I'm getting excited to send the last of our Goucestershire Old Spot pigs to butcher. Andrew of Slim Pickins' Pork will be taking this one and preparing some very interesting products. I'm sure he will detailing it all on his blog found here.
He looks like he's ready to go, the pig that is!
These are old unimproved lard hogs. The meat is intensly marbled and has been called "silky".
Anybody want to guess his weight?
I find these pigs to be timid and very reluctant to move to new surroundings. I think it's because of the ears obstructing their view. Our Tamworth pigs are much more at ease and seem to see much better as they have erect ears.
Here's some information from the Dept of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University.
Gloucestershire Old Spots originated in the Berkeley Valley region of England and have now spread throughtout the UK. The origin of the breed is unknown but is probably from the native stock of the area along with introductions of various breeds. In 1855, Youatt and Martin mentioned there was a native stock in Gloucestershire that was of an unattractive dirty white color.
The Old Spots are among the large size pigs in England. At one time, they were called the Orchard Pig because they were partially raised on windfall apples and whey - waste agricultural products of the area.
Gloucestershire Old Spots are said to be good foragers or grazers. This is not surprising considering the type of feeding practiced in the original home of the breed during its early development. The sows of the breed are known for large litters and high milk production. Prolificacy and milk production have been characteristics sought by practical producers everywhere.
These pigs are listed as critically endangered on the American Breeds Livestock Conservancy website.