About Large Black Pigs
Large Black Hogs, occasionally called the
Devon or Cornwall Black, are a meet pig, originally from Great Britain,
particularly Devon, Cornwall, and Essex.
Large Blacks were developed from local black
pig breeds from the West Country and the East of England. With the founding of
a breed association in 1898 or 1899, variations between the types from the two
areas decreased. The Large Black was popular in the early 1900s and was
exported to many areas of the world. They are good foragers which makes them particularly
useful for extensive farming but poor for intensive farming. Population numbers
declined after the Second World War as farmers turned to breeds more suitable
to intensive pig farming, and by the 1960s the breed was almost extinct.
Numbers have slowly risen, but it is still considered vulnerable by the Rare
Breeds Survival Trust, the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, and Rare
Perhaps the most important thing about Large Blacks is their pedigree.
These are “heritage” hogs. They retain the traits of their ancestors that lived
on the pastures and woods of England in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are
hardy animals able to handle the cold and heat. They can effectively convert
pasture into nutrition. They have great mothering ability, good sized litters, and
long lives. Despite their large size they are well known as very docile hogs.
Their dark coloring makes them more resistant to sunburn. And their micromarbled
pork is delicious!