The Gascon Black Pig
The Gascon Black is delightful breed of pig, full of character with a very gentle temperament and an engaging curiosity. It is an ancient breed and is the oldest recognised breed in France, originating in and around the foothills of the Pyrenees.
The Gascon Black has a distinctive look - with a dark black skin and thick wiry black hair, a short, dextrous snout and long, lop ears that fall forwards to cover the eyes. The body shape is cylindrical, with well formed round hams and short but sturdy legs. All parts of the pig, including feet and snout are black.
Being an old rustic breed, they grow more slowly than modern commercial breeds; this slow rate almost caused the breed to die out and numbers dwindled to a few hundred in the early 1970's. However, their rusticity is also their saving grace, they are a hardy pig that can live outside all year, tolerating the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter. Allowed to roam and forage freely in the woods, it is easy to see how well adapted the breed is for its environment - its long ears protecting its eyes from brambles and thorns whilst its sensitive and mobile snout digs out roots, acorns and other pig delicacies.
A very friendly and docile pig, the sows make fantastic mothers and we allow their piglets to stay with them for the best part of three months, ensuring that they have the best start in life.
The meat from the Gascon Black is a beautifully marbled dark meat, with a higher fat content than commercially farmed pork. This endows the meat with a fuller, exceptional flavour and it is little surprise that the meat is sought after by quality restaurants and brasseries throughout France. However, the gem in the Gascon Black's crown is charcuterie and in particluar the dry-cured whole hams. The ham cures for 15 - 20 months and has a fine, delicate flavour with a long lasting aroma and taste that lingers on the tongue.
Meet Our Royal Family
The Prince Regent
Django son of Django - our stud boar, a prince amongst pigs. He came to us as a young lad of four months. Now sexually mature he has already sired his first litter and we expect a long productive life from him.
Belle - the first of our sows, was born in 2006. Belle is the Grand Dame of our sows, a real matriarch who expects respect from her younger sisters.
Douzie - was born on the farm in 2011 and is a beautiful, docile and friendly girl, she loves a cuddle and a scratch behind her ears.
Wildee - also born on the farm in 2011, is slighly more aloof than Douzie but is a fantatstic mother, averaging 12 piglets per farrowing
At any time we will have approximately 50 pigs of various ages and weights running through the woodland, living a free and full life.