We first started our herd with a Hampshire gilt that we raised with a batch of feeder pigs on our farm. We purchased a purebred Hampshire boar born in Lancaster, Pennsylvaina from a Mennonite farmer in Dayton. Four more Hampshire gilts and 4 Yorkshire gilts were added to the herd after that. We have sinced culled the Yorkshires from the herd, and replaced them with four younger Hampshires and have been raising pure breed Hampshire hogs. We have recently culled our Hampshire Boar as he was getting to large to safely breed. We purchased a Tamworth boar and plan to cross him with six of our hampshire gilts. We should have our first Hampshire/Tamworth products in 2017.
The Hampshire breed is thought to be one of the oldest breeds of hogs, as well as the fourth most recorded in the United States. For several years now the Hampshire breed has held the record for most pounds of pork produced, per sow, per year. Making it the most productive and profitable breed of hog on Earth. During the middle ages one of the most agriculturally productive areas was the Netherlands and still is to this day. During the 1500's and 1600's the Dutch Princes who controlled this area began a very comprehensive livestock breeding program. The end result being the Dutch belted heritage, Legacy. At the time these animals were considered the finest in the world and were distinguished by a white band on an all black body. Dutch Belted cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits were shipped throughout Europe. These hogs formed the basis for the old English Breed found in Northern England and Scotland during the industrial revolution. These hogs were then imported from Hampshire, England in the 1820's and 1830's.
The Hampshire breed is a domestic hog breed. They are noted for their strong "mothering" skills and the ability to produce more litters comapared to other domestic breeds. They are easily recognized by their distinct markings, black bodies with white bands sometimes extending to the front hooves. The Hampshire is known for their erect ears, rapid growth and muscular features.
The Tamworth pig originated in Tamworth, United Kingdom. It is among one of the oldest breeds and is thought to be descended from wild boar with input from Irish pigs. Most notable about the Tamworth breed is it's ablity to forage for itself. Perhaps due to being the least interbred with non-European breeds, and therefore one of the closest to the original European forest swine. The breed is considered not well suited for modern production methods and is listed on the ALBC's list as "Threatened" in the United States. Sometimes know as the other red pig, it's golden red hair resembles its much more common cousin, the Duroc. The ginger red color and bristle density of their coats make the pigs adaptable to a variety of climates and protect them from sunburn. The long body length and high body mass makes them ideal for a higher bacon yield.