Homegrown Pork (Storey, 2013) by Sue Weaver offers an outline on successfully raising pigs for modern backyard meat using humane and healthy techniques. Along the way we learn the secret to developing succulent pork which begins with breed choices and ends with an affordable amount of rooting space.
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Origin: Central England
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.
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Excerpted from Homegrown Pork © by Sue Weaver, photography © by Mars Vilaubi and illustration © by Elayne Sears, used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: Homegrown Pork.