the river croft herd
All RIVER CROFT pigs are pedigree Oxford Sandy & Black Pigs. We keep pedigree pigs in a bid to preserve the breed from extinction and have some of the rarest bloodlines. As these are such a rare pigs, ensuring genetic diversity is important but costly.
Our boar "Angus" came from Somerset and is from the rarest boar bloodline, the Alexander, which has only 29 in existence!!
We have 4 breeding sows:
Betty Boo is from the Elsie line - she was one of our original herd and has been with us since we ventured into pig keeping. There are 30 Elsie sows registered.
Eilidh & Morag are sisters that came to us from Wales at 12 weeks old. They come from the Clarissa bloodline, of which there are only 9 registered with offspring.
Ishbel, however is from the rarest bloodline of all, the Duchess with only 4 breeding registered sows!!
As we endeavour to keep this rare breed of pig alive, we produce high quality pork from some of their offspring and encourage other crofters, farmers and small holders to breed and raise Oxford Sandy & Blacks for pork.
the oxford sandy & black
The Oxford Sandy & Black, also referred to as the "Plum Pudding Pig" due to it's markings is one of our oldest farm breeds. The breed is thought to be at least 300 years old, originating from Oxfordshire.
They are renowned for their docile, social temperament and their wonderful mothering instincts. The Oxford Sandy & Black is a hardy, hairy pig that is well suited to a free ranging life making them the perfect pig for a life on RIVER CROFT in the Scottish Highlands.
People often ask, if they are so great why are they endangered?
The answer is simple.... Supermarkets!! In comparison to commercial hybrids, traditional breeds take twice as long to grow, that's twice as much feed and labour. On RIVER CROFT we are happy to have our pigs plough and fertilise our land whilst they take their time to grow.
We enjoy our pigs - piglets are full of mischief, making sure there is plenty of fun to be had. Mums and dads are more laid back, happy to chill out in wallows, root up beasties and hang around for a good scratch from us happy crofters!!
plum pudding porkers
The welfare, both physical and mental, of our animals is our top priority. Ensuring they are happy, healthy and living their life as nature intended is what we strive for.
All of our porkers are born and raised free ranging in over-sized paddocks on RIVER CROFT. They spend their lives playing, digging, rooting around... just doing what pigs do.
We are present at their birth, ensuring their safe arrival into the world. They then remain with mum for at least 8 weeks. To reduce stress, we remove mum from the paddock when she is ready to go. Boys and girls are separated 1 month later and mixed with their cousins of similar age - they remain in these small family groups until they reach pork weight.
We are also present at the end and personally transport them on their final journey and stay with them right up until the end, ensuring that they are relaxed and no stress is suffered by them.