If you are interested in raising a hog to process yourself, then the OSSABAW is the ideal pig to raise on a small amount of land. They thrive on a grass diet with very little supplementing. These hogs graze much like a cow or horse do on coastal and native grass. This pig is the perfect pig to start raising on small property. If you are interested in producing a simple pork product for your family.....then the OSSABAW is the BEST PIG to raise on limited land and pasture.
ABOUT OSSABAW ISLAND HOGS
The Ossabaw Island Hog or Ossabaw Island is a breed of pig derived from a population of feral pigs on Ossabaw Island, Georgia. The original Ossabaw Hogs are descended from swine released on the island in the 16th century by Spanish Explorers. A breeding population has been established on American farms off the island, but they remain a critically endangered variety of pig.
As the Spanish explored the coast of the Americas in the 16th century, livestock such as pigs were often left on islands as a future food source. This was the origin of the pigs that would become the Ossabaw breed. Over the following hundreds of years, the population of these feral pigs remained isolated on Ossabaw Island, and there was very little introduction of other domestic breeds. Since 1978 the island has been owned by the State and managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a preserve.
They are widely believed to be the only U.S. breed which is descended from the Iberian-type pigs brought to North America by the Spanish.
The meat of Ossabaws is dark, with a unique texture, and is prized for resembling the jamon iberico of the black Iberian pig. It is considered to be artisanal, heritage product especially well-suited to use in pork, cured meats, and whole pig roasts.
The reason the meat of the OSSABAW is so unique is because of the natural breeding program that started 500+ years ago.
The unique qualities of the Ossabaw Island hogs do not limit their uses for traditional production. Although in the wild they are smaller than other pigs, with pregnant sows weighting less than 100 pounds, Ossabaws grow much larger in captivity. Colors include black, spotted black and white, red and tan.
It is currently not possible to import animals directly from Ossabaw Island due to quarantine restrictions. Small breeding groups of Ossabaw Island hogs, descendants of animals brought from the island during the 1970's, can be found on the mainland. Offspring of these animals are available from time to time from individual breeders.
The Ossabaw Island hog population is classified as Critical by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. The ALBC estimates there are fewer than 200 available in mainland breeding programs, although many more animals can still be found on the island itself.
Anyone interested in more information about this breed should contact the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.