The Austage End Herd
Established in 2005 by Angela and Michael Herrmann, the Austage End Herd has grown from initially bringing on weaners until they were ready to slaughter to the point where it now has three gilts capable of producing up to 90 piglets a year between them. The breed produces wonderful meat, both for pork and for producing hams and bacon. Oxford Sandy and Blacks have a very gentle manner which makes them very easy to keep.
History of Oxford Sandy and Blacks
The exact origin of the breed is
lost in antiquity but the original Oxford Sandy & Black is believed to have
developed some two centuries ago in Oxfordshire. The breed declined in numbers
dramatically in the 1940s when only one or two boars were licensed.
Traditionally an outdoor pig used to running free in woodlands, rough grazing and pasture. It would not, however, have been unusual to see it tethered and moved daily to fresh ground as was the custom in the early part of this century.
Many pigs of the time were known by names associated with their colour, location or environment and two such names associated with the Oxford Sandy & Black are the 'Plum Pudding' and 'Oxford Forest' pig.
Qualities of the Breed
The breed is noted for its many
qualities, particularly its excellent temperament and mothering abilities.
Generally prolific, the Oxford will function well under most management systems,
and produces meat of very high quality and flavour (the markings do not go
through to the meat). When crossed with white breeds pure Oxfords produce highly
commercial white hybrids.
There can be no more visually attractive breed than the Oxford, with its good nature and ease of management making it a great favourite with all who have ever kept these pigs.
Information on the History and the Qualities of the breed is taken from the Oxford Sandy and Black Society website - http://www.oxfordsandypigs.co.uk/