Quatre Saisons - natural sustainable farming
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YASS NSW 2582
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History of Large Blacks

The Large Black demonstrated excellent efficiency of production on pasture and gained popularity rapidly becoming one of the most numerous of the English pig breeds by early last century.  A breed association was formed in 1898.


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Used in small scale production of fresh meat, cured hams and bacon, the Large Black was also valued for commercial crossing, primarily with the white skinned european and japanese breeds. This cross yielded great hybrid vigor, and it was well regarded commercially.

The breed’s popularity peaked during the 1920s, and the Large Black was exported to several other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.

The Second World war led to meat rationing until 1954. This commercial pressure resulted in the shift toward intensive husbandry of pigs which then led to the decline of outdoor breeds that were not competitive. Along with other specialist “pork” breeds the Large Blacks pig was sidelined and herdbook numbers declined sharply to be almost extinct during the 1960s.  It remains one of the rarest British pig breeds. Fortunately the work of just a few dedicated breeders has ensured the survival of the breed.

Current demand for meat produced from traditional breeds of pigs raised naturally is now promoting a growth in the number of breeders keeping Large Blacks as this particular breed is much appreciated for its succulent taste and eating quality.