Benara Farm
Happy Health Free-range Saddleback Pigs & Dorpers, Pork & Lamb
Home      FAQ - Pigs

Frequently Asked Questions

- Rare Wessex Saddleback Pigs:

Why should I choose a Wessex Saddleback pig?

Well why wouldn’t you really? Aside from their intelligence, calm nature, rugged good looks and delicious taste, you would be doing something to ensure that this critically endangered breed continues to survive in Australia. Now how good does that make you feel to know that you are doing your bit to reverse the ever increasing trend of animal extinction.

 
Are they difficult to keep?

If you are confident enough to keep sheep or cows, then you can keep a Saddleback pig. They are highly intelligent and quickly learn how to do things. They can be a bit wilful sometimes but repetition and food rewards seem to do the trick.

 
Are they smelly / dirty?
They have a faint smell, which is not unpleasant.  The only time you can detect a stronger odour is when the Boar gives off bit of a musky smell around mating time.  As for pigs being dirty, they roll in the mud to keep cool (which is important as pigs do not sweat) – the do not roll in their own droppings contrary to urban myths. If they are allowed to free range they will create a “poo corner” where they do their business, leaving the rest of the paddock faeces free. 
 

Are they aggressive?

We have spoken to a number of people who have owned Saddleback Pigs and never have heard of them being aggressive towards humans.  Boars will fight each other for sexual dominance and a sow will protect her young, but these are the exceptions, otherwise they are quiet and calm in nature.

 
Are they expensive to feed?
Yes and no.  Pigs do require a lot of food.  But what you put in you get out with their delicious meat. If you have an orchard or crops for them to graze on then your food costs will be reduced.  Whilst they do get a lot of their bulk from grazing paddocks, we recommend that you still feed them commercial pellets to ensure that they get the right balance of nutrients.  We feed out pigs commercial pellets (weaner/lactating sow and/or finisher pellets) as well as flaked barley.  It is illegal to feed meat or meat products to ANY pigs (except commercial produced meat meal).
 

What are the other expenses associated with owning a pig?

Aside from feeding costs, the expenses associated with keeping pigs include obtaining a PIC and pig brand if you intend to take your pig to an abattoir for slaughter, providing a shelter against the sun and for warmth in winter and fencing (a hot wire is recommended).
 

What are the legislative requirements for owning a pig (WA only)?

Obviously check with your local council that you are permitted to own pigs in your area. Secondly you will need to obtain a Property Identification Code (PIC) and 5 digit brand from the Dept of Agriculture (see Farmnote 138).  We also suggest that you become a member of the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia for information on owning a rare breed and to support others who also do.  If you are interested in breeding stock then also join the Australian Pig Breeders Association and have your pigs registered in the herd book.
 

What does Wessex Saddleback Pork taste like?

In one word – YUMMY!!! It is very moist succulent and has a taste so lacking in supermarket pork that in our opinion it tastes like a completely different meat.  Whether it is a loin chop, leg roast or belly spare rib, the flavour has depth and no matter how it is cooked it is never dry.