Tamworths are heritage British “meat breed”, historically loved for their bacon. They are thought to be one of the oldest and purest breeds of pigs in Great Britain, and for that matter the world. They are one of the only European breeds never cross-bred with Asiatic pigs.
Originally from England and Ireland, where less than a hundred years ago they were one of the most populace and important pig breeds; now with the invention of industrial farming and soy and corn feeds, they have in less than a century become a threatened breed. They are on the Livestock Conservatory’s watch-list, and are considered “vulnerable” in the United Kingdom and “threatened” in the United States.
A Threatened Breed
With nearly 1 billion pigs raised worldwide each year, there are possibly less than 1600 actively breeding female Tamworth pigs in the entire world, with just only a 100 registered farms breeding Tamworth pigs in the United States, and only 300 registered breeding sows in their home of the United Kingdom!
Unlike modern industrial mass-produced factory pigs who have lost almost all their positive instincts, Tamworth pigs have a wonderful and gentle personality, and are incredible parents. They are considered a “backyard” pig because they have such a good disposition that a small-holder could easily raise one in his yard without concern of it attempting to escape or being overly unruly.
Historically pigs have been either raised for lard or for meat, with different breeds excelling at different purposes.
Though Tamworths were not raised specifically for fat, your pork will be much fatter than the commercial pork you are used to, that fat will be well marbled throughout the meat, and there will be an incredible fat cap on the outside of the cut under the skin. This fat will be both delicious, and based on their eating of natural forage, completely and utterly nutritious.
Tamworths are a finer boned pig, so the ratio of meat and fat to bone is high, resulting in more usable yield than normal for the hanging weight. We keep and deliver to you, the whole animal, so stock can be made from bones and “trim” resulting in effectively zero waste. If you’re not interested in making stock, we know there is a dog somewhere that will be VERY interested in these delicious and nutritious treats. One of our guiding principals at Freyr is to honor the animal by reducing waste to lowest amounts possible.
Saving the Breed
In this modern world the only way to save these breeds is by monetizing them, honoring their value and making it worthwhile for small local farmers to raise these animals and more importantly improve the breed by growing enough stock to be selective in breeding.
When your family buys your pork from Freyr, and when you tell your friends to do the same, you are ensuring that we can grow as a farm and add to our breeding stock, carefully select our genetics, and become one of the few places in the world where this incredible and special breed’s future is healthy and secure.
We hope to become one of the few spots in the world where this breed is safe and has a future, and we hope you will become our lifelong customers and help us save this noble animal.