Breed Profile: Tamworth Hog

The Tamworth hog is a long, narrow breed with a thick coat that reach 600 to 800 pounds full-grown.
By Sue Weaver
January 24, 2014
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Colloquially known as the Irish Grazer, the Tamworth is an ancient type that was well established by the British Middle Ages.
Photo by Mars Vilaubi

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Homegrown Pork (Storey Publishing, 2013) by Sue Weaver guides you through the process of choosing a flavorful pig breed and instructs you on formulating a proper diet and providing safe and comfortable living quarters for your backyard animal. The following breed profile for the Tamworth hog is from chapter 4, “Breeds.”

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Homegrown Pork

Tamworth Hog

Type: Bacon

Origin: Central England

Color: Red

Size: Medium to large

Conservation Status: Threatened

Description: The Tamworth is a long-legged, long-bodied, narrow pig with a thick, fine-textured coat; finely fringed, upright ears; and a long, straight snout.

Also colloquially known as the Irish Grazer, the Tamworth is an ancient type that was well established by the British Middle Ages. It’s considered the oldest unimproved breed in Great Britain and takes its name from the village of Tamworth in Staffordshire. Tamworths came to Canada in 1877 and to the United States in 1882.

Tamworths are active, intelligent pigs that don’t adapt well to confinement. They are, however, good-natured, extremely hardy, and superb foragers that do exceptionally well in outdoor situations. They thrive on low-energy foods such as pasture, acorns, and other woodland browse and are vigorous rooters. Adults reach 600 to 800 pounds in 2 years. Grower pigs reach slaughtering weight of 250 to 260 pounds in 5 or 6 months and yield meat that is firm textured but not tough, and nicely marbled but lean.

Learn about other breeds featured in Homegrown Pork:

Breed Profile: Kunekune Pig 
Breed Profile: Hereford Hog

Reprinted with permission from Homegrown Pork: Humane, Healthful Techniques for Raising a Pig for Food by Sue Weaver and published by Storey Publishing, 2013. Buy this book from our store: Homegrown Pork.

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