The Oxford Sandy & Black Pig, sometimes referred to as the “Plum Pudding or Oxford Forest Pig” is one of the oldest British pig breeds. They have existed for 200-300 years. The exact origin of the breed is not easily traced, but the original Oxford Sandy & Black is believed to have developed about two centuries ago in Oxfordshire.
Unfortunately the Oxford Sandy & Black has come close to extinction several times, this came closest in the 1940's. Thankfully they are slowly increasing in numbers now they have their own heard book and dedicated breeders! There were 29 herds listed in the first herd book with 15 Boars, these numbers have been fluctuating with some bloodlines lost however still improving.
This superb breed produces excellent quality pork which is bursting in flavour, the most wonderful thing about this breed is they are multi purpose! They are prized for their stunning charcuterie (cured meat such as bacon) but are also versatile enough to produce low in fat pork which has superior flavour! And if that was not enough, they also finish quicker than many other traditional breeds which is always in the farmers favour.
Boars: Alexander, Alistair, Clarence, Jack
Sows: Alison, Clare, Clarissa, Cynthia, Dandy, Duchess, Elsie, Gertrude, Gloria, Iris, Lady, Mary & Sybil
Here at Springwater Farm we have the Gertrude bloodlines as we find them to be the least fatty, and we also just happen to love them too!
They are medium/large in size and should be a predominant sandy colour (hence the name). Markings should be in random blotches as though they have been flicked with a paintbrush, rather than small spots. If well bred they will also have a a long but slightly dished face, if it looks flat then this is not a desired quality in the breed. Having a white blaze and pale feet are also characteristics too look out for.
One of the reasons we have this lovely breed is because of their quite nature. The Oxford Sandy & Black have a strong material instinct, consequently making them great mothers as well. They cope very well with hardy outdoor conditions as they are natural foragers., therefore perfect if you outdoor rear your pigs like us!