Livestock farming: The Iberian pigs are raised and fattened in the estates belonging to the company until they are over the necessary weight and age, when animals are loaded in a special truck (a vehicle adapted and authorised for the transport of the cattle) and then they are ready to depart to Guijuelo.

Transport: The best moment to begin the trip is at dawn so that the temperature is the lowest possible. The arrival to the slaughter house must be well co-ordinated. Once the truck is empty, it must be cleaned and disinfected in an exhaustive way. When they leave the truck, Iberian pigs are submitted to an analysis the moment in which they enter into the slaughter house and after that, by the veterinarian of the slaughter house. It is very important that there are not mixed batches of animals in the same truck.

Slaughter: Once the animals are unloaded, they rest for 18 to 24 hours before being slaughtered. This is very important because if the animals are slaughtered directly after the stress of the trip, the quality of the meat is worse and also the slaughter is more difficult.

After the obliged rest comes the slaughter, which consists of different stages: stun; bled; scalded; depilated, singed and flagellated; emptied and marked.

Splitting: The parts of the pig are separated manually in our factory. Hams and shoulders are branded, corresponding to the week of their slaughter. This is done in approved cutting plants with guarantee of hygiene. They are then transferred to the salting chamber.


The Iberian pig is a breed adapted to the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula and this natural habitat spreads over this zone and is formed by the pasture and woodland, which consists of oak-forests (technically the family Quercus or Quequicias).

The pastures of dense and closed forests are those that provide major abundant and quality food to the pigs. These Dehesas are formed by several Quercus’s species: the oak, the holm oak and some others. Under these trees there is a lush growth, particularly grass of different kinds, which also forms a part of the diet of the pig.

Most of the pastures of the Peninsula are located in Extremadura, covering 40 % of its total. It is followed closely by Andalucía with 38 %, whereas in Castilla la Mancha the pastures account for 14.4 % and in Castilla and León a little over 7 %.

Guía Ibérica La Dehesa


The major or minor production of acorns depends on environmental factors (a good autumn, with profusion of rains; absence of frost, wind … etc.), though also of human factors by means of the “desmoche” and the “olivado”.

The “desmoche” consists of cutting off the old branches of the tree; whereas the “olivado” consists of selecting the new branches that grow 4 or 5 years after the cutting. The “desmoche” is carried out every 14 or 15 years whereas the “olivado” every 6 or 7 years. This is done to preserve the guides or the principal branches that remain, with the aim of reaching their longest length at the top and that they develop horizontally, thus allowing the appearance of new branches.

The farmer must estimate if the production of acorns is good or low (what is known as “aforamiento of the montanera”), and depending on this prepare the process. An oak produces approximately 20 to 25 kg of acorns, with approximately 50 oaks per hectare.

A good season of acorns implies a large amount of rain that allows the growth of the grass that stimulates the appetite of the animal. The acorn is usually ripens from October – February depending on the zone.


The Iberian pigs form, together with the pastures, a symbiosis between the animal and the wild, since the pigs take advantage of all the natural possible resources without any artificial added element. The season of the “Montanera” begins at the end of October, coinciding with the All Saints’ Day, and continues until the first days of February.

During a little over the 3 months that the winter lasts, the acorns fall from the oaks and it is when the Iberian pork moves from tree to tree, exercising daily from dawn to dusk.

The animals are grouped, and they weigh between 7.5 and 9 “arrobas” (between 85 and 100 kg) when they begin the “montanera”. On occasions they are accompanied by a couple of people, named “vareadores”, entrusted with monitoring and supervising the suitable utilization of the “montanera” for the whole group, without excluding any member of it, at the same time that they shake the trees with special rods for the remaining acorns to fall.

Guía Ibérica La Montanera


Guía Ibérica Proceso de la Montanera

First of all the steepest zones and the most difficult areas are crossed, taking advantage of the fact that the animal is strong and agile. The “vareador” proceeds to make the acorns in the tree fall, assuring in this way an immediate consumption of them. The flat zones and the ones with easy access are reserved for the last phase of the “montanera”, when the pigs have already put on weight and it is hard for them to move easily.

In normal conditions, always depending on an autumn with abundant rain for the formation of the acorns, the Iberian pig will be able to put on weight up to 1 kg daily, increasing its weight of entry by 4 or 7 “arrobas” (from 45 to 80 kg). It is considered to be ready when the animal reaches a weight of 14 to 16 “arrobas” (from 160 to 180 kg).

Once the period of the “montanera” is completed, the pigs fed on acorns will be taken to the slaughter house. The rest of the year, due to the fact that the acorns only grow in winter, the Iberian pigs that live in freedom (or Iberian field fodder pigs) are fed on natural pastures, roots and on cereals.

The pigs that do the “montanera” are the maximum quality ones, and its products are the most coveted among the most demanding palates.

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