Each and every pig that is slaughtered at César Nieto S.L. is directly controlled by the Nieto family, and what they look for and ensure are the main characteristics that distinguish the Ibérico Pig:
Here below we will briefly explain the 3 factors involved so as to understand the particular characteristics of the products obtained from the Ibérico Pig.
In as far as the breed is concerned, it is worth mentioning that there are several varieties included in the Ibérico Pig.
This is the breed group with the highest proportion of fat. These animals have a faster rate of growth with excellent carcass production. There are then two sub-types, Lampiña and Entrepelada.
In the Colorada variety we find three sub-varieties: Rubia Campiñesa, Retinta Extremeña and Manchada de Jabugo (Blond with black spots or dark grey spots, in variable sizes and irregularly distributed).
From amongst the red coloured varieties, we have the Retinta, which is the most highly extended one. This variety has a reddish layer with a sparse coat. This breed is well adapted, with an excellent capacity for growth and good carcass production, and with a greater proportion of muscle in comparison with other Ibérico varieties.
This is a synthetic strain created from two Spanish lines and 2 Portuguese lines. These are taller animals, which are more resistant and with a great prolificity rate due to the hybrid vigour that results from its origin.
The Ibérico Pig goes hand-in-hand with the wooded meadowlands. Husbandry is executed under extensive regime. The Ibérico Pig breed has its origin in the subgenre Mediterraneus, which in turn is of African origin.
The meadowlands, which is where this pig free-ranges, are wooded Mediterranean climate areas, where species such as the Quercus (oak) are to be found, which produce Acorns, in particular the Holm Oaks, Cork Oaks and Quejigo (Portuguese Oak). In these meadowlands there is also an abundance of Chestnut Trees and Algarrobo (European Carob Tree). On occasion, when rainfall is abundant, these meadows turn into grasslands, which is the ideal grazing ground for the pigs.
In the ecosystem of the meadowlands we also find grass and stubble fields that form an ideal part of the maintenance diet of the Ibérico Pig during the spring and summer, with the Acorns (fruit of the Quercus, Holm Oak) taking over in the fall and becoming the most important stage in the breeding of the Pig, which fattens up on this diet throughout the fall and winter.
The pig fattens up during the Montanera period, which ranges from October through to the months of January, February and March, by when they reach a weight that exceeds 165 kg, at a minimum age of 14 months. Daily consumption of Acorns stands at about 6 to 10 kg, along with grass and other natural resources they find in the meadowlands.
The diet in the case of the grain fed animal is based on grains, wheat, soy, corn and barley. This animal is slaughtered throughout the year, once it reaches a minimum age of 10 months and weight of 155 kg.