Originating in the United States, Red Wattle hog is a breed of the domestic pig, known for its lean, tender, and flavorful meat. It is named for its red color and distinctive wattles attached to each side of the neck. They usually come in a variety of shades of red, some with black specks or patches. They have a slim nose, a slightly arched back, and upright ears with drooping tips. Red Wattle hogs are quite famous because of their hardiness, foraging activity, and rapid growth rate. Although Red Wattles are minor breeds in terms of numbers, they are starting to gain some traction with chefs and food critiques around the country.
Red Wattle Pig Trivia
- Red Wattles are excellent mothers, with a litter size of 10-15 piglets.
- The average adult weight for Male is 340kg and 250kg for females.
- Red Wattle Pigs are very intelligent.
- They have 44 teeth when full grown. Just like a human, they have enamel coating that makes their teeth stronger and helps it curb disease.
- Their lifespan is between 9 and 15 years.
- Red Wattle Pigs do not sweat a lot; that’s why they cover themselves in the mud to keep their bodies fresh.
Sow: A female adult red wattle pig.
Boar: Male adult wild pig.
Wattle: A colored fleshy lobe hanging from the head or neck of the pig.
Litter: Sibling group from the same farrowing.
Hog: Domesticated pig, especially one over 120 pounds and reared for slaughter.
Piglet: Very young swine.
Slaughter: Butchering of livestock for market.
Carcass: the dead body of an animal.
Stunning: Rendering animals prior to slaughtering them for food.
Red Wattle Pig Buying Guide
When buying Red Wattle Pig, choose the meat that has a pinkish-red color because it will provide a better eating experience. Look for a cut that has marbling, or small particles of fat for added flavor. Avoid choosing meat that is pale in color, any meat that has dark colored bone, and has liquid in the package.
Red Wattle Pig Production & Farming in Texas
Raising Red Wattle Pigs is one of the most accessible sources of meat and money for the homesteader. They just need a place to graze and forage, food and clean drinking water, and a place to wallow, and sleep.
These breed of pigs are fast for their size, but they’ll still need protection from predators. Most of the farmers use homestead fencing made of hog panels, or cattle panels, electric fencing, barbed wire, or a combination of these. Lines and no trespassing signs will not keep them where they belong. These pigs will keep on rooting without noticing they’ve crossed over your property or invaded your neighbor’s yard.
The breed of Red Wattle Pig 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. According to reports, He bred two red wattled sows with a Duroc boar; then, he bred the wattled offspring back to the original sow. Over the years, he developed what became known as the “Wengler Red Waddle Hog.”
Slaughtering Red Wattle Pig:
Hogs are slaughtered at approximately 108 kilograms or 240 pounds and yield carcasses weighing about 76 kilograms.
Before slaughtering, deprivation of water or food, rough handling, exhaustion, and other forms of stress should be avoided. It can lead to undesirable effects on the meat produced from the pig
Once restrained, the pig is stunned to ensure a right end with no pain. This will also result in decreased stress of the animal and superior meat quality. The most common methods of stunning hogs are electrical, and carbon dioxide (CO2) gas.
After that, they undergo an extensive cleaning procedure using a tank of water that is between 57 and 63 °C (135 and 145 °F) to loosen hair and remove dirt. The carcasses are then placed in a de-hairing machine, which uses rubber paddles to remove the loosened hair.
Pork carcasses are usually divided into two sides before chilling, and each side is divided into four lean cuts plus other wholesale cuts.
Enjoying Red Wattle Pigs
The meat of Red Wattle Pig was incredibly tender, exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture, and a very pleasing flavor. It is an excellent match for spicy, bold recipes, which makes sense since it was initially bred in New Orleans. It’s known for its foraging abilities, letting some growers raise them as truly pastured livestock.
Meat should be packaged appropriately to prevent spoilage, drying out, or freezer burn. The whole sub-primal is often vacuum packed as soon as they are removed from the carcass and will have a long shelf life when kept in the original vacuum packaging.
The temperature must be maintained at 0°C to 2°C. It is considered the safest temperature to hold meats and preserve moisture and flavor. The water freezes at 0°C; however, meat freezes at about -2°C.
Because of the higher fat content of Red Wattle Pig, it’s hard to overcook it. For maximum tenderness, lean cuts like pork tenderloin and chops should be just slightly pink when served. For more significant, tougher cuts, a low-oven-temperature, a moist-heat method such as braising and long cooking time is recommended.
With flavor-packed pork like the Red Wattle Pig, time is the main ingredient. If you don’t have time for the different cuts, throw the chop on the grill with a little salt and pepper, and finish in the oven. Keep it simple, and don’t overcook it.
Tip: If time is limited, select smaller quick-cooking cuts such as pork chops, cutlets, cubes, or strips. For holidays or if you have several other dishes to prepare, choose more substantial, slow-cooking cuts that require little attention such as roasts.
Being high in protein and rich in many vitamins and minerals, the meat of Red Wattle Pig can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
Red Wattle Pig is mostly made up of protein. The protein content of lean, cooked pork is around 26% by fresh weight. When dry, it can be as high as 89%, making it one of the richest dietary sources of protein.
Like other types of meat, Red Wattle Pig is mainly composed of saturated fats and unsaturated fats, present in approximately equal amounts. The proportion usually ranges from 10–16% but can be much higher depending on the level of trimming and other factors.
Vitamins and Minerals
Red Wattle Pig is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, including:
Thiamine: One of the B vitamins that play an essential role in various bodily functions.
Selenium: The best sources of this essential mineral are animal-derived foods, such as meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products
Zinc: A vital mineral, zinc is necessary for a healthy brain and immune system.
Vitamin B12: It is essential for blood formation and brain function. Deficiency in this vitamin may cause anemia and damage to neurons.
Vitamin B6: It is essential for the formation of red blood cells.
Niacin: Serves a variety of functions in your body and is vital for growth and metabolism.
Phosphorus: It is essential for body growth and maintenance.
Iron: Absorption of meat iron from your digestive tract is very efficient, and pork can be considered an outstanding source of iron.