Large Black Pig: Characteristics, Origin, Breed Info and Lifespan

large black pig breed characteristics, lifespan, history and other information

In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about the Large Black pig breed.

You will also get to know about the history, characteristics, lifespan, and the best environment for the Large Black pig.

More importantly, this article will give you vital information that will help you to decide whether to get the Large Black pig breed for your farm or not.

Also, in this article, you will find good reasons why the Large Black pig is the best for you and the disadvantages of having them around or on the farm.

I guess you may have a lot of questions to ask about this pig breed.

So, I have gone ahead to provide answers to most of the frequently asked questions about the Large Black pig breed.

Without further ado, let’s get the full information about this pig breed.

Learn about pig farming here: How To Start Commercial Pig Farming Business [Complete Guide]

What is a Large Black pig?

The Large Black pig is the only domestic breed of pig from the United Kingdom that is completely black in color.

Just as its name implies, Large Black pigs are very big in size than most other domestic pigs and they are obviously black in color.

They also have long tails than most other pigs with deep elongated body structures.

As a result, they look heavily built and are very meaty with more weight than other typical pig breeds.

Their short nose and a pair of big and long ears reaching their nose and even covering their eyes make them very easy to identify. 

Large Black pigs are generally warm, approachable, and easy to relate with.

Hence, they are an extremely friendly breed of pig known to be of good behavior.

People who raise Large Black pigs commonly do so for the purpose of producing meat and milk.

The milk production is because they have remarkable mothering skills.

That means they produce enough milk so that they can feed their young ones well.

I am sure you must be loving this breed already… you bet I am!

Without confusing words, let’s talk about the origin of these Large Black pigs.

Large black pig breeds - agro4africa

What is the origin and history of Large Black pigs?

Large Black pig originated from the United Kingdom and was linked to the old English hog.

They were created by crossing the black pig populations of Cornwall and Devon in the Southwest with those of Kente, Essex, and Suffolk in the Southeast.

As a result, other names for the Large Black pig are Cornwall black, Devon, Large Black hog, or Boggu.

The Large Black pig was one of the most popular English pig breeds during the late 1800s

In the early 1900s, they became notable heritage breeds that are valuable for export to different countries around the world.

Unfortunately, their population declined rapidly after World War II.

The cause of the decline is the fact that farmers no longer cared about the quality of pork, instead, they wanted more quantity.

Large Black pigs performed poorly in intensive systems than many of the pigs at that time, hence, they faced extinction in the late 1900s.

As consumers began to show more interest in pork of really good quality again, their total numbers are slowly rising.

What are the characteristics of Large Black pigs?

What you will find below are the observable features of the Large Black pigs.

Enjoy as you read to the end.

Physical characteristics of Large Black pigs

1. Size: 

These pigs are gigantic in size and that’s how they earned their name ‘Large Black pigs’.

They look stocky with a well-built long body structure.

2. Colour: 

Large Black pigs are heritage breeds well known for their black color.

They are the only unique breed of pig from the United Kingdom that are completely black in color.

This black color protects the pigs from the sun but in turn, black color absorbs more heat.

Thus, the Large Black pigs need a water bath, a place to wallow and regulate their body temperature as they don’t have sweat pores for that.

3. Head: 

Large Black pigs have large heads with big jowls but not too much.

Even with their big-looking heads, they are very intelligent animals.

4. Body:

They have stout bodies bigger than other breeds of the same age.

Large Black pigs have an average body weight between 270kg-320kg for matured sows and 320kg-360kg for matured boars.

5. Ears:

They have big and long ears, which are lopped reaching the snout and easily covering the pig’s eyes.

Even though their ears are floppy and cover their eyes, the Large Black pigs still always find their way around.

6. Weight:

No doubt this breed is a large size that reaches remarkable market weight in recorded time.

So, if you are looking for a splendid breed of pig with a good weight then the Large Black breed is a must-have.

7. Snout:

The Large Black pig breed has a broad and short nose that is very sensitive to smell

Sometimes, they use their snout to navigate their way as their ears tend to obstruct their vision.

8. Teeth:

Their teeth arrangement is just like that of every other pig.

As an omnivorous animal, the teeth are arranged with the molar far behind, then the premolar, canine, and incisors in front.

9. Tusks:

They have quite small tusks which are usually smaller in the boars than the sows.

10. Hooves and claws:

Pigs walk on their toes using their hooves connected to a strong leg to support the body weight.

Large Black pigs have a cloven hoof just like the other pigs.

11. Tail:

The Large Black pigs have long tails which they use in driving away flies.

Intrinsic characteristics of Large Black pig breeds

12. Behaviour:

Large Black pigs are breeds of very good behavior with an extremely friendly characters.

They are caring animals, mindful of their environment, and with great maternal instincts and skills.

This breed is Intelligent pigs and very easy to instruct.

13. Climate adaptability:

They are breeds of pigs well suited for both hot climates and cold climates.

Their dark skin color protects them from the hot sun and its rays and they find shades to be when the weather is hot.

Also, their long black hair protects them from cold weather conditions during cold times.

14. Growth:

It takes 5-6 months for a Large Black piglet to mature.

They have a fast growth rate and gain good weight right before sexual maturity.

15. Compassionate:

Pigs are intelligent and emotional creatures too.

Large Black pigs have such a friendly and extremely docile nature.

As such, they feel excitement, happiness, pain, and depression as the case may be.

They feel pity and feel sorry too, as they are compassionate companion breeds. 

16. Breeding/Reproduction:

Large Black are pigs prolific pig breeds.

A single sow can give birth to as many as 8 – 10 piglets in a litter.

On some occasions, she may even get as high as 13 piglets.

17. Large black pig meat quality:

Large Black pigs produce good quality meat known for being flavourful and tasty.

Their meat is not as tender as those of the Berkshire pig breeds, but they sure are tasty and succulent porks too.

Quickly, let’s read good reasons why the Large Black pigs are just the pig you must get.

Why choose Large Black pigs?

1. They are ideal for a wide range of climatic changes:

These hardy breeds of pigs with their black skin can do very well in a wide range of climates.

As of 1935, the Large Black pigs had been exported to over 30 different countries.

That’s because they are breeds of pigs that thrive in both hot climates and cold climates.

2. Large Black pigs are hardy animals with good behavior:

They are rugged animals that withstand basic stress and fatigue and do not fall sick easily.

Also, the Large Black pigs are known to be a well-behaved group of pigs.

3. They are docile  and extremely friendly animals:

Large Black pigs are interactive with their environment, other animals, and the people around them.

They are sensitive and teachable pigs with a very friendly attitudes.

4. Large Black pigs feed on almost anything and are excellent foragers:

They thrive and produce the best quality meat when they are left on an extensive farming system with enough chance to forage around.

Pigs eat waste, leftovers, grains, vegetables, fruits, insects, and worms.

They are well capable of rooting for their own food in a pasture.

5. The Large Black pig is good for meat production: 

With a large size and massive weight, the Large Black pigs are just the most splendid heritage breed for meat production purposes.

Their pork is of a high-quality grade with good flavor, no excess fat and it is delicious.

6. They multiply easily:

The sows of the Large Black pig give have large litter.

This means that they produce a good number of piglets in their litter when they are well-fed and taken care of.

More importantly, they need good care, attention, and food.

The sow farrows twice a year after carrying her pregnancy for 111-115 days.

7. Good mother and strong maternal instincts:

Large Black pigs are really good at taking care of their young ones on their own with little supervision from their owners.

At the birth stage, they need attention, preparation for the piglets, and supervision during farrowing.

After which they do excellent jobs in protecting and caring for their piglets.

8. Large Black sow possesses superior milking ability:

With such good milk-producing breeds and remarkable maternal skills, her piglets have a higher chance of surviving.

Moreover, they are employed by small-scale dairy farmers who put them on particular diets so that they can produce milk of reliable quality for consumption.

large black pig breed with many piglets

What are the disadvantages of rearing Large Black pigs?

If there is anything that is going to discourage you from getting this breed, then it will include the following.

1. Large Black pigs do get clumsy sometimes:

Due to their enormous size and floppy ears that tend to cover their eyes, they might get clumsy.

2. Their big size discourages pet owners from acquiring them:

The size of the Large Black pig can be very intimidating.

Even though they are intelligent, docile, and extremely friendly many people don’t keep them as pets.

3. They require lots of space;

If you don’t have enough space for the pigs to forage and feel at home, then don’t bother getting them.

The Large Black pigs do fantastically well mostly in extensive farming systems than in very tight spaces.

4. Large Black pigs are now scarce heritage breeds:

This pig breed is now scarce because farmers don’t want to raise them because of space requirements.

Only a few small-scale farmers raise this breed of pig across the globe.

What is the lifespan of Large Black pigs?

How long your pigs will live depends on their environment, genetic makeup, lifestyle, and of course the kind of feed they have access to.

The life of a Large Black pig that is well taken care of is about 12-20 years.

What is the habitat and environment of Large Black pigs?

Contrary to the option that pigs are dirty animals that love a dirty environment.

Pigs are actually animals with clean personalities and a good sense of decency.

Large Black pigs do excellent in extensive farming systems than others.

They require a lot of space so that they can easily flex their big body structure.

Frequently Asked Questions About Large Black Pigs

Are Large Black pigs good for meat?

One of the things Large Black pigs are notable for is their ability to produce good-quality meat.

Their large size and weight make them a good breed for meat-producing farmers.

Can Large Black pigs be trained as pets? 

They are intelligent and entertaining animals, with extremely friendly characters.

Large Black pigs are very good companions to have around if you don’t might their stocky look as they mature.

What are Large Black pigs known for?

These heritage pigs are known for their top-notch milk and meat production.

What do Large Black pigs eat?

They are omnivores that feed on both plants and animals and their products.

Pigs will eat almost anything when kept on free range and left to forage.

Large Black pigs will root for all kinds of insects, worms, grains, fruits, roots, and vegetables they find around.

How fast do Large Black pigs grow?

They reach maturity as early as 5-6 months and keep adding weight profusely.

The Large Black pigs have a rapid growth rate and weight gain.

How big do Large Black pigs get?

The large white males always weigh more than the females.

A Large Black sow size 270kg to 320kg which is about 600-700 pounds.

Large Black boar weighs about 320kg-360kg or 700-800 pounds on average.

Are Large Black pigs good for crossbreeding?

Yes, they are. They are frequently crossed with breeds like the large white pig, Yorkshire, and middle white to produce become and pork pigs.

Crossbreeding is done to produce a vigorous hybrid in pork commercial production by farmers.


Now that you know so much about the Large Black pig, what decision are you going to make?

Are going to get this pig breed for your farm?

What is the most interesting thing about the Large Black pig breed that you like?

Please, leave a response in the comment section below and learn


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  1. Kings S Gondwe says:

    I have learn just a lot and I’m being encouraged. The information about large breed has helped me in the Sense that now I know some of what i need to put onto consideration as I’m planning to extend my piggery farming production. Thanks.

    1. Mbazu Chibuzor says:

      You are welcome, Kings. I wish you success in your piggery farming extension.

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