About Essex Pigs
Essex pigs, also known as just the Essex, were developed in the
United Kingdom. Essex pigs are popular because they are easy and cheap to keep.
The modern day Essex was developed by breeding local pigs in area
denoted in the Essex area. The original Essex, also known as the Old Essex, was
a small black and white pig. By the nineteenth century, the Old Essex was
improved by crossbreeding with imported pig breeds.
the breed had been changed, they still remained popular until the 1950’s,
especially during and after World War Two, because they retained their
hardiness and independence. In 1955, a report was released by the Advisory
Committee on the Development of Pig Production in the United Kingdom stating
that the variety of pigs throughout the United Kingdom was hampering
competition with foreign pork producers, specifically Denmark. Breeders were
then encouraged to focus on producing thelarge
white, the Welsh, and theLandrace breeds.
Because of this, the Essex pig experienced a major decline in population.
pig and Wessex pig, a similar breed, had joined together by 1918, but the
official end of the Essex breed occurred in 1967, when the studbooks of both
the Essex and Wessex were combined with that of the British saddleback in hopes
of improving breed characteristics.
It was thought for many years that the
Essex pig became extinct in 1967, but one farmer named John Croshaw had not
combined his pigs with the other breeds. This herd, known as Glascote Herd,
remained pure genetically, although it was registered as a herd of British
saddlebacks. In 1997, the Essex Pig Society was formed to help promote
education and re-establishment of the Essex breed.