Large Blacks Hanging Out

Large Blacks Free Ranging

Fergus, our Sire Bull.

Large Black Heritage Hogs

Here at Parham Pharm we raise and promote the Heritage breed of Large Black Hogs.  These wonderful hogs are a docile breed known for their fine meat.  They are also known for their mothering instinct and large litters. the Large Black is listed as endangered by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  The Large Black Hog was originally imported into the United States during the 1950s.

We sell breeding stock to other families who wish to start their own breeding program.  Registration of the animal is available to each buyer based on their desire.  If they only choose to raise their own high quality pork registration is not required.

Our butcher animals are sold whole to the customer and they choose the packaging plant and cuts of meat desired for their families.

We chose Registered Large Black Hogs after conducting extensive research and finding them perfectly suited for our goals of a healthier, tasty, low fat pork product.  They are also known for their docile behavior, large litters, mothering instincts, and ease of birthing. 

We follow the British Pig Association Standard of Excellence as guidelines for our stock.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Large Black, occasionally called the Devon or Cornwall Black, is a breed of domestic pig native to Great Britain, particularly Devon, Cornwall and Essex. The Large Black is accurately named, as it is a large swine breed and is the only British pig that is entirely black. It is a hardy and docile pig, with Large Black sows known for having large litters. The breed's foraging ability make it particularly useful for extensive farming.

The Large Black combined local black pig breeds from the West Country and the East of England. With the founding of a breed association in 1898 or 1899, variations between the types from the two areas decreased. The Large Black was popular in the early 1900s and was exported to many areas of the world. Population numbers declined after the Second World War as farmers turned to breeds more suitable to intensive pig farming, and by the 1960s the breed was almost extinct. Numbers have slowly risen, but it is still considered vulnerable by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, The  Livestock Conservancy, and Rare Breeds Canada.


The Large Black resulted from the amalgamation of black pigs from two geographically separate areas, Devon and Cornwall in the south-west of England, and Essex, Suffolk and Kent in the east.  The pigs from eastern England, mainly Essex, were influenced by importations from China in the late 18th century, while those from Devon and Cornwall were probably more closely related to the pigs in mainland Europe, particularly France. The Devon pigs were originally selected for "the length of their bodies, ears, noses, tail and hair, the longer the better, without reference to quality or substance", but selective breeding brought improvements to the breed, and by 1850 the type was small-boned and thick-bodied, with good conformation and constitution. Alternative origins proposed for the black color of the breed are black Guinea hogs imported from Africa (similar to the Guinea Hog of the US) or from Neapolitan pigs.


The Large Black is notable for its very large ears, which often obscure its vision.

The Large Black is a long, deep-bodied pig, well known for its hardiness and suitability for extensive farming. Large Blacks are best suited for pasture-based farming due to their strong foraging and grazing ability, which efficiently converts poor quality feed into meat. It is the only pig breed in Britain to be all black, and this helps protect the pig from sunburn in sunny climates. Temperamentally, the Large Black is a very docile breed which is easily contained by fencing. This is partly because its large, drooping ears obscure its vision, although they also help to protect the face and eyes while the animal is foraging, especially when rooting in dirt.

The breed is also known for its long periods of fertility and strong maternal instincts. Sows give birth to a large litter of 8–10 piglets, but some sows have been known to have litters of up to 13 piglets. Also of note is the Large Black sow listed in the Guinness Book of Records for having produced 26 litters between 1940 and 1952 – the largest number of litters ever recorded for a pig.[10] Boars weigh 700 to 800 pounds (320 to 360 kg) and sows around 600 to 700 pounds (270 to 320 kg), although obesity in sows sometimes results in cystic ovaries and a loss of fertility. The breed has become larger over the years; in the early 1900s, weights averaged 500 pounds (230 kg) for sows and larger for boars.  At its peak of popularity, the Large Black was used mainly for meat production, especially bacon. The meat from the Large Black is known for its lean quality and flavor without an excess of back fat, but for commercial production it was often crossed with the Yorkshire and Middle White pigs, producing a vigorous hybrid that was well regarded by farmers. However, today commercial processors do not favor the black skin of the purebred Large Black.

Conservation Status:

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy estimated the Large Black population of the United States at 300 breeding hogs in 2008, and lists its status as "critical", which means that fewer than 200 animals are registered each year in the United States, and there are estimated to be fewer than 2,000 worldwide. The US population of Large Black pigs stood at around 300 as of 2008. Besides conservation for the sake of genetic diversity in livestock, the breed is also coming to be seen as a good option for fulfilling the needs of an increasing number of consumers interested in pasture-raised pork.  Rare Breeds Canada identified the single remaining Canadian herd in 1997, and has since included the breed on its conservation watchlist as "endangered", with fewer than 500 of the animals in that country.

Irish Dexter Cattle

The native Dexter originates in southern Ireland and raised by small land owners.  They are an extremely hardy animal and adapt well to cold or hot climates.  Originally imported to the United States between 1905 to 1915.  They are well suited for small land owners due to their smaller size and gentle nature.  They are dual purpose breed, beef and milk.Beef animals mature in 18 to 24 months and result in small cuts of high quality lean meat, graded choice, with little waste. The expected average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef is slightly darker red than that of other breeds.

We sell our beef whole to the customer and they choose the packaging plant and cuts of meat desired for their families.

We also sell breeding stock when available.

We chose Registered Irish Dexter Cattle for a multitude of reasons after extensive research. 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Dexter cattle are the smallest of the European cattle breeds, being about half the size of a traditional Hereford and about one third the size of a Friesian (Holstein) milking cow. They were considered a rare breed of cattle, until recently, but are now considered a recovering breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. The Dexter breed originated in Ireland.

History and description:

The Dexter breed originated in southwestern Ireland from which it was brought to England in 1882. The breed virtually disappeared in Ireland, but was still maintained as a pure breed in a number of small herds in England. The Dexter is a small breed with mature cows weighing between 600–700 pounds (270–320 kg) and mature bulls weighing about 1,000 pounds (450 kg). Considering their small size, the body is wide and deep with well-rounded hindquarters. Although usually black, a dark-red or dun Dexter is sometimes found. They are always single-coloured except for some very minor white marking on the udder or behind the navel. Horns are rather small and thick and grow outward with a forward curve on the male and upward on the female. The breed is suitable for beef or milk production, although individual herd owners often concentrated on growing either one or the other.


Dexters are classified as a small, friendly, dual-purpose breed; used for milk and beef. However they are often listed as a triple-purpose breed, since they are also used as oxen. Management practices vary by breeder and by country. Their versatility is one of their greatest assets, and probably has something to do with the number of countries Dexter cattle are found, including North America, South Africa, Australia, and much of Europe.

Beef animals in the US are expected to mature in 18 months and result in small cuts of high quality lean meat, graded US Choice, with little waste. The expectable average dress out is 50 to 70 percent. The beef produced by Dexters is well marbled and tends to be darker.

Dexters produce a rich milk, relatively high in butterfat (4%) and the quality of the milk overall is similar to that of the Jersey. Some claim the milk is more naturally homogenised than other milk due to the smaller fat globules. Dexters can reasonably be expected to produce 2 to 2.5 gallons (7.6 to 9.5 litres) per day.

The cows are exceptionally good mothers, hiding their calves almost from birth if there is any cover for them to hide. They will produce enough milk to feed 2–3 calves, and often will willingly nurse calves from other cows. They are known for easy calving. This trait, along with the small size of the calf, has produced a small but growing market in the United States for Dexter bulls to breed to first calf heifers among the larger beef breeds to eliminate problems at parturition.

Dexter Cattle and Large Black Hogs

These are the animals we chose as our base stock for the Parham Parham.  Our focus is on Heritage Cattle Breeds, Dexter Cattle and Large Blak Hogs, raising them in a natural, chemical free environment.  No steroids, growth enhancements, herbicides, or pesticides.  A healthier choice from our farm to your table.  Parham Pharm pork and beef will a vote for health, humane animal treatment, and back to our roots in agriculture.