Red Wattle Hog Pages

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to read more on Red Wattle Hogs, check the links on the above pages.

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   If you found this page, odds are pretty good you know what a Red Wattle Hog is, but just in case you haven’t been introduced, here we go...

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   Here is our Little Red Girl, in this picture she is about 1-1/2 years old, about 40 inches to the top of her back and about 4-1/2 feet nose to rump. Our (probably poor) guess is about 350 to 400 pounds. (she has grown since this was taken!)

   If you look close you will see a dangly appendage from the back of her jaw; that would be the Wattle part of the breed’s name. I keep telling her she is a fancy pig. She doesn’t seem to care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   So, you ask, why do you want a ‘fancy’ pig, with fleshy wattles hanging from her jaw? Well, they are a rare breed, from where is not certain, but in the 1970’s and ‘80’s two separate herds were found in the wilds of Texas and ‘rescued’ by two different men, who created two lines of Red Wattled hogs. Those IMG_0455are the actual origin of today’s Red Wattle Breed.  Claims have been made that the original breed came close to 2000 lbs max. Over the years of being wild, and most likely crossing with other wild hogs, the size they obtain is now around a max around 1200, more often 600 to 800 lbs. (Some of that might also be that breeders tend to feed them healthier now, and not let them get overly fat).

   Some sources say this breed is a lean, meat hog, not a lard / bacon hog, and that was one of the reasons the breed was almost lost, years ago. People wanted the lard, for many things we do not need, or have replaced out of convenience. However, they can, and do get a great cover, and I have heard that some folks get up to 40 or more pounds of lard fat from a single hog. I think the rumors of a lean meat stem from the fact that a closely trimmed cut, will have little ‘grease’ in the pan when cooked. For a better cooking and eating experience, maybe trim a little less off...

 

 

 

 

 

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   They also are a great forager, grazing on grass and many weeds. If paired with a vigorous rotation program, and enough area and growth, they will graze and not plow the entire field. They will root some still, and will carve generous depressions in hopes of a little moisture for a mud hole. They need mud for keeping cool, and pest control, just as any hog. They are on the ALBC’s critical list, meaning we have to take steps to save them, the only way to do that in this case is to promote eating them. This will encourage more breeding, thereby bringing them out of the endangered classification.

This is Red in September of 2012

 

 

   As you can see from the above photos, I do not have a fenced field, so mine are penned for now. Here in South Texas we have had such a drought for the last few years, there is little grass for cows or hogs. I have been enlarging the pens this year, and experimenting with growing different ‘crops’ in the ones that are at rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to find someone close to you with Red Wattle Hogs, Check the maps below

Red Wattle Owners Google Map                  Red Wattle Owners Bing Map

 

A note about pastured meats

   I feel obligated to add this little note to be as honest as I can be. There are a good many folks out there that will tell you grass fed meat (beef, pork, chicken, as well as others) has a different taste. Many will tell you it tastes like real meat. Others will tell you it does not taste ‘right’. From what I can gather, some describe it as a gamey taste, still others say it has a mineraly after taste. Many visitors from other countries say it is the way it supposed to taste, and the stuff you get in the US food stores is like cardboard and disgusting. Most of the countries outside of the US have banned the procedures used here by big Corporate farms. They won‘t use antibiotics as readily, and for the most part stay away from the genetically modified items in the food chain. Many folks also say the taste is an acquired taste. I would have to say, the taste of the meat we get at the store is the acquired taste, we have been slowly getting accustomed to over the last 30 or 40 years or so. So, in short, if you want to get on the Slow Food bus, get out to a Farmer’s Market in your area and buy a few “test” items. There can also be quite a difference in growers and processors, so you may want to sample items from different farms as well. Ask the folks you get it from for tips on cooking what you buy as well, some of this good food is better if you don’t cook it like the store stuff. Remember, we have modified our recipes over time to match the product we buy.

Taste tests have shown the Red Wattle to be very good eating, if not winners against many of the more common breeds such as Hampshire, Berkshire, Durocs, and others. It is a specialty in many upscale restaurants, as a result. Find links to reviews HERE