We are THE NEW ENGLAND BOAR COMPANY.
And we are very proud of what we do.
The New England Boar Company was founded by us, Jim and Vicky, in November 2015. At this point we will explain to those who are not so local that New England is in fact a small village on the Essex/Suffolk border, it’s closest town being Haverhill. Jim grew up in the wood which was planted by his grandfather after the Second World War and in 2013 the wood came into Jim’s ownership. Driven by a passion for ethically produced local food, we decided to do something entirely different and after two years of planning, research and fencing and two years of discussions with the local authorities, The New England Boar Company was at last up and running.
It certainly hasn’t been without its’ challenges but steeled by a burning desire to bring these amazing and misunderstood creatures and their unique products further into the public realm, we refused to give up.
Here at the New England Boar Company, animal welfare continues to be our absolute priority. Happy, healthy boar make quality products and whilst we are but a small enterprise, we take great pride in our husbandry and the trusting, respectful relationship we have with our boar.
In early 2016, we formed a strong working alliance with Marsh Pig, an award- winning British charcuterie company based in Norfolk. We believe our boar deserve the best so we found them the best British charcuterie producer. And because our boar get first class treatment, so too do our customers. We are always happy to provide any information regarding our products and their origins which are fully traceable. (Photo on left courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org)
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The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa).
Our boar originate from both Central and Eastern Europe. They are 100% pure-bred and display all the typical signs of pure bloodlines such as long, straight noses, high shoulders sloping to angular hindquarters and straight tails with a tassle on the end, unlike specimens cross-bred with domestic pigs (to improve temperament and meat yield) which may show a curly tail, dished snout, coat blemishes such as white patches, light-coloured feet and pink skin on the nose.
Our boar are very social animals, living in a ‘sounder’ (family group) with a strong matriarchal structure. They are not naturally aggressive and tend to display their less desirable behaviours only when they or their young are threatened and because their behaviour is seldom understood, wild boar often fall victim to negative human interactions and bad press. Their fearsome reputation has earned them a place on the Dangerous Wild Animals list, requiring keepers to hold a license which we have gone to great lengths to obtain.
The New England Boar Company endeavours to recreate the most natural environment possible and our wild boar are always free to forage and act out their natural behaviours among the seasonally bountiful woodland comprising of beech, pine, oak, sycamore, sweet chestnut and apple trees. In the wild, they are found on the woodland margins, enjoying all that the open spaces have to offer such as grasslands but within easy reach of the shelter of the woodland where they retire for safety and rest.
The New England Boar Company is licensed under The Dangerous Wild Animals 1976 to farm wild boar. The licensing procedure involves adhering to a rigorous set of rules regarding the safekeeping of a Dangerous Wild Animal. Potential licensed premises should be fenced with a large perimeter fence of specified height and construction, along with a robust internal electrical fencing system. The farm and it’s structure are then inspected by the local council and an appointed veterinary surgeon for safety and suitability. The license is granted based on the criteria in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 being fully satisfied. The process can be somewhat challenging and anyone wishing to seek advice on such matters should feel free to call us using the contact details on this website.
Wild boar are very slow to mature to slaughter-weight compared to their domesticated relatives. The average domestic pig will be ready to be kill between 4 and 6 months. Wild boar usually take around 18 months to reach slaughter-weight, which of course means there are considerable additional costs to keeping the wild boar.
Wild boar generally have smaller litters of “squeakers” than the domestic pig, especially younger sows. An average wild boar litter may only consist of 4 or 5 squeakers as opposed to a domestic pig which may have 8 or more piglets. This means that producing wild boar in larger quantities presents its’ challenges, especially for small-scale farmers such as ourselves.
We always allow our wild boar to roam freely in large woodland paddocks within a large perimeter fence. The paddocks are rotated and rested to allow for regeneration of the vegetation and the soil. The wild boar never enter a building unless they choose to use their purpose-built arks to shelter from the worst of the elements and we maintain low stocking densities to promote natural behaviours and contentment. We interact with the wild boar daily to inspect them for health and wellbeing as well as to satiate their appetite for a good fuss!
Sadly, there comes a time when our little darlings must become salami and it’s always a real wrench to part with something you have built a relationship with over the previous 18 months. Due to the unpredictable, nervous and potentially dangerous characteristics of the wild boar, most conventional abattoirs do not accept wild boar alive. For this reason, The New England Boar Company is approved by the Food Standards Agency for the on-farm slaughter of the wild boar. Whilst it is not the most pleasant of tasks for us, we are in fact pleased that our boar don’t have to endure the transportation and the slaughterhouse- a process which would stress them greatly because of their nervous nature. So in fact, it works much better for them and that is tremendously important to us as farmers. Full-circle is completed and it starts and ends with us, just as it should, guaranteeing the highest quality, stress-free meat. However, in accordance with the law, the carcasses are transported to a slaughterhouse where they are put through the various standard processes to ensure they are safe to enter the human food chain.