Gloucestershire Old Spot

Gloucester Old Spot credit Simon Tupper

Key Characteristics

The Gloucestershire Old Spot is a hardy breed able to cope with most conditions. The breed has a reputation as an excellent forager. Average Litter Size in 2009 was around 9.06 piglets and the breed is known for having good maternal instincts. The breed is also known for having a very gentle nature.

History

  • The Gloucestershire Old Spots originated around the Berkeley Vale on the southern shore of the River Severn and was frequently kept in orchards.
  • The Breed Society was formed in 1913 and the breed and since the 1920s has survived on low population numbers until quite recently.
  • Now the breed is becoming increasingly popular due to its reputation for high quality meat production.
  • The Gloucestershire Old Spots was the first breed of any species in the world to be accorded Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status by the EU Commission in recognition of the special qualities of its meat.

Appearance

  • Gloucester Old Spots are broad, deep bodied pigs.
  • Sows weigh around 280kg, boars 350kg. 
  • They are white in colour with distinctive black spots and large, lop ears.

Uses

Meat

The Gloucestershire Old Spot is renowned for the quality of its meat and is a dual purpose breed suitable for pork or bacon production.

Did you know?

Because the breed has often been kept in orchards, it has earned the nickname of “The Orchard Pig” and the legend that the black spots are bruises from falling apples!

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

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