News from the Livestock Conservancy

Saving Endangered Hog Breeds

Mulefoot Hog

Discover, Secure, and Sustain: Progress in 2015
By Alison Martin
“Three-year research initiative. The completion of this program yielded important tools for heritage swine breeders and deeply impacts our approach to swine conservation in coming years. Heritage pork has surged in popularity among consumers and chefs, and energetic breeders saw four breeds promoted from Critical to Threatened during the course of this project.

The results from this initiative include:
-Breeding recommendations for five breeds were distributed to breed associations with the effect of engaging them in deeper consideration of how to conserve genetic diversity in their breed.
-DNA analysis gave new insight into breed relationships and genetic healthy
-Carcass characteristics of eight breeds were published on the web by our partners at University of Kentucky
-An eneterprise budget and marketing plan worksheet for swine were developed and additional educational bulletins for raising heritage breed swine on pasture should be available to farmers in coming months.

Mulefoot Pig: Critical

Fewer than 200 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 2,000.

Hereford Pig: Watch

Fewer than 2,500 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 10,000.


THIS WEEK, Helder Herdwyck Farm delivered a beautiful Mulefoot Hog, which will be on our specials menu!

To arrange the opportunity to have a Mulefoot Pig featured for a short time is quite costly. Heritage breeds take longer to reach market weight than conventional breeds, and because they also produce a higher percentage of body fat, fewer of those pounds consist of marketable cuts.

Once it’s gone, it’s gone till the next time!

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