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A Bit Of History
Large Black Hogs

If  you had a large, black pig, what name would you give it? Well, when the  first breed society was developed in England, they decided to keep it  simple and called them “Large Black” hogs. They became very popular on  small farms because they were docile, easy to keep and got much of their  nutrition from the grass and forage provided by nature.

Originally  there were two distinct breeds in England; one in the east and the  other in the west. One had dense, long hair and the other had short,  thin hair. Today’s pigs show both traits even within the same litter.  The hogs were imported into the United States early in the twentieth  century and did well on a number of farms. However, in the 1960s when  the pork market started to favor leaner, lighter colored meat the  marbled pork of the Large Black fell out of favor. By the 1990's the  Large Black pig had become critically endangered. Today it is listed as  “Vulnerable” by England’s Rare Breeds Survival Trust and “Critical” by The Livestock Conservancy.

Dorothy's Warbler
Large Black Hogs by Handsome Husband
they have great big ears and little bitty eyes.
They are kind of fun to be around because they don't tell lies.
They are safe for your kids and they won't eat your wife.  
Taking care of them is livin' the good life.
now other breeds grow faster, and they are more popular too.
but we find the large blacks are the tastiest and you'll say it is true.

There was a farm south of Jumbo
that raised every kind of animal we know.
chickens pigs and cats too.
The owners had allergies and always said achoo!
the wind howled and roared.
The weather was wet.
The dog stood in the doorwary and began to sweat.
He had to pee really, really bad
and if he went in the house, he knew they'd be mad.
So he lowered his head and he slunk out the door
trying to find a dry corner and more.
As quick as a wink he was back in the house,
cursing the weather and snug as a louse.
~Handsome Husband

The evening is still, sound carries from what seems miles to my chilly ears. I stand quiet, listening to the song of the woods. An occasional dog barks, a tire over gravel, the soft chirp of a bird. I am checking fence lines, making sure all is right. I have found the section Max walked over. He came straight to the house to alert me, then followed me back and into the fence grunting happily as he lumbered along. Everyone is safe in the barn for the night. As dusk falls and I am still standing listening to the woods I hear the whisper of of night creatures stirring. Deer bed down for their slumber and the trees say 'Goodnight'. Peaceful.

We have most of our animals processed at Link's Country Meats in Crestline, Ohio.
We have found that their handling is excellent.
Some of the things that you may find in their repertoire are:
Brats: Cajun (my favorite), Jalapeno, Cheese, Cheese and Bacon and Plain
Sausages: Mild or Sweet Italian
Pork chops at whatever thickness you wish.
Any of these can be smoked!
Our favorite bacon is Peppered Jowl bacon.
There were merely 273 Large Blacks in the United States. The blood lines for males are Longfellow, Defender, Super, Super-CA, Super-UK, Noble Sam, Iowa Alrose, Majestic and Malcolm. The blood lines for females are Warbler, Prudence, Charlotte, Matilda and Daisy. We have a Malcolm boar. Our females are Prudence x 3, Charlotte x 3 , Warbler, Daisy and a Matilda. We have worked with Purdue University and the Livestock Conservancy on a project to protect the genetics and introduce 3 new boars to the Large Black bloodlines. We have been and will continue to work with this project for several years yet.

The Purdue Project has concluded at Purdue and it is now up to the breeders to produce quality offspring. We received 2 gilts out of the Super-UK and one boar out of the Malcolm. We have produced our first offspring from the progeny of the Project. Purdy gave birth May 12, 2021 to 6 beautiful piglets. I am in love with these little beasties.
History of the Large Black Pig
By Felicia Krock
The Large Black breed has only been officially recognized since the incorporation
of the Breed Society in 1899, but there is ample evidence that the large black pig, with
its characteristic whole color, length, fine hair, lop ear, and great grazing capacity, has
existed for many generations. It was originally found chiefly in the western counties of
Devon and Cornwall and the eastern counties of Suffolk and Essex of the UK. The Old
English hog would have been the basis for many of England’s native swine. It is
documented that the pigs from the eastern counties were influenced by the
importations from China in the late 18th century while those of Devon and Cornwall
were more closely related to the pigs in mainland Europe where the Neapolitan of Italy
contributed to the pure blackness of the coat. There is also evidence of the Guinea Hog
having an influence in the creation of the Large Black. The Chinese and Neapolitan pigs
also heavily influenced the Berkshire which prior to these introductions had a coat
resembling that of the Sandy and Black, which I find fascinating.
The Devon pigs used were originally selected for the length of their bodies, ears,
noses, tails, and hair without reference to quality or substance. The longer the better. By
1850 the breed was small-boned and thick bodied, with good conformation and
constitution, this is due to selective breeding. The Large Black grew in popularity until
the Breed Society was formed in Ipswich (1899). The first Herd Book of the Large Black
Pig was published in then where the consistent Devon and Cornwall was combined
with those of the smaller Black Essex, Black Suffolk, or Small Black and other black East
Anglian breeds whose number had fallen below sustainable level. There were many
variations between the pigs of the two areas, but with the advent of the rail system and
trading of breeding stock by 1913 a “general uniformity” had been achieved. A
trademark was registered in 1902 being the letters LBP within a shield.
The first exports to Australia were in 1902 or 1903, with the Large Black being
chosen over the Berkshire pig because of their ability to thrive in hot weather, their
foraging abilities, and their fecundity. The exact date of the first arrival of the Large
Black in the United States is not well documented but is believed to be about 1913 and
could be as late as 1920 (depending on source). By the 1920s the Large Black popularity
had peaked with the entrance of 121 Large Blacks into the 1919 Royal Show, more than
any other breed. A sow was Supreme Champion at Smithfield in 1919. After World War
II, the population began declining as farmers began to produce pigs that would do well
in confined indoor farming. The Large Black Pig Society in England was merged with
the National Pig Breeders Association (now named the British Pig Association) in 1949.
In 1955 the Howitt report on the development of pig production in the United
Kingdom was published. Its main conclusions were that UK pig farms were poorly
placed to compete with European producers, that the diversity of local breeds in the UK
was an obstacle to progress and that British pig farmers would focus on three breeds
only: the Welsh, British Landrace and the Large White. The report began a period of
decline in all other British pig breeds, including the Large Black. By 1973, the Rare
Breeds Survival Trust was founded, numbers of all traditional pig breeds were
dangerously low, and many of them were extinct. The Large Black was placed on the
Trust’s endangered list. In the United States, supermarkets affected how swine was
raised. Animals that had previously been raised outside foraging were now being
confined and intensively farmed in favor of leaner, lighter colored meat. By the time the
American Minor Breeds Conservancy (Now The Livestock Conservancy), the marbled
pork of the Large Black pig had become critically endangered. By the summer of 1977,
there were 58 dues-paying members. Today The Livestock Conservancy is the largest
nonprofit membership organization in the United States working to conserve rare
breeds and genetic diversity in livestock and poultry.
We had begun a search for rare and old books on animal husbandry, Large Black
Pigs, swine processing and breeding more than a decade ago. We are gleaning the
information about our beloved Large Black’s heritage. One quote was the origins of the
Large Black Pig has been lost to oblivion. We want to inform our members with what
knowledge there is. We will update the history of the Large Black as we discover
information that has been lost. Our endeavor here is to inform and educate about this
amazing breed. You will see quotes from other Breeders and Authors about these pigs.
We are the owners of Large Black Pig Breeders United along with Kelly Luzier of Fur Immer Farm, also a former board member/Treasurer of the LBHA.

I am a consultant with the Swine Medical Database. This is a searchable database about illness and injuries associated with Heritage Swine.

We are current members of The Livestock Conservancy.

I am the former Registrar/Secretary of the Large Black Hog Association. I held the position since 2011-2021. I retired briefly in 2018 and left the position permanently in November 2021.

We have been raising Large Blacks since 2009.
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