Tamworth

Tamworth piglets

Key Characteristics

The Tamworth is a very hardy animal and is suited to an outdoor system. The ginger coat protects the breed from sunburn. In the past the breed has fluctuated from very high to very low levels of prolificacy. Average Litter Size in 2009 was around 7.80 piglets and in common with all rare breed pigs the Tamworth sow is known to be a good mother. The Tamworth is a docile pig but it is more active than many rare breed pigs and requires strong fencing. The Tamworth is a good breed for rooting and does well in a woodland based system.

History

  • The Tamworth is considered Britain’s oldest pure breed and is similar in appearance to the Old English Forest Pig.
  • Of all the native breeds the Tamworth experienced the least influence from imports of Asian pigs during the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • There are differing theories as to how the breed originally developed with one theory being the breed was influenced by the import of red pigs from Barbados.
  • The breed was developed in the Midlands but it never became as popular as other pig breeds.

Appearance

  • A long legged, lean pig.
  • Sows weigh around 260kg and boars, 320kg. 
  • Their coat is a distinctive ginger coat.
  • They have prick ears a long snout and alert expression.

Uses

Meat

The Tamworth is a slow maturing breed but is a good dual purpose pig and is known for producing good bacon.

Did you know?

The Tamworth is particularly hardy and so is used in colder climates, such as Scotland and Canada. 

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

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