large Black Pig Full Information
If you are interested in learning more about the Large Black Pig, or even raising them yourself, read more information described below.
Origin & History
The Large Black Pig is a breed of domestic pig that originated in the United Kingdom, and it is one of the oldest pig breeds in the world. Also known as the Devon, Cornwall, or Lop-eared Black, the Large Black Pig is highly valued for its meat quality, hardiness, and docile nature.
The origin of the Large Black Pig can be traced back to the early 16th century, when black pigs were brought to the British Isles by the Spanish Armada. These pigs were then crossed with local breeds, resulting in the development of the Large Black Pig breed that we know today.
The Large Black Pig was highly prized during the 19th century, when it was widely distributed throughout the United Kingdom and exported to other countries.
However, the breed faced a decline in the 20th century due to the rise of commercial pig farming and the introduction of other breeds that were faster growing and leaner. By the 1970s, the Large Black Pig was considered a rare breed, with only a few hundred animals left in the world.
In the 1980s, a conservation effort was launched to save the breed from extinction. Today, the Large Black Pig is still considered a rare breed, but its numbers have increased significantly thanks to the efforts of dedicated breeders and conservation organizations.
The Large Black Pig is a fascinating breed with a rich history and valuable traits. Despite facing near extinction, the breed has been successfully preserved and is now a symbol of heritage farming and sustainable agriculture.
The Large Black is a heritage pig breed that is known for its unique characteristics and exceptional meat quality. This breed has a long history that dates back to the 16th century and has played an important role in the development of the British pig industry.
Today, the Large Black Pig is considered a rare breed, and is valued by farmers and consumers alike for its hardiness, adaptability, and docile nature.
Size and Appearance
One of the most distinctive traits of the Large Black Pig is its size. As its name suggests, this breed is known for its large size, with adult males weighing up to 700 pounds and females up to 600 pounds.
Despite their size, Large Black Pigs are known for their docile nature and are often considered a friendly breed.
The Large Black Pig is also known for its unique physical characteristics. These pigs have large, floppy ears that cover their eyes, which are believed to protect them from the sun and keep them cool.
The breed is also characterized by its dark coat, which is due to a dominant gene that gives the pig a black color. The skin of the Large Black Pig is also dark, which makes it less prone to sunburn and other skin issues.
The Large Black Pig is known for its docile and friendly nature, which makes it a popular choice for small-scale farming operations.
These pigs are social animals and are often kept in groups, where they form strong bonds with other pigs. They are also known for their intelligence and adaptability, and can thrive in a variety of different environments.
One of the key traits of the Large Black Pig is its hardiness. This breed is known for its ability to thrive in a variety of different climates and environments.
They are highly resistant to diseases and can tolerate both hot and cold weather conditions. This makes them a popular choice for small-scale and sustainable farming operations, where they can be raised without the use of antibiotics or other medications.
Perhaps the most well-known characteristic of the Large Black Pig is its exceptional meat quality. The meat of the Large Black Pig is marbled with fat, which makes it tender and flavorful.
It is often used in traditional British dishes such as black pudding and sausages. The breed’s ability to produce high-quality meat has made it a popular choice for small-scale and artisanal meat producers.
These pigs are often raised on small-scale farms and sustainable agriculture operations, where they can be housed in a variety of different environments.
It is important to provide adequate housing to ensure that Large Black Pigs are healthy and comfortable. Here, we will discuss the housing requirements for Large Black Pigs and provide a guide for farmers.
The first requirement for housing Large Black Pigs is shelter. Pigs need a dry and warm place to sleep and rest, especially during the colder months.
The shelter should be well-ventilated and draft-free, but not too open as this can expose the pigs to wind and rain. The shelter should also have a solid floor and be raised off the ground to prevent water and dampness from seeping in.
Large Black Pigs also require bedding in their shelter. This can be straw, hay, or wood shavings, and should be changed regularly to prevent dampness and the buildup of harmful bacteria. A layer of bedding that is at least a foot deep is recommended to ensure that the pigs have a comfortable and dry place to sleep.
Large Black Pigs require plenty of space to move around and exercise. A minimum of 50 square feet per pig is recommended, although more space is always better.
The pigs should also have access to an outdoor area where they can root and forage. This outdoor area should be securely fenced to prevent escape and to protect the pigs from predators.
Water and Food
Large Black Pigs require access to clean water at all times. This can be provided through a water trough or automatic water system.
The pigs also require a balanced diet that meets their nutritional requirements. This can include a combination of commercial pig feed, fresh fruits and vegetables, and hay or straw for roughage.
Health and Safety
Lastly, it is important to ensure that the housing environment is safe and healthy for Large Black Pigs. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the shelter and outdoor area is essential to prevent the buildup of bacteria and parasites. The pigs should also be vaccinated and dewormed regularly to prevent the spread of disease.
Feeding these pigs the right diet is essential for their health and growth, as well as for producing high-quality meat. In this article, we will discuss the feeding requirements for Large Black Pigs and provide a guide for farmers.
Basic Nutritional Needs
Large Black Pigs have basic nutritional needs that must be met for optimal growth and health. These include protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
Farmers can provide these nutrients to their pigs through a combination of commercial pig feed, fresh fruits and vegetables, and hay or straw for roughage.
Commercial Pig Feed
Commercial pig feed is an easy and convenient way to provide Large Black Pigs with the nutrients they need. The feed should be specifically formulated for pigs and should contain at least 16% protein. Farmers can choose between pellets or crumbles, depending on their preference and the age of the pigs.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to commercial pig feed, farmers can supplement their Large Black Pigs’ diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. These can include apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals and can help to keep the pigs healthy.
Hay or Straw
Hay or straw can be given to Large Black Pigs as a source of roughage. This is important for their digestive health and can help to prevent issues such as constipation. The hay or straw should be clean and free from mold or dust.
Large Black Pigs should be fed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Farmers should ensure that the pigs have access to clean water at all times.
Overfeeding should be avoided, as it can lead to obesity and health issues. A general rule of thumb is to provide about 5-6 pounds of feed per pig per day.
In addition to their basic nutritional needs, Large Black Pigs may require additional supplements depending on their age and health. These can include probiotics, electrolytes, and vitamins. Farmers should consult with a veterinarian to determine if their pigs require any additional supplements.
Breeding the Large Black pigs requires careful planning and management to ensure that the offspring are healthy and have desirable traits. Here, we will discuss the breeding process for Large Black Pigs and provide a guide for farmers.
Female Large Black Pigs, also known as sows, can be bred when they reach about 8 to 10 months of age and have reached a weight of at least 200 pounds.
It is important to wait until they have reached this weight to ensure that they are mature enough to handle the demands of pregnancy and giving birth.
Male Large Black Pigs, also known as boars, can be bred when they are about 8 months old and have reached a weight of at least 250 pounds.
The breeding process for Large Black Pigs involves introducing the sow to the boar when she is in heat, which usually occurs every 21 days. The gestation period for Large Black Pigs is about 114 days, or just under four months. During this time, the sow should be kept in a separate area with plenty of space and a comfortable, clean bed.
During pregnancy, the sow should be provided with a nutritious diet that is high in protein and other essential nutrients. Farmers should also ensure that she has access to clean water at all times.
Regular veterinary check-ups are also important to monitor the health of the sow and ensure that the pregnancy is progressing normally.
Farrowing is the process of giving birth, and it typically occurs in a clean and comfortable farrowing pen. The pen should be well-ventilated and have plenty of clean bedding. Farmers should be prepared to assist the sow during farrowing if necessary, as some sows may experience difficulties during the birthing process.
After farrowing, the piglets should be allowed to nurse from the sow as soon as possible to ensure that they receive colostrum, which provides them with essential nutrients and antibodies.
Breeding for Desired Traits
Breeding Large Black Pigs for desired traits is important for maintaining the quality and health of the breed. Farmers should select breeding stock that has desirable traits such as good temperament, hardiness, and meat quality. Farmers should also avoid breeding animals that have health issues or undesirable traits.
If you are interested in raising Large Black Pigs, it’s important to know how to care for them properly. Here are some tips for caring these pigs:
- Housing: Large Black Pigs need a shelter that provides adequate protection from the elements. The shelter should have good ventilation and be free of drafts. The pigs should also have access to a clean, dry bed to rest on. If you’re raising Large Black Pigs outdoors, they should have access to an area that is shaded during hot weather.
- Feeding: Large Black Pigs require a nutritious diet that is high in protein and other essential nutrients. They should be fed a balanced diet that includes a mixture of grains, vegetables, and protein sources such as soybean meal or fish meal. Farmers should avoid feeding them foods that are high in sugar or salt, as this can lead to health problems.
- Water: Water is also important for Large Black Pigs, and they should have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Farmers should ensure that their water source is free from contaminants such as bacteria or algae.
- Health: Maintaining the health of Large Black Pigs is essential for their well-being and productivity. Farmers should have a regular schedule for deworming and vaccinating their pigs. Regular veterinary check-ups are also important to monitor the health of the pigs and catch any potential health issues early.
- Skin Issues: Large Black Pigs are prone to skin issues, such as mange, so farmers should regularly inspect their pigs for any signs of skin irritation or hair loss. If a pig is found to have mange, it should be treated immediately to prevent the spread of the condition to other pigs.
- Breeding: It’s important to select breeding stock that has desirable traits such as good temperament, hardiness, and meat quality. Farmers should also avoid breeding animals that have health issues or undesirable traits. Breeding Large Black Pigs requires careful planning and management to ensure that the offspring are healthy and have desirable traits. Female pigs should be bred when they reach a weight of at least 200 pounds, and farrowing should occur in a clean and comfortable farrowing pen.
The Large Black Pigs are primarily known for their exceptional meat quality, there are many other uses for these versatile pigs. Their exceptional meat quality, adaptability, and hardiness make them an ideal choice for small-scale farmers and conservationists.
By raising and preserving Large Black Pigs, you can help to maintain important genetic resources and contribute to sustainable agriculture practices. Here, we will explore the various uses of Large Black Pigs, including their roles in agriculture, culinary arts, and more.
Large Black Pigs are often used in sustainable agriculture practices because they are well-suited to pasture-based systems. They are known for their hardiness and adaptability to different environments, making them an ideal choice for small-scale farmers.
Large Black Pigs can also be used to clear land and control invasive species. They are natural foragers and can help to control weeds and other unwanted plants in fields and pastures. Their rooting behavior can also help to break up hard soils, making it easier for other crops to grow.
Large Black Pigs are highly prized for their exceptional meat quality, which is known for its marbling and tenderness. The meat is often used in gourmet dishes and is favored by chefs for its unique flavor.
Large Black Pigs also produce high-quality lard, which is prized by bakers and chefs for its superior flavor and texture. The lard can be used in a variety of recipes, including pie crusts, biscuits, and other baked goods.
Large Black Pigs are considered a rare breed by the Livestock Conservancy, a non-profit organization that works to protect and conserve endangered livestock breeds. By raising and breeding Large Black Pigs, farmers can help to preserve this important genetic resource for future generations.
The pigs’ hardiness and adaptability make them an ideal choice for conservation efforts, as they can thrive in a variety of environments and are resistant to many common pig diseases.
By preserving the breed, farmers can help to maintain genetic diversity and protect against the loss of important traits that may be useful in the future.
While Large Black Pigs are primarily raised for their meat and other products, they can also make great pets and companions. They are known for their friendly personalities and can be very affectionate towards their owners.
For those who are interested in keeping Large Black Pigs as pets, it’s important to provide them with adequate space and shelter, as well as a nutritious diet and regular veterinary care.
Large Black pigs are very hardy animals. They are of very good behavior and have relatively docile temperament.
The sows are known for having larger litters of 8-10 piglets, with some sows have been known for having litters of up to 13 piglets. The animals are excellent foragers and their foraging ability make them very useful for extensive farming system, but they are not good for intensive pig farming system.
They are best suited for the pasture-based farming system due to their strong foraging and gazing ability. The sows have strong maternal instincts and they are known for their long periods of fertility.
The Large Black pig was mainly used for meat production, especially bacon. Meat of this animal is known for good flavor and lean quality without an excess of black fat.
The breed was often crossed with the Yorkshire and Middle White pigs in commercial production for producing a vigorous hybrid that was well regarded by the farmers. However, review full breed profile of the Large Black pig in the chart below.
|Breed Name||Large Black|
|Other Name||Boggu, Cornwall Black or Devon|
|Special Notes||Very hardy, good behavior, docile temperament, fertile, larger litters, excellent foragers, good for extensive pig farming system, good for pasture, great maternal instincts, good for bacon production|
|Climate Tolerance||All climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||United Kingdom|
Interesting Facts about Large Black Pigs
Here are 27 interesting facts about Large Black Pigs:
- Large Black Pigs originated in the United Kingdom, specifically in the counties of Devon and Cornwall.
- They are one of the oldest pig breeds in England and were first introduced to the United States in the late 1800s.
- Large Black Pigs are a large breed, with mature boars weighing up to 600 pounds and sows weighing up to 500 pounds.
- They have a distinctive black coat that is long, curly, and lustrous.
- Large Black Pigs have long, floppy ears that cover their eyes and a slightly dished face.
- They are known for their friendly and docile personalities, making them ideal for small-scale farming and homesteading.
- Large Black Pigs are well-suited to outdoor, pasture-based systems and are known for their hardiness and adaptability to different environments.
- They are also resistant to many common pig diseases and parasites, making them a low-maintenance breed.
- Large Black Pigs are excellent foragers and are known for their ability to find food in the wild.
- They have a slow growth rate, which contributes to the exceptional meat quality for which they are known.
- Large Black Pigs are known for their exceptional meat quality, which is characterized by its marbling and tenderness.
- The meat is often used in gourmet dishes and is favored by chefs for its unique flavor.
- Large Black Pigs also produce high-quality lard, which is prized by bakers and chefs for its superior flavor and texture.
- The lard can be used in a variety of recipes, including pie crusts, biscuits, and other baked goods.
- Large Black Pigs are also used for their leather, which is known for its durability and strength.
- The leather is often used for high-quality shoes, bags, and other luxury items.
- Large Black Pigs are considered a rare breed by the Livestock Conservancy, a non-profit organization that works to protect and conserve endangered livestock breeds.
- By raising and breeding Large Black Pigs, farmers can help to preserve this important genetic resource for future generations.
- Large Black Pigs are known for their ability to clear land and control invasive species.
- Their rooting behavior can help to break up hard soils, making it easier for other crops to grow.
- Large Black Pigs are intelligent and can be trained to do a variety of tasks, including pulling carts and plows.
- They are also excellent mothers and are known for their attentive care of their piglets.
- Large Black Pigs are social animals and thrive in groups.
- They are known for their vocalizations, including grunts, squeals, and snorts.
- Large Black Pigs can live up to 10 years, although their lifespan is typically shorter in commercial farming operations.
- They require a nutritious diet and regular veterinary care to maintain their health and well-being.
- Large Black Pigs are a unique and important breed that have many uses in agriculture, conservation, and culinary arts. By raising and preserving Large Black Pigs, farmers can help to maintain important genetic resources and contribute to sustainable agriculture practices.
Best Tips for Raising Large Black Pigs
Raising Large Black Pigs can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both hobby farmers and commercial producers. Here are 20 tips for successfully raising these heritage pigs:
Choose a suitable location
Large Black Pigs are hardy animals that can thrive in a range of environments, but they require a dry, well-ventilated shelter with plenty of space to move around.
Provide plenty of outdoor space
Large Black Pigs are excellent foragers and require access to outdoor areas where they can root and graze.
Use sturdy fencing
Large Black Pigs are strong and can be escape artists, so it’s important to use sturdy fencing to keep them contained.
Provide fresh water
Large Black Pigs require access to clean, fresh water at all times.
Feed a balanced diet
Large Black Pigs require a balanced diet that includes a mix of grains, protein, and fresh vegetables.
Overfeeding can lead to health problems, such as obesity and joint issues.
Provide shelter from extreme weather
Large Black Pigs can tolerate cold weather, but they require shelter from wind, rain, and extreme temperatures.
Provide shade in hot weather
Large Black Pigs can suffer from heat stress, so it’s important to provide shaded areas during hot weather.
Practice good biosecurity
Large Black Pigs are susceptible to certain diseases, so it’s important to practice good biosecurity measures, such as keeping the area clean and disinfecting equipment.
Handle pigs with care
Large Black Pigs are friendly and docile, but they are still large animals that require proper handling to avoid injury to both the pig and the handler.
Large Black Pigs are social animals and thrive in groups, so it’s important to provide opportunities for socialization with other pigs.
Use proper breeding practices
Large Black Pigs are a heritage breed, so it’s important to use proper breeding practices to maintain genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding.
Regular veterinary care and monitoring of pig health can help prevent and treat illnesses.
Practice good hygiene
Regular cleaning of pig housing and equipment can help prevent the spread of disease.
Overcrowding can lead to stress and aggression among pigs, so it’s important to provide adequate space for each animal.
Use natural remedies
Large Black Pigs can benefit from natural remedies, such as herbs and essential oils, for certain ailments.
Implement rotational grazing
Rotational grazing can help improve soil health and provide fresh forage for Large Black Pigs.
Practice environmental stewardship
Raising Large Black Pigs can be part of a sustainable agriculture system that promotes environmental stewardship.
Sell products locally
Selling Large Black Pig products, such as meat and leather, locally can support small-scale farming and contribute to local food systems.
Join a community
Joining a community of Large Black Pig breeders and enthusiasts can provide valuable information and support for raising these heritage pigs.
Related Queries & FAQ
There are lots of questions and queries related to Large Black Pig. Here we are trying to list the common questions and queries about this heritage pig breed and trying to answer them. Hope you will find answers of your questions or queries. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.
What is a Large Black Pig?
Large Black Pig is a heritage breed of domestic pigs that originated in England. They are characterized by their large size, black coat, and floppy ears.
What is the average weight of a Large Black Pig?
The average weight of a mature Large Black Pig is between 500 and 700 pounds.
What is the lifespan of a Large Black Pig?
The lifespan of a Large Black Pig is typically around 10 to 12 years.
What is the temperament of Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs are known for their docile and friendly temperament. They are often a preferred breed for those who want to raise pigs as pets.
What is the reproductive cycle of a Large Black Pig?
The reproductive cycle of a Large Black Pig is similar to other domestic pig breeds, with females reaching sexual maturity at around 6 to 8 months of age and having a gestation period of approximately 114 days.
How many piglets does a Large Black Pig typically have in a litter?
A Large Black Pig typically has a litter size of 8 to 12 piglets.
What is the nutritional requirement of Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs require a balanced diet that includes a mix of grains, protein, and fresh vegetables.
What is the housing requirement of Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs require a dry, well-ventilated shelter with plenty of space to move around.
What is the space requirement for Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs require plenty of outdoor space to forage and move around. A minimum of 100 square feet of outdoor space per pig is recommended.
What is the cost of raising Large Black Pigs?
The cost of raising Large Black Pigs varies depending on the location and farming practices, but generally, it is similar to raising other pig breeds.
What are the health issues associated with Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs are generally healthy and hardy, but they can be susceptible to certain diseases, such as swine flu, pneumonia, and parasites.
What is the breeding season of Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs can breed year-round, but the breeding season typically peaks in the fall.
What is the market price for Large Black Pig meat?
The market price for Large Black Pig meat varies depending on the location and demand, but it is generally higher than the price for conventional pig breeds.
What are the advantages of raising Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs are hardy, easy to handle, and provide high-quality meat and leather products.
What are the disadvantages of raising Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs require a lot of outdoor space and can be susceptible to certain diseases.
What is the ideal temperature range for Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but they prefer temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is the best way to transport Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs should be transported in a secure and well-ventilated trailer that provides enough space for each animal.
What is the history of Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs originated in England in the 16th century and were used for their high-quality meat and fat.
What is the current status of Large Black Pigs?
Large Black Pigs are considered a rare breed and are listed as a “threatened” breed by the Livestock Conservancy due to their declining population.
What is the origin of the Large Black Pig breed?
The Large Black Pig breed originated in the West Country of England, specifically in Devon and Cornwall.
What is the purpose of the Large Black Pig breed?
The Large Black Pig breed was originally bred for its high-quality meat and fat. They were also used for grazing and rooting in orchards and fields.
What is the difference between Large Black Pigs and other pig breeds?
Large Black Pigs are known for their large size, black coat, and floppy ears. They are also known for their docile temperament and high-quality meat.
What are the most common uses of Large Black Pigs today?
Large Black Pigs are primarily used for meat production, but they are also used for breeding and as show animals.
Are Large Black Pigs easy to care for?
Yes, Large Black Pigs are generally easy to care for as long as their basic needs are met, such as proper nutrition, housing, and healthcare.
How do you know if a Large Black Pig is healthy?
A healthy Large Black Pig should have clear eyes, a shiny coat, and be active and alert.
Can Large Black Pigs be raised for organic meat production?
Yes, Large Black Pigs can be raised for organic meat production as long as they are fed organic feed and given access to outdoor space.
Are Large Black Pigs good mothers?
Yes, Large Black Pigs are known for their excellent mothering instincts and care for their piglets.
How long does it take for Large Black Pigs to reach market weight?
Large Black Pigs typically reach market weight at around 9 to 12 months of age.
Can Large Black Pigs be trained to do tricks?
Yes, Large Black Pigs are intelligent and can be trained to do tricks and respond to commands.
What is the future of Large Black Pigs?
The future of Large Black Pigs is uncertain, but efforts are being made to preserve the breed and increase their population through responsible breeding practices and education about their unique qualities and benefits.