Updated: Nov 15, 2019
The time finally came for us to have a crack at keeping some Pigs ... so here's introducing our cheeky little Tamworth Pigs.
A New Chapter
With our experience of breeding our Rare Breed of Sheep - the "Swiss Valais Blacknose" - we felt confident that it was time for The Motley Cru here at Kenton Park Estate to open up another chapter and add to the ever-growing Tribe of Rare Breed Animals that we have here.
Having always had a fascination with Pigs, we felt their funny characteristics would be a great asset to add to the experience here when visiting the Vineyard. We're not just a Vineyard here at Kenton Park Estate!
The Search is on .....
So the search began for a suitable breed ..... it didn't take long! We ended up falling in love with the very first Pigs we went to see, a group of Tamworth's in North Devon. They were 'happy as larry' rolling in the mud and to see all the piglets running riot out in the open air was amazing. They are a beautiful Ginger Spice colour and their coats really shine in the sunlight.
The unique thing about these Pigs was their sweet smelling aroma which isn't something that can often be said about Pigs. This was due to the diet that these Pigs were fed on to really enhance the flavour of their meat ... a diet of Molasses, Figs and Prunes. The smell was just incredible.
We therefore now feed our "Piggy Cru" of Tamworth Pigs on the same sweet mix with the addition of the left-over Grapes from our Vines to enrich their diet.
We spoil our Pigs
It is a privilege to work with animals and we love to spoil our Pigs. They live a fantastic life in this beautiful area of Devon. They overlook our Vineyard with stunning views up to the Forest Ridge above our Estate.
It's good to have them right next to our Vines to help keep an eye on them for us!
So as well as our Vineyard, we now also produce superb Pork from our cheeky herd of Pigs by feeding them on a delicious diet of Figs, Dates, Prunes, Molasses & Oats and we leave them to roam outdoors and forage for other treats.
We have created beautiful surroundings for them. They live amongst our Bee Hives surrounded by aromatic Herb plants such as Rosemary. They forage on Blackberries bushes and go wild about the rosy red Apples from our Orchard which we use to produce our Award-Winning Cider (HARDCORE Sparkling Cider). Plums are another favourite when we pick them in mid-September in readiness to make our WILD Plum Liqueur.
Once we have finished Harvesting the Grapes around the end of October, then we add Grapes to their diet along with the “mush” from the Grape pressings in the Wine-making process. Nothing goes to waste here at Kenton Park Estate!
We even include Quince that grows in abundance here in the Herb Garden. So as you can imagine, they are spoilt with the diet that we feed them on.
They live a very free lifestyle ......
Your imagination could run wild at the thought of all this food being served on delightful silver platters and garnished with sprigs of our fresh Mint and Rosemary from the
Herb Garden ..... but in reality their food is served to them in a form of "scrummy mush" that our Pigs go wild about and gratefully devour at speeds you cannot comprehend.
As a special treat at the end of the Apple Harvest here around the middle of September, our Pigs are treated to a couple of days holiday in the Orchard to hoover up the remaining
Apples left lying on the ground.
Some of them like to push their luck and go on a slightly longer holiday than normal by escaping down the Front Drive to see what other treasures they can un-earth.
So as you can imagine, we have had plenty of adventures chasing after them and no doubt many more to come!
It’s a very happy environment for the Pigs who share their space with our resident Pheasants, Partridges, Indian Runner Ducks, Cou Cou Marran Chickens, our Valais Blacknose Sheep & our infamous Pygmy Goats.