The Large Black pig breed is often called the Cornwall Black/Boggu or the Devon pig.
A domestic breed which is native to the UK, Devon, Cornwall and Essex to be exact. They received the name ‘Large Black’ due to their appearance, they are large and black, the only British pig of their kind.
A hardy and docile breed, they are best known for their capabilities of producing large litters. They also have excellent foraging abilities, which makes them suitable for extensive farming.
A Very popular breed back in the 1900’s, the breed association was first set up in 1899. It is thought that the breed came about from a combination of local black breeds in the East of England and West of the country. Population numbers, unfortunately, declined after World War two and by the 1960’s the breed was almost wiped out. They are now listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. There are thought to be just over 2,000 head of the Large Black remaining.
A hardy, docile breed, the Large Black is a large and long breed, with a deep body. Most suited to pasture farming methods, due to their strong foraging abilities and gazing abilities.
They also efficiently convert feed to meet, regardless of the quality. They are currently the only black breed remaining in the UL, which helps protect against sunburn.
They have large drooping ears, which help protect their face and eyes but also obscures their vision. A very fertile bred, known for their strong maternal instincts, sows can have large litters of up to ten piglets. Some have been reported as having as many as 13 in one litter! A long living breed, one sow was reported as having had 26 litters in total, the most of any pig breed.
At maturity, boars can weigh up to 360kgs, with sows up to 320kgs. This makes them well suited to the meat production industry, not to mention the lean quality of the meat and its delicious flavour. The meat also has a lack of excess back fat and favours well when crossbred with other breeds for meat production.
A very hardy and potentially profitable breed, the Large Black may be the only of its kind remaining in the UK, but it is also among the most beautiful.