Tamworth Pig

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
RarityVulnerable
Country/Place of OriginUnited Kingdom
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Frequently Asked Questions

People ask many questions about Tamworth pigs. Here we are listing the most common questions about this pig breed, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.

Is Tamworth pig farming profitable?

Yes, raising these pigs is a very profitable business. You can start this business commercially for making money. It’s very easy and even the beginners can also start this business commercially.

How to start Tamworth pig farming business?

Starting a commercial Tamworth farming business is relatively easy, simple and profitable. You can easily start this business even if you are a beginner. First of all, you have to select a very good location for your farm, then make a good house for your animals, feed them good quality food, provide them with required medicines and always try to take good care of them. Soon you will be able to make good profits from your business.

Is Tamworth pork good?

Yes, Tamworth breed produces the finest and most favorable meat of all pig breeds. The pork is of very good quality and has great demand in the market.

What are the characteristics of a Tamworth pig?

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. 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.

Are Tamworth pigs friendly?

Yes, these pigs are very friendly and they are very easy to keep. The female Tamworths are very good mothers and friendly in nature and they like to interact with humans.

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How many piglets can a Tamworth pig have?

Litters of a Tamworth pig normally range in size from 6-10 piglets per kidding.

How long do Tamworth pigs take to grow?

Generally, a Tamworth pig becomes mature within their 2 years of age. They generally reach slaughtering weight of 250 to 260 pounds within their 5-6 months of age.

How long are Tamworth pigs pregnant?

Average gestation period of a Tamworth pig is approximately 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days.

Are Tamworth pigs a rare breed?

Yes, it is a pretty rare breed. The Rare Breed Survival Trust classifies this breed as ‘vulnerable’.

How big do Tamworth pigs grow?

Both mature male and female Tamworth pigs can reach between 227 and 272 kg body weight. The breed was traditionally considered a “bacon” breed, meaning that the pigs thrived on low-energy foods but grew slowly. They produced meat and bacon that was lean and fine-grained.

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