Andy & Annabel have 5 breeding sows. These are three Saddleback X's called Pixie, Holly & Mother Pig, and two Large White X's, called Widget & Josie. The boar is a Saddleback cross.
The British Saddleback is an amalgamation of two breeds which shared the same colour pattern - the Essex and the Wessex Saddleback. Both date back to 1918.
The Essex pig, mostly found in East Anglia, had a black head & neck and a belt of white over the shoulders & forelegs. The rest of the body was black with the exception of its white feet & the tip of its tail.
The Wessex originated in the New Forest as a cross between two old English bacon pigs. It was black all over except for a continuous belt of white hair over the shoulders & forelegs.
The British Saddleback breed was established in 1967. Saddlebacks are hardy and noted for their mothering qualities and grazing abilities.
Large Whites are distinguished by by their erect ears and slightly dished faces. They are long bodied with excellent hams & fine white hair. As their name suggests, they are characterised by their large size.
The early history of this breed in Yorkshire is difficult to trace. The large, coarse-boned and leggy white pigs of the region were crossed with other breeds. It has been suggested that among these were the Cumberland, Leicestershire and the Middle and Small White. Specimens of the new breed first attracted attention at the Windsor Royal Show in 1831. The stock used in the development and improvement of the pigs in that area is not as important as what was finally produced as a breed.
Before the end of the 19th century, British Large Whites were already establishing themselves all over the world. Innovative pedigree breeders were exporting stock as far afield as Australia , Argentina, Canada and Russia, as well as most countries in Europe.
The Large White has proved itself as a rugged and hardy breed that can withstand variations in climate and other environmental factors. Their ability to cross with and improve other breeds has given them a leading role in commercial pig production systems around the world.