Iron Age pig

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British Iron Age figures of pigs or boars

The Iron Age pig is a hybrid between a wild boar and a domestic pig meant to recreate the type of pig represented by prehistoric art works of the Iron Age in ancient Europe. The project started in the early 1980s by crossing a male wild boar with a Tamworth sow to produce an animal that looks like the pig from long ago.[1] Iron Age pigs are generally only raised in Europe for a specialty meat market, and in keeping with their heritage are generally more aggressive and harder to handle than pure domestic pigs.[1]

Breeding of Iron Age pigs has occurred naturally in Australia, with populations of feral Eurasian wild boar breeding with domestic pigs that have either escaped or where there is reasonable access between populations, as these subspecies freely hybridise. The appearance and temperament of the wild boar is dominant, and after three generations of cross-breeding, most domestic characteristics have disappeared. Prior to closure of the meat export market, Australian hunters with the appropriate qualifications and certificates sold "Iron age pig" meat to be exported to specialty meat markets in Russia and Italy.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McDonald-Brown, Linda (2009). Choosing and Keeping Pigs. Firefly Books. ISBN 978-1-55407-469-3.