Wessex Saddleback Pig

The Wessex Saddleback pig is a breed of domestic pig originating in the West Country of England, especially in Wiltshire and the New Forest area of Hampshire.

It is also known as Wessex pig, and the modern Saddleback breed originated in 1967 from the combination of two historic pig breeds of southern England.

Those two breeds are the Essex and the Wessex. Although there are some confusion about the exact origins of the Wessex Saddleback pig breed.

Some sources state that the breed is simply of unknown origin. While the other sources say that the breed began as a cross of ‘the black breed of the New Forest’ and ‘the Old English Sheeted breed’, spreading through Hampshire and the Isle of Purbeck in the 18th century.

The Wessex Saddleback pig breed has been claimed to be one of the few British breeds of pig to have been little affected by crossing with ‘Neapolitan’ pigs of Far Eastern origin.

And it is probably one of the closest to the landrace pigs which foraged in woods throughout Britain for many centuries. A society for the breed named ‘The Wessex Saddleback Breed Society’ began in 1918 in Britain.

But the pig farming business became more and more intensive by the middle of the 20th century. And the more extensive systems to which the Wessex Saddleback pig breed is most suited declined, and total number of the breed decreased gradually. Read some more information about the breed below.

Wessex Saddleback Pig Characteristics

Wessex Saddleback pigs a tall and rangy animals. They are mainly black in color with a white band about the forepart of the trunk, extending from one fore-foot over the shoulder to the other.

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White coloration of this pig breed form a white band resembling a saddle or sheet. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


These animals are regarded as an excellent eating pigs. They are traditionally used as a ‘baconer’, and raised for bacon and hams.

Special Notes

The Wessex Saddleback pig is a hardy breed and it is an adaptable breed of pig which are known for it’s ability to thrive out of doors. The breed has been managed on pasture traditionally.

They have excellent foraging abilities and very good maternal qualities. The breed has also been used in commercial crossbreeding systems, especially with Large White.

However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.

Breed NameWessex Saddleback
Other NameWessex
Special NotesVery hardy, good for raising on pasture, excellent foragers, have good maternal qualities, used in commercial crossbreeding systems
Breed SizeMedium
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Coat ColorMainly black with a white band about the forepart of the trunk, extending from one fore-foot over the shoulder to the other
Country/Place of OriginEngland

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