The Tamworth is a breed of domestic pig originating in Tamworth, United Kingdom, with input from Irish pigs. It is among the oldest of pig breeds but as with many older breeds of livestock it is not well suited to modern production methods and is listed as "Threatened" in the United States and "Vulnerable" in the UK by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust as there are fewer than 300 registered breeding females. This animal is of ginger to red colouration and is thought to have descended from wild boars, via native pig stock of Europe. Alternate names for this animal are Sandy Back and Tam.
Tamworths are considered a medium sized breed, with a full grown boar ranging from 250 to 370kg and the mature sow from 200 to 300kg. The adult length ranges from 100 to 140cm and heights of about 50 to 65cm are common. This animal is characterised by having a neck and legs that are long, and by deep sides, but narrow backs.
Tamworth pigs can be protective of their territories, thus somewhat aggressive towards any other livestock in the same pasture. This animal is very efficient at excavation while rooting for food in the forest or pasture. The breed is used in forage-based farming systems. The sows demonstrate good maternal skills, being consistent in suckling all littermates. Litters normally range in size from six to ten piglets.
Tamworths are known for being inquisitive so you need to have a good fence. The sows make excellent mothers, producing lots of milk and being docile. It makes a great free-range pig as it is suitable to be reared outdoors in all weathers. Their red colour also makes them resistant to sunburn in hot weather.
The Tamworth is considered an excellent choice for cross-breeding. It is sometimes called a bacon pig because of its ability to achieve high body mass without having much actual fat. Known current populations (breeding females) are: USA (1000); United Kingdom (340); Canada (254); Australia (55) and New Zealand (20). The breeding societies in each country consider conservation the highest priority, with a great emphasis upon record keeping.