Gloucester Old Spot Piglets

One of our Gloucester Old Spot sows has farrowed and we now have ten healthy, organic piglets.  Sows can have up to sixteen or more piglets but generally some of the piglets from these very large litters don’t survive because they cannot get enough of their mother’s milk.  So we are very happy with a litter of ten to twelve.

The piglets suckle soon after their birth and start to explore inquisitively other food available.  In the pictures below they are checking out waste cabbages and windfall apples from our organic garden and orchard.  Pigs thrive on a varied diet eating purchased organic cereals, fruit and vegetables, but they also “root” in the soil eating the plants roots and acorns or beech mast that they turn up.

Pigs have a good appetite and will get fat if overfed, hence the slang expressions (used of humans!) “pigging it” or “pigging out”.  What is really unfair is our use of the expression “like a pig sty” because, unless they are seriously overcrowded, pigs are very clean animals, keeping separate areas for feeding, sleeping and other activities.

Meanwhile our young piglets are enjoying the early autumn sunshine and feeding well!