Oaklands Pigs - Sharing our Expertise
Clare & Robin welcome you to the Oaklands Pigs website
Oaklands Farm is a working farm on the Kent/East Sussex Border, near Tunbridge Wells.
We started keeping pigs over 20 years ago, mostly raising weaners for the freezer before starting breeding from our own stock.
We run Pig Keeping courses from March to September.
In early 2005 we replaced our many assorted pigs with new pedigree saddleback breeding stock, the foundation of our saddleback herd today. We now have 6 different bloodlines of Saddleback sows, some of which are now quite rare and 2 boar lines.
Apart from these, we have examples of many of the other traditional pigs, including Old Spots, Large Blacks, Tamworths, Oxford Sandys, Landrace, and Kune Kune. We have also kept Middle Whites, Welsh, Berkshires and Mangalitzas in the past. We have around 20-30 adult breeding stock at any one time.
So between us we have many years of experience of buying, keeping and breeding pigs, and offer friendly advice to those new to pig keeping, or those thinking of moving on to breeding pigs.
Here at the farm we have set up a number of different environments in paddocks, woods, and barns with an assortment of styles of fencing and numerous varieties of arks, so that the newcomer can see all the possibilities and decide which would be best for their own set-up.
Being a small farm, we can take the time to discuss and help you choose your pigs, and give help and advice on setting up and all aspects of pig keeping.
For disease control purposes, we do not hire any boars from this farm, or accept sows for mating.
We are not able to offer any vet student or work experience placements, as there is very little maintenance required for our outdoor herd.
11 chefs came to Oaklands pigs yesterday to see how we rear our pigs, and find out about the differences between commercial pigs and rare breeds.
They met the sows in the field and saw how rare breed pigs are raised, and how this improves meat quality amd taste.
We discussed lots of technical foody things like muscle texture, intra-muscular fat, and the effect of stress on meat.
They also got the chance to cuddle 2 week old piglets.
On Tuesday 16th May, Oaklands Pigs hosted a school visit from the pupils of St Ronans School in Hawkhurst. A dozen, mostly girls aged 8-10 years, attended the morning session and the afternoon was filled with boys aged 10-12 years.
The pupils were taken around the paddock and woodland pens and met all 7 of our breeds here. As our pigs are well handled and used to course visitors they behaved impeccably when faced with a bank of very hands-on children. They also didn’t even mind the children getting in and sharing their arks, to see what it was like being a pig.
As it was a very warm day, the pigs also demonstrated how they use their wallow and tried to share some of the mud with anyone who stood too close. The pupils asked lots of questions and had a very interactive and hands-on time. The highlight for some was being able to hold a 3 day old piglet and lots of pictures were taken.
The sessions rounded off with the pupils being allowed to help with the training of the oaklands gundogs, throwing retrieves, and directing them to find tennis balls in the field.