Basque pigs are a
breed of swine from Basque Country, France. They are piebald, black and pink.
What is today
called the Basque pig is one of several historical breeds or breed types kept
by the Basque peoples, and it was consolidated under the name only in the
1920s. Though they were relatively common in the early 20th century, Basque
pigs had nearly disappeared by 1981, with fewer than 100 breeding sows left.
Today, the breed
is preserved by small farmers in France and Spain who are dedicated to
traditional Basque foods.
Basque pigs grow more slowly and develop
more fat than modern breeds like the Large White, making them less suited to
intensive commercial meat production, but ideal for the creation of cured pork
products such as Bayonne ham. Basque sows have small litters usually about nine
in a litter, but they have a strong maternal instinct.