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Raising Tamworth pigs

One of the oldest and rarest breeds of swine

An heirloom, rare breed of pig called the Tamworth is regarded by many as the aristocrat of the pig world. This long-legged ginger pig with large pricked-up ears is suited to free-ranging and forest grazing, a perfect porcine for anyone who has a piece of overgrown land that needs clearing. They’re easy to keep and quite content being raised on pasture with veggie scraps from the garden. Very good mothers and friendly in nature, they like to interact with humans.

Tamworth owner Craig Floyd says his pigs do a good job cleaning up the pastures.   Because they have really long snouts, they earn their keep as rototillers.

"They will plow our pastures for us so we can overseed in February and March, which brings better grass for the cows and then the cow manure gives fly larvae for the chickens, but they spend a lot of time rootin’, and gettin’ grubs and worms and beetles," says Floyd. "And in the fall we turn them into an oak pasture."

Tamworths will eat fallen acorns, which adds a distinctive flavor to pork chops. But the best thing they’re known for is the quality of their lean bacon.

"Blow you away outstanding flavor in the bacon. And the other thing is, is Bangers.  For those that don’t know what they are, they’re kind of like a hot dog in a way in their shape, but their taste is different," says Floyd. "But bangers and mash is a favorite English meal and because we raise English pigs, and we do it in the manner which we do, our flavor is superior."

Tamworths on the Floyd farm live in little Quonset huts and stay outside all year because they don’t easily tolerate the stress of being in confinement. They do take longer than other breeds to get to market weight because they’re long and lean from getting a lot of exercise.  

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