We have had a number of different breeds of pig on the farm over the years. For many years we had the Wessex Saddleback, a fine traditional breed once very plentiful in this area.
We have now decided to concentrate on Gloucester Old Spots because of the excellent flavour of their pork.
Gloucester Old Spots are so-called because of their colouring and because of their ancient breeding. The pigs are white with one or more black spots. They are said to be the oldest defined breed in the world. There is a picture of a Gloucester Old Spot sow from 1834 in Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery.
In the old days they were sometimes referred to as Orchard pigs or the Cottager’s pig because they were often kept in apple orchards or in pens next to their cottages by farm labourers.
The pigs are prolific foragers living off roots, plants, fruit and nuts alongside their other food. Our Gloucester Old Spot pigs live in the open, sleeping in arks in paddocks in woodland, or in open fields as part of our rotation cycle. The animals are allowed to mature slowly and naturally so that our pork and sausages are tasty and succulent.