As members of the Oxford Sandy & Black Pig Society we currently have three breeding sows; Goldie, Rusty and Smudge and Albert, our new boar. Our current bloodlines are Cynthia and Alistair. To find out more about the Breed Standards for the OSB, click here. We do have other breeds of piglets becoming available so to check availability please click here. If you would like to go on our waiting list then please contact us to register your interest and we will notify you as soon as piglets are available.
The Oxford Sandy & Black Pig is one of the oldest British pig breeds; it is sometimes referred to as the “Plum Pudding” or “Oxford Forest Pig”. Given its name it’s not surprising that the breed is thought to have originated in Oxfordshire around 200-300 years ago although the exact origins of the breed have been lost over time. Twice throughout its history the Oxford Sandy & Black (OSB) has very nearly become extinct. When the Rare Breeds Survival Trust was formed in 1973 it decided not to recognise the OSB since there had been no herd book established to ensure true pedigrees for some considerable time. The decline in numbers continued until 1985 when the current Breed Society was formed. It was through the efforts of Steven Kimmins (founder secretary of the OSB Society) supported by Andrew J Sheppy (Chairman) and Geoffrey Cloke (President) contacting all known OSB breeders that the OSB herd book was established and the breed was saved from extinction. Now some 25 years later some of the rarest bloodlines are still in existence and the breed is now recognised by the British Pig Association (BPA) who manage the herd book. This recognition by the British Pig Association has already brought benefits by increasing awareness of the breed and giving the opportunity to compete at BPA recognised shows. The OSB is a medium to large breed, and has many good qualities. In particular it’s excellent temperament and mothering abilities. As they are a hardy, coloured pig they are less likely to suffer with sunburn and given they are also good foragers they are well suited to the outdoor way of life! They are a good dual breed producing fine quality white skinned port and bacon which has a superb flavour. They will finish to pork weight in approximately 22 weeks.
Boars: Alexander, Alistair, Clarence, Jack
Sows: Alison, Clare, Clarissa, Cynthia, Dandy, Duchess, Elsie, Gertrude, Gloria, Iris, Lady, Mary & Sybil For more information regarding Bloodlines and the British Pig Association 2010 Breed Survey, click here.
As we have lost our three breeding sows we have made the sad decision to no longer keep Berkshires and are selling our Namatjira boar, Donaldson. The Berkshire is designated as Watchlist; Category 4, At Risk by the Rare Breed Survival Trust.
One of the earliest mentions of the Berkshire pig comes from Oliver Cromwell’s time when his troops were stationed in Reading. These 17th century references were made to a local type of pig esteemed for its size as well as for the quality of its ham and bacon. Between 1820 and 1830, much breed improvement took place, especially by a Lord Barrington. The Berkshire was very popular during the 19th century enjoying special favour with the British Royal Family including Queen Victoria who bred the famous boar “Windsor Castle”. The Berkshire was the first British breed to have a Herd Book. The colour of the original Berkshire varied from black to sandy red with some sporting spots or varying patches of white. The introduction of Chinese and Siamese blood eventually saw the breed becoming slightly smaller. Black became established as the breed colour. Other distinguishing characteristics are the pricked ears, white socks, white blaze and white tail tip. In the middle of this century, the decline in numbers of Berkshires kept resulted in near extinction of the breed in this country due to the rise in demand for commercially bred white pigs. It was only because of the efforts of a few breeders that the Berkshire as a breed survived. An increasing interest in traditional meats has seen a resurgence of the Berkshire’s popularity. However although Berkshire numbers are rising they are still regarded as a rare breed. Although the animal is black, the meat is white and marbled, resulting in rich, juicy pork when cooked. The Berkshire is an early finishing breed with the ideal carcass weight being between 36 and 45 kgs.
Boars : Peter Lad; Freight Train; Ambassador; Nama Abel; Namatjira; Orlando; Lassiter Sows : Royal Lustre; Stonebow; Excelsa; Mermaid; Farewell; Lady Suzanne; Royal Sapphire; Louise For more information about Bloodlines and the British Pig Association 2010 Breed Survey, click here.
We have made the decision to reduce the number of different breeds of pigs we keep in order to diversify our holding. We are therefore selling our Fair Lady (Millie) and Alma Rose (Rosie) sows. The Alma Rose line is extremely rare and would like to ensure that as well as keeping the line alive we are spreading the genetics across the country. To see the Breed Standards of the Middle White pig, click here. The Middle White is designated as Watchlist; Category 3 Vulnerable by the Rare Breed Survival Trust
The breed arose in 1852 when Joseph Tully entered several of his famous Large White pigs at the Keighley Agricultural Show. One of his pigs was too small for the Large White class and too big for the Small White class. As the qualities of this particular pig were so good the Judges felt it couldn’t be disqualified. A hastily called meeting resulted in the Middle White class being formed and hence the breed was born. Due to the “new” breed’s eating qualities, its early maturing (approximately 16-18 weeks of age) and it’s very easy management, the Middle White went from strength to strength. When the National Pig Breeders Association was founded in 1884 the Middle White along with the Large White and Tamworth were the three foundation breeds and their first Herd books were published that same year. The Middle White remained very popular with butchers everywhere, particularly in London where the breed was known as “the London Porker”. The Second World War and meat rationing until 1954 led to a concentration on the “bacon” pig and the demand for the specialist pork pig declined. Along with other “pork” breeds the numbers of Middle Whites declined sharply during this period and apparently they are still rarer than the Giant Panda! In recent years the demand for succulent flavoursome pork has once again led to Middle White pork appearing on the menus of top restaurants. So much so that well known chef Antony Worrell-Thompson has his own herd of Middle Whites and has become a Patron of the Breeders of Middle White Pig Breeders Club. When you hear talk of Middle Whites a phrase, commonly heard is ‘so ugly its beautiful!’ – and it’s true!! With its pug nose and pricked ears, they resemble rather large vampire bats. Preferring to graze rather than root around due to their short snout, they are a real pleasure to have around; very placid and easy to keep (although with their fair skin they may need sun cream in summer – and we’re not joking!). With their great personalities and loving natures you won’t do better for a pure pork pig.
Our Sheep & Goats
The traditional English Goats, or Cottager’s Goat, were bred and kept because they were a good dual purpose animal to have around. They were resilient, had moderate nutrional needs, a reasonable milk yield and were good for the table too. So all in all a good allrounder whose characteristics and qualities were best suited to British conditions.
Due to the introduction of Swiss and Nubian bloodlines into the breed to increase the milk yield, a lot of the English Goats were lost. However pockets of the old breed standard that had been bred and kept independently were initially found in Lancashire, Somerset and Dorset with similar pockets of independently bred English Goats with no known Swiss or Nubian ancestors being found in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and East Anglia.
The current English Goat Breeder’s Association (“EGBA”) was formed in 1978 and adopted the same Breed Standard as that published in 1919 by the former EGBA which collapsed in 1935. EGBA’s aim has been to revive a medium sized, resilient goat with moderate nutritional needs and reasonable milk yield from this gene pool. The Herd Book now has over 1800 entries and after 5 generations or more the English Goat is now breeding true.
The result can be seen above; a striking and elegant looking goat with really distinctive markings and masses of character!
To find out about our kids for sale, visit the Livestock page.
The Welsh Mountain Badger Face sheep have been around as long as sheep have been wandering the hills of Wales.
They are a hardy breed that in lowland conditions can achieve 200% lambs. The lambs are resilient and have a high survival rate as it doesn’t take them long to get up on their feet and moving. We can attest to this, if we don’t catch them within an hour of them being born to do the relevant checks, then it’s hard work as they can be flighty!!
There are two distinct colours of Badger Face sheep the Torddu (pronounced Torthee) which means black belly and is mainly white with distinctive black belly and the Torwen (white belly) which is the reverse colouring. It is the Torddu that we keep at Wildcroft.
The flavour of the meat they produce is really second to none and if you’re a fan of lamb then we’d strongly recommend you try some.
The Greyface Dartmoor are attracive, quiet and easily handled. They are a medium sized hornless sheep with a white face which should be mottled of spotted with black or grey. As they are descended from the longwool breeds it is optimal that they are shorn twice a year as otherwise their wool has been known to felt!! Traditionally lambs are shorn before the 1st July.
The wool from the Dartmoor is known as lustre wool and is usually used for blankets, serge, carpets and cloth.
There are currently around 3000 registered breeding ewes and as such are classified by the RBST as a minority breed.
However, they are very dear to us! In fact it was our ex-batts that got us onto this journey in the first place!
Having re-homed a few ex-bats for our allotment, we so fell in love with them that we decided to (and thankfully Jane Howorth agreed to let us!) become the Guildford Coordinators for the British Hen Welfare Trust.
Due to the fact that the menagerie has now expanded into the re-homing barn we have not been able to re-home these fantastic girls for a while!
That said, if you are looking to re-home some hens please get in touch with the BHWT and they will be able to accommodate you by linking you into another local re-homing centre. If you’re visiting this site and don’t live in the Guildford area, BHWT have coordinators located nationally so will be able to help in any event.
With their massive long bodies, long swan necks, pure white plumage, bright orange bill with flesh coloured bean and legs, together with their clear blue eyes; the Embden Goose is a striking addition to any smallholding.
It is a good bird for meat, eggs (around 15-20 per year) and as a broody. However, it suffers like the Aylesbury Duck, in that most people think that every white goose is an Embden. The Embden is in fact the tallest goose amongst it’s peers normally reaching over a metre in height.
The Gander matures at around 11-12 kg (26lbs) and the Goose around 10-11kg (20lbs). As they can sometimes run to fat, the early hatch have historically been used as birds for Michelmas.
They are best kept as a pair or flock. They can be extremely protective over their families (particularly their young), so care is advised during this time. They can also be quite aggressive towards dogs and may come off worse in the hands of an inexperienced keeper. For these reasons it is not regarded as a beginners bird.
Bronze turkeys are the product of crossing domestic turkeys with the wild turkeys. These matings produced a bird that was larger and more robust than domestic birds and tamer than wild turkeys. The Bronze was associated with Cambridge, and was called the Cambridge Bronze, but again this name has been simplified to just “Bronze”.
Beginning in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some Bronze turkeys were selected for larger size. These much bigger birds became known as the Broad Breasted Bronze, to differentiate them from the original type of bird which was bred to the breeds standard, and so was called the Standard (or Unimproved) Bronze.
Apart from the difference in size, the plumage of the Standard Bronze is usually lighter and more lustrous than that of the Broad Breasted. Both have a brown color which is highlighted by shades of copper and blue-green, and the plumage overall is very similar to that of the wild turkey.
TURKEYS AVAILABLE TO ORDER
We are offering Bronze Turkeys this year which produce a superior, succulent meat which really does offer ‘the sweet taste of tradition’ and in comparison to other meats are great value for money.
As well as buying a free range, high welfare Bronze Turkey, you can be assured that all our birds are dry picked for a superior finish and hung in a cool larder for up to 14 days to enhance the flavour. On top of that we are also adding value by including a pack of our own rare breed, free range Pork Chipolatas, a pack of our dry cured Smoked Streaky Bacon and a pop up turkey thermometer. All this included at no additional cost!
Turkeys are to be collected from the farm between 21st -24th December 2016
For all information on how to order all our Christmas fayre,
and turkey weights & prices,
go to the Order Christmas Produce page.