My beloved pet pig Liam died last month, leaving me completely shattered. For days, I kept thinking I can not get Liam’s replacement as he was exceptional in all senses or if I am getting a replacement the other pig should be as unique as Liam.
Now that I’m beginning to understand that we all have to let go of our loved ones and move forward with our life keeping pigs in our hearts and memories, my search for a better replacement has started.
This past week, I researched and studied several unique pig breeds but this semi-wild pig breed called “Black Iberian Pigs” caught my undivided attention. Of course, I can not bring this breed home(mainly for two reasons; being semi-wild and expensive) but we can discuss this worth-discussing breed here.
Unlike Favored Yorkshire, Berkshire, Domestic Duroc, and Chester White pigs, Black Iberian pigs are rarely seen and least known probably because this pig breed is not distributed widely. Because of their semi-wild nature, Black Iberian pigs are hardly demanded as pets, they are rather kept and raised at special farms.
Judging the Black Iberian pigs from the above few paragraphs, I’m sure my reader’s interest has developed. So, let’s not beat about the bush and get into details;
History of Black Iberian Pigs
Black Iberian is the oldest semi-wild domestic pig breed that has been a source of high-quality meat since the Neolithic period, the final division of the stone age. Black Iberian pigs have qualities of both domestic and wild pigs as the said pig breed is believed to be interbred with Wild Boars.
These medium-sized Black Iberian pigs are native to the Iberian Peninsula. Besides the hometown, the majority of the Black Iberian Pigs are also living in Portugal. Portugal, for entertaining most of the black Iberian pig population, is considered their second home.
According to Research, This pig breed is not that rare but the population has majorly declined in 1960 when the African Swine Fever took the Pig world by storm. Fortunately, this 1960’s outbreak did not prove to be successful in completely flushing them off but it did decline the Iberian population.
In believed to be the country of their origin, Black Iberian Pigs are usually known as “Jabugo Pigs” whereas, in Portugal, which is said to be the second home for Black Iberian pigs, they are regarded and admired as “Alentejano Pigs”.
In some parts of the world, where this breed is known and admired, Black Iberian pigs are also recognized as “Pata Negra” or “black hoof”. Whereas for the rest of the world, Black Iberian pigs are either Iberia, black pigs, or Iberian pigs
Appearance of Black Iberian Pigs
As far as the appearance is concerned, Black Iberian pigs are fine-boned, have leaner bodies, long faces, well-defined jowls, small eyes, not-so-sharp teeth, short curly tails, dark completely hairless coats, black hooves, floppy ears, fairly long sensitive to touch snouts and legs.
Black hooves, well-defined jowls, and hairless coat are their marks of identification.
As the name suggests, Black Iberian pigs appear in darker shades of red, brown, orange, or grey that almost look black even in the bright daylight. Their hooves are usually black, a little darker than the rest of the body. Read the complete guide on black pig breeds.
Read more about 4 Red Pig Breeds You’ll Love
The Black Iberian pigs are fairly heavy, even the not-so-pampered pigs normally weigh more or less 90 kgs. Several well-kept Black Iberian pigs, right before slaughtering, were notified to be somewhere between 165 to 190 kgs(that’s impressive). The other small pig breeds remain under 100 kgs.
Typically, domestic pig breeds are noticed to be 20″ to 38″, the black Iberian pigs are medium-sized so they would be slightly taller than the regular pig breeds usually by three or four inches.
As you know the Black Iberian pigs can not be considered a “domestic breed”, the subject being discussed can be domesticated but they are semi-wild. So, they are quite less friendly and far more aggressive than the purely domestic breeds. Not confining them to a secure place would be similar to digging one’s own grave.
Black Iberian pigs might be exceptional in all cases but when it comes to health, they are no special. They can fall victim to all sorts of pig diseases including the deadly ones; Coccidiosis, Exudative Dermatitis, Swine Dysentery, Porcine Parvovirus, Mastitis, and regular coughing, sneezing, and other respiratory issues. (source)
The only health issue that is usually not noticed in any other pig breed but Black Iberians is poor eyesight.
The Black Iberian pigs can live up to four years but they are usually sacrificed at the age of fourteen or fifteen months.
Note; By the word “sacrifice” we mean slaughter, the pig keepers normally do not use the latter word, they find sacrifice more appropriate.
Facts about Black Iberian pigs
Keeping, raising, and eating Black Iberian Pigs is not illegal at all
Not sure who started this rumor and why we started believing it blindly, keeping, raising, and eating Black Iberian pigs is legal. It’s just that these pigs are slightly rare, they can only be found in the Iberian Peninsula or Portugal.
The rest of the world thinks they are not commonly kept probably because it’s illegal to confine them to a place.
In reality, Black Iberian Pig farming is not encouraged because the said breed is super expensive and it’s a blend of domestic and wild pigs.
They roam around a lot, can not live confining to a small area
Almost all domestic pig breeds are super lazy but Black Iberians are an exception. This perfect domestic wild blend is hardly seen lazing around; they instead need an open space to roam around and eat like wild animals.
Black Iberian Pigs have the most flavorful meat
In fact, the Black Iberian Pigs meat has a sweet, earthy, and floral flavor. Besides being flavorful, the Iberian meat is juicy as well. Their flavorful meat never goes out of demand.
These semi-wild pigs are super expensive
The Black Iberian pigs are quite expensive, their meat is just as expensive as well. This pig breed is prized as “the most expensive pig breed” of all. A regular pig breed can be bought somewhere between $1200 to $2000 whereas the black Iberian pigs would not be less than $4500.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Black Iberian pigs be domesticated?
Yes, Black Iberian pigs are semi-wild. Regardless of the fact, Black Iberian pigs can be domesticated but they need to be kept under special care and cells. This particular pig breed needs more space to live a balanced life.
How much does Black Iberian pig cost?
The said pig breed is super expensive, an average Black Iberian pig can be brought somewhere between $4500 to $5500.
Is Black Iberian pig illegal to eat or keep?
No, Black Iberian pigs are not illegal to keep or eat, they are rather expensive. The Black Iberian pig farming is usually not adopted because it needs more investment and the pigs are semi-wild. The small number of Black Iberian pig farms has firmed our belief that the said farming and eating this semi-wild breed is illegal.
Does Black Iberian pig’s meat taste different?
Yes, it is considered the most demanded pig meat despite being expensive, it remains our favorite. The Black Iberian pig meat is more flavorful and juicy than the regular pig meats.
Do Black Iberian pigs require special care?
Yes, their ultra semi-wild nature demands special care and special pigs cells. The average pigs need around 8 square feet to live a balanced life whereas, the Black Iberian Pigs demand one hectare of space. Their semi-wild nature kept them on their toes, they roam more, eat more, and burn more calories than the regular pig breeds.
Can Black Iberian pig live in an 8 square feet pig pen?
As these animals are dependent on humans, if they would be left with no choice but to live in an 8 square feet regular pig pen, this semi-wild pig breed would get depressed and sicken to death.
What do Black Iberian pigs eat?
Black Iberian pig’s diet is different than the regular pig breed. Black Iberian pigs can not survive on leftovers, they eat cereals, acorns, high-quality pasture to reach a healthy weight.
Where do Black Iberian pigs originate from?
The Black Iberian pigs originate from the Iberian Peninsula. The said breed is not distributed widely the entire population is confined to the Iberian Peninsula and Portugal.
Black Iberian is the oldest pig breed that is believed to be semi-wild. The said breed originates from the Iberian Peninsula. It is widely distributed in the Iberian Peninsula and Portugal. This is a medium-sized pig breed that normally lives up to four years(if not slaughtered), gains 90 to 190 kgs weight, and gets slightly taller than the regular pigs.
The Black Iberian pigs are less social and far more aggressive than the other domestic pigs, they need to be kept under strict care. The Black Iberian pigs are expensive in all senses, their meat is more flavorful and juicy. The Black Iberian meat never gets out of demand despite being expensive.
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