The Gascon pig breed is a French breed, thought to be one of the country’s most ancient breeds and now among the world’s rarest.
They hail from the Midi-Pyrénées region of France and have been listed as “endangered”. The breed is named the Nori de Bigorre in its locality and is though to be related to Iberian pig breeds. There are references of the breed as far back as when Centurions were roaming the French countryside, with Strabo (geographer) listing the breed as the best in the Empire.
Although extremely popular and useful for meat production, populations declined rapidly following the conclusion of the First World War.
Picture Below - noticias.porcisan
A very vigorous and hardy breed, they are also highly sought-after due to their ability to become fat.
They are also a very thrifty animal and are capable of coping with hot weather conditions, having survived for centuries in the mountainous region that is the Midi-Pyrénées. The breed is also capable of surviving outdoors, all year round, with some breeders allowing their animals free roam of wooded areas. The pigs then thrive on leaves, roots, fruits, bugs, barks and whatever they can find.
Sows are also extremely prolific and produce an abundance of milk for their piglets. Piglets are usually kept with their mothers for a maximum of three months, before they are slaughtered at 9 to 18 months, with a carcass weight of between 60 to 120kgs. A slow growing breed, Gascon pigs are known for their darkly marbled meat, though they are a slow-growing breed.
Generally, Gascon pigs are black in colour, with black skin and thick wiry black hair. This hair is usually thicker along the back of the animals. Gascon pigs also have heavy lop ears and a pointed face.
Quite possibly the oldest surviving French breed of swine, the Gascon is also among the world’s rarest and quite possibly the best pig breed for fattening.