Gloucester Old Spots
We started breeding Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs on the farm here in 1972. We feed them on what is positively their favourite food which is whey from our cheesemaking operations. They thrive on this drink and develop a ‘whey bloom’ to their body condition. When outside in the orchards on the farm they graze the grass like cows. Conditions at Hunts Court must suit them because they are prolific breeders. Recently our senior sow produced 17 live piglets!
The breed is the oldest recorded spotted pig breed with pedigree records dating back to the 19th century. The breed originated in the Vale of Berkeley, where Double Berkeley cheese also started, and is reported to be the result of crossing Gloucestershire and Berkshire pigs. They are also known as the Gloster Spot, Old Spot as well as Cottager's and Orchard Pigs.
They were traditionally kept in cider and perry orchards in the area, and also on dairy farms as at Hunts Court today and their grazing diet was supplemented by windfall fruit and whey from the dairies. Folk law says that the spots came from bruises from the falling apples!
The breed is renowned for being of docile temperament and hardy, as well as making excellent mothers; litters from 2-3 year old dams can frequently be 15+ piglets. The meat from the Old Spots is always in demand, due to its excellent flavour and high quality.
The Gloucestershire Old Spots pig is the only breed of any species in the world to be awarded Traditional Speciality Guaranteed Status (TSG).
Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders Club