Ossabaw Island

Here on Vernal Vibe Rise, we recognize that pigs are intelligent, friendly, and curious animals–and we treat them as such. We find Ossabaws to be very personable pigs and fun to work with, even if they are sometimes more of a challenge to manage due to their high-spiritedness. They exhibit true joy when rooting or running through the woods and the community within a group of Ossabaws is often palpable. The sows are careful and protective mothers, and their piglets are hardy and exuberant. Of course, Ossabaw pork is stellar–and it is widely regarded as the gold standard for charcuterie and dry-curing.

Vernal Vibe Rise has Ossabaw Island Hogs for sale, including piglets and proven breeding stock, feeders, and USDA-inspected pork (processed at an Animal Welfare Approved facility) by the cut.

Ossabaws, as they are commonly called, were most likely introduced to Ossabaw Island (off the coast of Georgia) by the Spaniards in the 16th century. They lived without intervention on the Island for hundreds of years before various universities and historic foundations such as Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg began to use Ossabaw Island Pigs for study and demonstration.

Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste lists Ossabaw pork in its catalog of heritage foods in danger of extinction.

The Ossabaw Island website offers the following about the pigs: “Scientists have studied the island’s pigs with great interest. Recognized as an American feral breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Ossabaw hogs have been shaped in large part by natural selection. Long snouts are perfect for rooting in the island’s sandy soil. They can add 30%-40% of their body weight in fat by gorging on acorns and hickory nuts during the winter and live off these reserves during the lean summer months. Their tolerance of high levels of salt in their diet allows them to thrive on the salt marsh dominated island. Interestingly, Ossabaw hogs are also naturally predisposed to low-grade diabetes, a fact that has intrigued researchers for many years. As one of the few hoofed mammals that breed in litters, the fecundity of the island’s feral hogs is impressive. They are capable of reproducing at 6 months old. The gestation period is around 115 days (4 months). Sows can produce two litters a year and young are born year round. Litters of 8-12 piglets are common. Feral pigs are also opportunistic omnivores, feeding on whatever plants or animals they find.”

Check out American Livestock Breed Conservancy for more information about Ossabaw Island Pigs.

2 thoughts on “Ossabaw Island

  1. Esther Ivey

    Hello,
    I am a hog farmer from NC. We have purebred Chester Whites and are looking for a starter heard of Ossabaw for pasture.
    What do you have available?
    Thank you!
    Esther Ivey
    919-222-9496

    Reply
    1. Quincy Post author

      Hi Esther,
      We would love to talk more about Ossabaws. I emailed you when you first sent your message but have not heard back. I will try you on the telephone. Thanks!

      Reply

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