Our Rare Breed Animals are raised with the utmost care, attention and respect. We ensure that their natural living environments are how they live now, keeping them as happy as possible during their stay at Belmont Estate.
To make sure their lives are as comfortable as possible, we aim to recreate their natural environments, and give them the best possible standard of life possible. We understand the importance of animal welfare, and think that keeping our animals safe, secure and happy is the key to our success.
We rear rare breed pigs that spend their lives foraging in our ancient woodland. Our pigs live a happy and fulfilled life foraging for themselves in the woods and supplementing their needs on a diet of organic produce. They are raised in small family groups as they would be in their natural environment and are kept in traditional outdoor surroundings for the entirety of their lives ensuring they enjoy fresh country air each and every day.
We raise a variety of rare breed pigs including Oxford Sandy & Blacks, Hampshires and Kune Kunes. As well as being great conversationalists, they are all hardy breeds that thrive in their outdoor environment (not that this prevents them from snuggling up together in their shelters every once in a while)!
The “meat” produced from our free range rare breed piggy friends has an exceptional flavour and texture – direct results of happy lives, exercise and a nutrient rich, organic diet in the woods.
As breeders, and members of the Rare Breed Survival Trust, we sell weaners on an “as available” basis.
Oxford Sandy & Blacks or “OSB’s” as we fondly call them, are a traditional rare breed of pigs that almost went extinct twenty years ago. Luckily, rare breed farms have saved the breed and they are now increasing in popularity. Our Oxford Sandy & Blacks have lovely temperaments and are extremely outgoing, inquisitive pigs. They make excellent mothers and are simply beautiful creatures to look at. Perhaps, unfortunately for them, the meat from OSB’s is intensely flavoursome and much less fatty than other traditional breeds.
Hampshires are an impressive and much larger breed of pig (they certainly look enormous when compared to the Kune Kunes!) They are characterised by their erect ears, black bodies and a whitish pink band that completely covers their front legs. The Hampshire pig originates from Wessex and is often cross bred with other rare breed pigs due to its reputation for producing lean meat. Our Hampshire boar is worthy of special mention – a fearsome yet handsome looking beast, he has (when he has eaten) a wonderful friendly temperament and likes nothing better than to wander over for a chat.
Kune Kunes are small rare breed pigs originating from New Zealand. They are the smallest domestic pig breed in the world and are born in a wide variety of colours.
Kune kunes are extremely loving animals and thrive on a diet almost wholly made up of foraged grass. Due to their friendly temperament and love of human company, they make great pets. Really! Our own Kune Kunes will (literally) roll over at any opportunity in the hope of having their bellies scratched! Sadly for the Kune Kunes (and for us, as parting is never easy), they do also make delicious sausages. Their meat has a delicate sweet flavour, which is further complemented by the additional organic ingredients in our special Belmont sausages.
Often seen skipping happily and freely across the pasture, our flock of rare breed sheep always bring a smile to our faces. They are environmentally friendly lawn (and grass) mowers and we keep different rare breeds to tackle different grasses. Another reason for having such a variety of breeds is our general love for sheep, we simply can’t decide which we love the most! Rather like the pigs…
Despite our ewes being purebred, our meat is cross-bred. Candidly, Harry the Poll Dorset ram is not selective! Luckily for Harry (and for us), rare cross breed meat is delicious and is also highly sought after. We offer lamb and hogget meat boxes available on an “as available” basis so please do contact us if you are interested in purchasing any.
These are a hardy hill breed that also make excellent mothers. Our Whitefaced Woodland sheep are good-looking animals with impressive horns and thick fluffy white coats. The breed originates from The Pennines and is listed as a rare breed as only 900 breeding females are registered.
Norfolk Horns are a medium sized sheep, long in leg and body with narrow fore-quarters. They are extremely alert and active in character and possess strong maternal instincts and excellent foraging abilities. They have strong horns with dark legs and dark faces and are a breed mainly raised for meat.
Zwartbles are an elegant breed of sheep with a dark, almost black fleece. With their striking appearance, hugely friendly nature and lively character they are a firm favourite at The Belmont Estate.
These are also an exceptionally friendly breed and are always the first to come and say hello at the gate! They will happily be hand fed and welcome a stroke on the back. Their coats make beautiful rugs due to their soft wool and incredible colouring.
Poll Dorsets are especially popular for their ability to breed year round, something our Poll Dorset ram Harry seeks to prove on an ongoing basis! They are a larger, hardy breed that provide larger quantities of meat and adapt easily to new surroundings.
With their rich red and tawny coats and ruggedly handsome looks, our Devon Ruby Red herd are a wonderful sight wandering across the luscious green Belmont pasture. They fit in so perfectly to the Belmont landscape there’s definitely a sense that they were always meant to be here.
Our Ruby Red calves are not separated from their mothers, instead growing up together as part of the herd as they would in their natural environment. The Ruby Reds are entirely grass fed with grass they have foraged themselves on the expansive pasture. If additional feed is required, their grass fed diet is topped up with haylage produced from the estate.
Our cows munch their way through eating a wide variety of wild grasses, clover, shrubs, and herbs, each with its own nutrient profile, meaning the meat from these animals is nutrient rich. Because of the diverse, natural diet of grass fed cattle, grass fed beef is high is omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids and also has been shown to contain higher levels of vitamin B, Beta-Carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K and magnesium.
The marbling in grass fed “beef” is different to that found in the meat of grain fed animals. Our Ruby Red beef has extremely distinctive marbling, creating an intense, rich and delicious flavour.
If you’d like to know more about our rare breed livestock at The Belmont Estate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch
Our Ruby Red herd roams freely across the Belmont pasture and enjoys a long and happy free-range life. Like all of our animals, our Devon Red Rubies are slow grown to natural maturity in line with our ethical views on animal welfare.