British Saddleback Pig: A Breed of Old English Bacon Pigs

The Saddleback pig is a race that originated from the merger of the races of Essex and Wessex, in England. The Wessex Saddleback came from Dorsetshire, England, while the Essex came from the region that gave the breed its name. Before 1820, both had contributed to the Hampshire pigs, which were apparently the ancestors of the American Hampshire breed.

What part of the voyage took place, or how well the race was established before the Hampshire foundation action was exported to the United States, between 1825 and 1829, is not known. There were swine breeds very similar to the American Hampshire in England during 1855.

Saddleback Pig

Characteristics of Saddleback Pig

The Saddleback pig is a large breed. In general, the male of this trace weighs 320 kg. While the females are smaller than the male and are of less weight, and weigh up to 270 Kg. The back of this race is parallel to the abdomen, and they do not have much curvature, the head is only slightly tilted down. While the legs of this breed are somewhat thick, and with enough meat in them. The Saddleback has the striking color of a white belt on a black body. You may also like to read Finnish Landrace Pig

However, the colorful Saddleback of modern times is still very variable, as it apparently has throughout the existence of the race. Unfortunately, the tape is a mark of low heritability. The marks of the same litter can vary from a very wide white belt. Sometimes this belt covers almost the entire body at the opposite end, where there is very little white.

The coat is short, and without gloss, in addition to that in the zone of the belt the white color tends to be united with the white color and a small line can be observed that denotes the 2 colors. The ears of the breed are inclining forward, with drooping and are of medium size. A strong point of the Saddleback race in England is its reputation as a mother sow.

The sows have large litters and are said to be excellent milkers. In addition, the females have around 6 and 7 pairs of tits which adapt perfectly to the size of their litters. The breed is reputed to be resistant to good grass characteristics suitable for outdoor production systems. It has been used as a crossbreed with white breeds to produce breeding sows for commercial swine production.


The Saddleback pig is a breed that has been used commercially, where hybrid vigor is sought. Its popularity seems to be above the numbers that are registered. Therefore, like many other races, unregistered stock of degrees is often used in crossing. The increasing use of race at the crossroads parallels Hampshire’s reputation in the United States for cross-breeding and rotation improvement programs.

Another use that is given to this race is to produce its meat. The characteristics of the meat of this breed are very good, besides that the ancestors of this breed are excellent for the production of bacon. That is why it is used for both meat production and bacon production. You may also like to read Czech Improved White Pig


The Saddleback pig is a breed that does not need so much care on the part of breeders when it comes to feeding. This breed can feed on intensive grazing. However, breeders, in addition to having them under intensive grazing, must provide them with certain nutrients that will help their growth. In addition, this breed has a high feed conversion. Another feature that farmers have to breed this breed is to raise them in open places. And that all the foods that provide this breed are organic.

Special Features

The similarity of the Saddleback pig and the Hampshire breed in many ways does not indicate that the former must have given the latter more of a striking color pattern. It is a resistant race and also adapts to different climates. That is why the saddleback pig race can be exported to countries like Nigeria and withstand the warm climate of that region. Today this breed is in danger of extinction.


The Wessex pig is an old English breed that originated in the New Forest as a cross between two indigenous bacon pigs. This was first documented during 1914, but by then it had also spread to other parts of England. It has since become one of the most popular breeds for meat production in Great Britain due to its hardiness and suitability for intensive farming practices. To learn more about this interesting breed or if you want help finding your own perfect farm animal companion, contact us today!

As a reference: Wikipedia

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