[From the Dublin Penny Journal, Vol. 1, No. 9, August 25, 1832]
"A good stock, and valuable breed of swine, are of great benefit and importance to the farmer, as they consume offal and other matters, which would otherwise go to loss: even from the refuse of a good garden a number of pigs may be fed. Brewers, distillers, millers, dairy-keepers, may keep them to great advantage. In Ireland the pig is an invaluable animal to the peasant, where potatoes are grown in such abundance; and the small land-holders look to them as a great assistance towards the payment of their rents.
Some breeds are highly valuable compared with others, as being easily fed and fattened, and in respect to the quantity of meat they will return for a given quantity of food. Some breeds would fatten where others would remain starvlings. The Berkshire breed is one of those most approved of (although not large) for the before-named qualities. The old Irish breeds are hard to be fed, particularly those with long legs, and ears hanging over their eyes, so as to prevent them from seeing, or their eyes from being seen. Where they have been crossed with the Berkshire, they have been much improved, but breeders should not follow crossing beyond one generation. Two Berkshires will fatten on the keep required for one of our large Irish breed, there being none that will thrive on less food than the former. They are easily known by the colour, which is a tawney white, spotted with black: their legs are short, and their bones small; they are very hardy and will live all the Summer well on grass, by turning them out well rung, or with the two strong tendons of the snout out with a sharp knife, to keep them from doing mischief, and they will come in well conditioned, so you need do little more than harden the flesh that is upon them, as soft pork or bacon is not only bad for eating but the worst economy.
Cobbett, who is excellent authority on rural affairs, says that a pig cannot be fattened too highly; in this he is certainly right, where the bacon is required for hard-working labourers; but over-fat bacon is not generally approved of at the tables of the affluent; firm, clear, and moderately fat, being more esteemed by such. Oats, pease, or barley meal, must be given at least for three weeks before killing, to harden the flesh. Boiled or steamed potatoes, bran, offals, &c. will answer previously.-Lambert's Rural Affairs of Ireland.