Wally - The Red Wattle Boar
Wally, our Red Wattle, is easily recognizable due to his reddish hair and the wattles (skin flaps) hanging from his cheeks. He looks like he has some incredible sideburns. The wattles are a single gene characteristic and usually pass to crossbred offspring clearly letting you know who the poppa is. 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. That is a big pig!
Red Wattle hogs are known for hardiness, foraging activity, and rapid growth rate. Their active foraging makes them a good choice for consideration in outdoor or pasture-based swine production. They produce a lean meat that has been described as flavorful and tender. The sows are excellent mothers, farrow litters of 10 – 15 piglets. They have a mild temperament and gentle nature which 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 Wattle Hog.”
During the early 1980s, a boom time in the hog market, both breeding and market hogs brought a premium. The Conservancy’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. To date, they are on the Livestock Conservancy’s list as threatened.