- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616084367
- ISBN-13: 978-1616084363
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 8.6 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,727,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Illustrated Guide to Pigs: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them Hardcover – September 1, 2011
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About the Author
Celia Lewis started her art career studying life and portrait charcoal drawing with Signorina Simi in Florence. She has taken part in group, private, and national exhibitions and has won several prizes, including the 2005 Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour (RI) medal. She lives in England.
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Though you will get a brief paragraph about each breed's origin and breeding, and Ms. Lewis will consistently let you know the country of origin, what she considers the pig's "type" , size (small, medium, large), the kind of ears they have (erect or lop), and a word about their character (docile, friendly, lively, temperate, etc), she does not define any of her terms so you will have no idea how big a "large" or "small" pig is, or what a "temperate" personality is like compared to docile or friendly one.
Her categorization of the pigs into "type" is also confusing. She indicates many pigs are raised for "pork", as opposed to "lard" or "bacon" and this seems fairly straight forward. However, she also indicates some are raised for "meat". Well, how does this differ from "pork"? The use of "type" is further confused by using terms like "feral" and "pet". For instance, the Ossabaw Island Hog is listed as a "feral" type (presumably meaning it was not directly developed by man, but gained its traits through natural selection). However it has a "friendly" character and produces top quality flavorful pork and would make "an excellent exotic breed for the hobby farmer"(per the introductory paragraphs). So, why not list it under "pork" like she does the Wild Boar, who surely developed in the same way in nature yet is so "wild and fierce" in character that they are "totally unsuitable subjects for the novice pig keeper". Folks who love the taste of KuneKune and Vietnamese Potbelly pigs will be surprised to find that both of these pigs are listed as "pet" types, instead of for their meat or lard (the purpose for which they were raised in their countries of origin).
Finally, as Ms. Lewis' descriptions are hit and miss, you will not consistently be told from one animal to the next whether the breed is known to be good mothers, cold hearty, or good foragers, nor how many piglets to expect. In short, this book does not provide you with enough information to select a particular breed of pig, but it does provide some delightful illustrations and will wet your appetite for the idea of having pigs.