A Pig's Life, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Pigs and Acorns on the Portuguese Quinta

The acorns are falling in abundance here in Portugal; some are eaten by birds and small mammals, but they make an amazingly tasty treat for the quinta’s resident pigs! Portugal and Spain are renowned for acorn fed pigs, as it is supposed to enhance the flavour of their meat (ssh, don’t tell the pigs!). Pigs are fattened up with the flavoursome acorns, a traditional method also used in the UK, and known as Pannage. This ancient woodland tradition is mentioned in the Doomsday book, where pigs were and still are released into  forests to root for these nutrient rich ‘Oak nuts’.

The foraging frenzy takes place in woodland areas such as the New Forest and benefits the free roaming cattle and horses, which could be poisoned by the bitter tannins in acorns; no problem for the strong stomach of the pigs though, as the acorns lower the pig’s bad cholesterol and increases their good cholesterol. The ham from acorn fed pigs also takes on a delicious unique nutty flavour. Bellota (Acorn) ham is the world famous Spanish delicacy produced from acorn fed pigs which forage for the acorns. A few minutes of foraging in the woods resulted in a huge bag of acorns, which we sprinkled around the pig enclosure for the two quinta pigs to seek out and enjoy.

Off to Feed the Pigs Acorns, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central PortugalThrowing Acorns to the Pigs, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central PortugalFeeding Time, Acorns for Breakfast, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central PortugalPig Enjoying an Acorn Treat, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central PortugalPigs on the Quinta Rooting for Acorns, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

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Post Author: Topsy Turvy Tribe

Paul & Andrea ex-pats escaping the rat race with Chaos (aged 4) and Mayhem (aged 2) along for the adventure.

10 thoughts on “Pigs and Acorns on the Portuguese Quinta


    (October 1, 2017 - 7:34 am)

    Hi, how interesting! I know the free-roaming local chickens taste so much better than supermarket ones, which I imagine is down to diet too. You have got me fancying a nice piece of acorn-fed pork, but don’t tell the pig!


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    (October 1, 2017 - 8:17 am)

    I love the one of the pig eating. Great detail! #MySundayPhoto
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    John Adams

    (October 1, 2017 - 8:24 am)

    I’m really taken by the B&W image at the end. Don’t know why, but that really is my fave! The pig just seems at home in monochrome. #MySundayPhoto
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    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    (October 1, 2017 - 8:55 am)

    Somethings are the same there and here. Our pigs adore the farm acorns tumbling down now too.Lovely photos as always.

    darren coleshill

    (October 1, 2017 - 10:35 am)

    I love the pig photos, that black and white one is my favourite

    Thank you for linking up
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      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (October 14, 2017 - 7:08 pm)

      Thanks Darren, black and white always makes scenes look timeless I think


    (October 1, 2017 - 1:25 pm)

    Who knew acorns were so healthy for pigs! Fab shots. Hope you didn’t get hit on the head with an acorn when taking your action shot! #MySundayPhoto.
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      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (October 14, 2017 - 7:06 pm)

      Acorns are definitely a piggy revelation! Luckily I was a safe distance away using the nifty 50mm lens!


    (October 1, 2017 - 6:52 pm)

    I had no idea they used acorns like that to fatten pigs up. Love the photos, they really do love them don’t they?

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (October 14, 2017 - 7:05 pm)

      Oh my gosh it’s amazing how much they love the acorns, they just munch through a bucketful in seconds and save you a fortune on pig feed!

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