The Piglings of Myrddin -

From the 13th cent  Welsh book. "The Black Book of Carmarthen" poem written by Myrddin.

        Listen O little pig! O happy little pig!

Burrow not in sight on the mountain tops,

Burrow in secret in the woods,

Lest Rhydderch Hael, the Christian prince, should see thee.

And I will predict, and it shall be true,

In Britain, a daring prince shall ride as far as Abertaradr,

And Cambrians shall be prosperous;

His name is Llewelyn of the line of Gwynedd,

     Hello there, 

    My name is Chris, originally I come from South Wales in UK,

    thats why we have the intro written by the Welsh poet Merlin.

    After several years researching the various breeds of pigs

    available, we decided to establish a herd of Wessex

    Saddlebacks. They suited our requirements in every aspect,      

    being the right type, size & temperament that we were looking

    for. Also being a breed with a long & interesting history, they

    have ceased to exist in their original homeland, as an

    individual breed.

    Originally we obtained a young female (unregistered) at 3 

    months of age, and then we managed to source a 2 y.o.

    purebred boar. Since then we have added various bloodlines,

    both male & female to our herd.


 We have also obtained other breed females to broaden our  
 genetic base; Commercially, we also use Landrace to cross
 with our boars. This being an excellent commercial crossbreed,
 with good growth obtained through hybrid vigour.


We now have the largest Registered herd of Wessex Saddleback pigs in Gippsland!!

 

Pilot & Gladys, the first of our many Wessex Saddlebacks.

What are Wesex Saddleback Pigs?

These striking pigs are an old breed that are mainly black, with a white stripe over their shoulders and including their forelegs. They were developed primarily for specialist bacon production and are a hardy outdoor breed. Although it was a popular farm pig for many years, like so many other black pigs its numbers dropped when modern factory farms developed and processors increased demand for all white pigs.

The Wessex Saddleback is closely related to the Essex Saddleback. In their native country of Britain these two breeds were crossed to produce the British Saddleback breed. Wessex Saddlebacks still survives in countries to which it was exported, such as Australia and New Zealand. Some purely Essex Saddleback herds still persist in England. Both breeds had resisted the trend to introduce Chinese pigs (which tended to be fatter) into their bloodlines.

The white band may vary in width from being very narrow to extending half way down the back, but ideally should be as wide as the shoulders. The Wessex Saddleback has no other white markings. The very similar Essex Saddleback has a white tip on its tail and white hind feet.

These pigs are suited to outdoor living, and were traditionally raised in forests where they foraged for fruit and nuts which had fallen from the trees. The sows have a reputation for being exceptionally good mothers, and are being used as coloured mothers in crossbreeding programs for outdoor pig production.

Many Organic and Free-range producers are reconsidering the Saddleback pig as a mother in outdoor production systems because the breed traditionally contains no Chinese pig genes. This makes it less related to other more modern commercial breeds, so there is more hybrid vigour in their crossbred piglets. Because the pigs are coloured, they are also more resistant to sunburn when outdoors.

Published January 16, 2008 by:

You can also find us at    www.localfoodmap.net

 History of the breed:

  • Wessex Saddleback Pigs originally from the New Forest area in England.
  • Known as an Orchard pig, for cleaning up windfall fruit in orchards.
  • Since 1914 - bred mainly in the South and South West England.
  • 1918 Wessex Saddleback Breed Society established.
  • Until 1967 a separate herd book for breed.
  • Amalgamated herd book with the Essex saddleback breed.
  • Together they became known as the British Saddleback Pig.

 

History in Australia:

  • Only Wessex Saddleback Pigs were imported to Australia (not Essex Saddlebacks).
  • Australian bloodlines are descended from these pigs.
  • 1931 Wessex Saddleback Pigs were imported by R.Turpen, Qld.
  • 1931 & 1953 The A.P.B.A herd book records 17 Wessex Saddleback Pigs imported from England.
  • 1963 and 1970 – Wessex Saddleback Pigs imported from New Zealand
*****

Original Wesssex Saddleback Bloodlines

Male Lines:

  • Charlson

  • Dominator

  • Pilot

  • Prince

  • Satellite

Female Lines:

  • Adorabelle

  • Beatrice

  • Doreen 

  • Lass

  • Lucy

  • Mary

  • May

  • Sunset
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