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The British Saddleback Pig

The British Saddleback pigs are famous for their appearance as well as the high quality of their meat. The pig is also in most circles regarded as an easy breeder because of its mellow temperament and ease in handling. Saddleback pigs are black with the exception of an unbroken white band over the shoulders and down the front legs. The band passing over the shoulders gives the appearance of a white saddle. Some saddlebacks have traces of white elsewhere, such as the tip of the tail or in some cases on the hind legs.

The British Saddleback was recognisedin 1967 when the Wessex Saddleback and the Essex breeds were amalgamated. The Wessex Saddleback dates back to 1918 when its first herd book was published. The Essex too began the same year.

The breed is classified by the British Rare Breed Survival Trust as a minority breed.

Introducing our breeding stock

Pam and Dawn

We were looking for our breeding females to come from the Essex line of the Saddleback breed and went to Parnden Mill in June 2010 to buy Pam and Dawn who had been born in April that year. Parndon Mill, nestling on the banks of the river Stort on the outskirts of Harlow, is a centre for creative activity.  Since the sixties it has been occupied by artists and craftsmen who have gradually restored the premises.  As a somewhat incongruous side-line they are also dedicated Essex pig breeders! So maybe some artistic characteristics could be forth coming in Pam and Dawn too.

We have spent a lot of time with the girls, giving them chance to get to know us and feel comfortable around us, and as they have grown we have been pleased with their docile temperament and they love to come to us for a scratch and tickle.


Alfred appears to come from the Wessex line of the Saddleback breed and we shopped more locally for him, buying him from a local breeder in Bromsgrove. He was born in August 2010 and so far has not had a formal introduction to Pam and Dawn, but he has been noticed looking whistfully in their direction.

We are hoping that from mixing the Wessex and Essex strains we will be able to produce exceptional piglets, either for selling to other pig keepers as weaners, or keeping ourselves for fattening or breeding purposes.