G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

Pigs

Here at G.F. Ranch, we love our pigs! We have 2 red wattles, Boss & Lulu, who just had their first piglets.  Now we have an additional 11 bundles of joy!

Learn about The Red Wattle Hog.
The Red Wattle is a large, red hog with a fleshy wattle attached to each side of the neck. The wattles have no known function. They are a single gene characteristic and usually pass to crossbred offspring. The Red Wattle comes in a variety of shades of red, some with black specks or patches, and red and black hair. Some individuals are nearly black. The head and jowl are clean and lean, the nose is slim, and ears are upright with drooping tips. The body is short coupled and the back slightly arched. Mature animals weigh 600-800 pounds, but may weigh as much as 1200 pounds and measure up to four feet high and eight feet long.
Red Wattle hogs are known for hardiness, foraging activity, and rapid growth rate. They produce a lean meat that has been described as flavorful and tender. The sows are excellent mothers, farrow litters of 10 – 15 piglets, and provide good quantities of milk for their large litters. They have a mild temperament.

Red Wattles adapt to a wide range of climates. Their active foraging make them a good choice for consideration in outdoor or pasture-based swine production. Their gentle nature recommends them to the small-scale, independent producer.

The origin and history of the Red Wattle breed is obscure and many hypotheses have been put forward. What is certain is that the breed, as it is known today, was derived from the large, red, wattled hogs found in a wooded area of eastern Texas in the early 1970s by Mr. H.C. Wengler. He reported breeding two red wattled sows with a Duroc boar, then breeding the wattled offspring back to the original sow. Over several generations he developed what became known as the “Wengler Red Waddle Hog.”

In the early 1980s Robert Prentice located another herd of red wattled hogs. This line became known as the Timberline, named after its wooded origins of east Texas. He combined these with the Wengler Red Waddles to create the Endow Farm Wattle Hogs.

During the early 1980s, a boom time in the hog market, both breeding and market hogs brought a premium. Crosses with the Red Wattle inherited a leaner carcass and showed good hybrid vigor. Three organizations served as registries for Red Wattle hogs and over 100 people were involved with Red Wattles. The breed, however, has never been supported by an active breed association. In the mid-1980s the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy facilitated a meeting of the breeders, encouraging them to unify their efforts to benefit the breed. The breeders preferred to continue with the three registry system. ALBC’s 1990 census reported 272 purebred registered offspring. In late 1999 Jerry Russell began to search for Red Wattle hogs and found only 42 breeding animals belonging to six breeders. None of the three registries had registered stock in years.

Although Red Wattles are very minor breed in terms of numbers they are really starting to gain some traction with chefs and food critiques around the country. They even won a blind taste test going up against Berkshires, Duroc, a Tamworth/Chester cross, Ossabaw Island, and a Sam’s Club special. It seems that they are starting to catch on all across the country, from Seattle to the Northeast.

Here at G.F. Ranch we are working to preserve the breed and bring delicious Red Wattle Pork back to the table.


One response to “Pigs

  1. […] are an heirloom pig and have the sweetest dispositions.  To learn more about our pigs, read this page. We have numerous friends who had shown interest in wanting to buy a pig and have us raise it due […]

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