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Glen Eyrie Busy Maid

photo courtesy of Jayce Morgan

British Black or Large Black

The Large Black, also known as the British,Cornish or Lop Eared Black, originated in England and was basically a lard pig ,in the “old days” fat was highly prized and not only was it used for cooking but also candles, lamp oil and axel grease. This breed will do well in an outdoor environment,their large ears protect their face from harsh weather and they will happily forage in all conditions. They would be commonly found living on windfall apples. They have reasonably large litters with outstanding milk production and long lactations (over 8 weeks).We regularly foster Durocs onto large blacks and the Duroc growth rate is generally increased with all the extra milk.

The Large Blacks have very long, lop ears that actually obstruct their hearing and vision. As their name suggests, they are extremely large with a very long body. They are often a slow moving pig and this can probably be attributed to their obstructed vision.

In Australia the large Black is endangered with only a limited genetic pool of 5 sow lines and 2 boar lines. Some loss of type is being evidenced by animals having shorter ears and smaller litters (close breeding). Several animals have been appendix registered to try and gather up any remaining stock for different geographical locations in the hope that this separation by distance with give some chance of genetic variance. The blacks have very soft thin skin and fine hair and actually the carcass cleans very white. The Large Black is currently experiencing a little bit of demand for high quality suckling pigs and light pork. A tendency to lay down too much back fat is a problem as the animal gets heavier and about 50kg is an ideal carcass. Bacon tends to exhibit a smaller eye muscle than the commercial baconers but the soft rendering ability of the fat makes it wonderful to eat.