Tamworth Pig Characteristics, Origin, Full Info

The Tamworth pig is a breed of domestic pig from United Kingdom. It was originated in Sir Robert Peel’s Drayton Manor Estate at Tamworth, Staffordshire, United Kingdom with input from Irish pigs and it was named after it’s origin place.

It is also known by some other names such as Sandy Back and Tam. The breed is among the oldest of pig breeds. But it is not suited to the modern production methods as with many other older breeds of livestock.

The breed is listed as ‘Threatened‘ in the United States. And it is listed as ‘Vulnerable‘ in the United Kingdom by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, as fewer than 300 registered breeding females remain.

The Tamworth pig breed is thought to have descended from the wild boars, via native pig stock of Europe. Much of the improvement of the breed took place in Staffordshire and also in the counties of Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire, England.

The Tamworth pig breed is one of the closest to the original European forest pigs, and it appears among the least interbred with non-European breeds.

The breed was standardized during the early to mid-1800s, and it was recognized as a breed by the Royal Agricultural Society in 1885 and fell under the authority of the National Pig Breeder’s Association of Great Britain.

Currently major population of the breed is available in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, New Zealand and Canada. Read more information about the breed below.

Tamworth Pig Characteristics

The Tamworth pigs are medium to large sized animals. Their body coloration vary from a pale gingery to dark mahogany red.

They exhibits an elongated head shape and a long, narrow body. Their face has rectilinear lines as well as the snout, and their ears are erect and pointed.

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Their colors were mainly orange and purple early in the breed history, but breeding has been conducted to remove the orange coloration. They have long neck and legs, deep sides but narrow backs.

Ham structures of the Tamworth pig are quite muscular and firm. The breed is also known for having a good skeletal system and excellent foot structure.

Average height of the mature animals vary from 20 to 26 inches. Average live body weight of a fully-grown sow vary from 200 to 300 kg. And average live body weight of the mature boars is between 250 and 370 kg. Photo and information from Wikipedia.

Special Notes

The Tamworth pigs are very active animals and they are noted for their docile temperament. But most salient feature of this breed is it’s great hardiness with respect to adverse climates.

They were considered as a ‘bacon’ breed traditionally. They can thrive well on low energy foods but grow relatively slowly. They are especially well suited for an outdoor life, and they are excellent foragers and can find their own food very well.

They graze compatibly with cattle and other animals. Their coat which is ginger red in coloration make them adaptable to a variety of climates and protect them from sunburn.

The Tamworth pig breed has an active intelligence, and it is agreeable in disposition. The sows are highly prolific, and they are able to produce and care for large litters.

The breed is not only durable and rugged, but also is extremely well-suited for forest grazing. However, review full breed profile of the Tamworth pig in the following chart.

Breed NameTamworth
Other NameSandy Back and Tam
Special NotesWell adapted to native climates, good mothers, sows are fertile, very hardy, good for extensive systems, very active, docile temperament, very hardy, well adapted to adverse climates, grow relatively slower, excellent foragers, very intelligent, good for forest grazing
Breed SizeMedium to large
Boars200 to 300 kg
Sows250 to 370 kg
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorVary from a pale gingery to dark mahogany red
Country/Place of OriginUnited Kingdom

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