The Gloucestershire Old Spot is a large breed of pig, is white in colour with a minimum of one distinct black spot. It has large lop ears which will almost cover the face of a mature pig. The Gloucestershire Old Spot is regarded by farmers as a hardy breed of pig able to cope with most conditions. The breed also has a reputation as an excellent forager.
History of Gloucestershire Old Spots
Gloucestershire Old Spots originated in the Berkeley Vale area on the southern side of the River Severn and were originally kept in orchards, which earned them the nickname “The Orchard Pig” and also the old wives tale the black spots on their backs are bruises from falling apples!
The Gloucestershire Old Spots Breed Society was formed in 1913 and up until recent times has suffered from relatively low numbers.
Recently though the Gloucester Old Spot is becoming increasingly popular due to its reputation for high quality meat production.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot was the first breed of any species in the world to be granted Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status by the EU Commission which recognises the unrivaled quality of its meat.
Gloucestershire Old Spot Characteristics
The Gloucestershire Old Spot has many advantages and is often chosen by smallholders who want to keep pigs.
The Gloucestershire’s docile nature makes it a great choice for first time pig keepers and also something worth considering for larger pig farming operations.
The breed is also one of the most hardy around meaning it can live all over the UK even where extreme temperatures and weather patterns are experienced.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot is also a very milky breed and makes a great dam. In many cases, sows will continue breeding at a greater age than many other breeds and hybrids.
Finally Gloucestershire Old Spots provide amazing quality pork and bacon – there is a huge demand for the high quality meat produced by this breed of pig. Many experiences pig farmers that employ good management tehcniques can produce good quality carcasses without excessive fat coverage.
The Breed Standard for all Gloucestershire Old Spots is as follows:
- Medium length.
- Medium length and slightly dished.
- Well set apart, dropping forward to nose, not at the sides, nor thick nor coarse, not longer than nose.
- Medium length with jowl little pronounced.
- Fine but not raised.
- Long and level; should not drop behind shoulders.
- Deep, well sprung.
- Very broad.
- Deep, presenting straight bottom line. Belly and flank, full thick, Well-filled line from ribs to hams.
- Long and wide with thick tail set well up.
- Large and well filled to hocks.
- Straight and strong.
- Must not show coarseness or wrinkles.
- Silky and not curly. No mane bristles. Not less than one clean decisive spot of black hair on black skin. Black should not predominate.
- Straight, with a minimum of fourteen sound, evenly spaced and well-placed teats starting well forward.
Gloucestershire Old Spot Pig Gallery
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