Logo

Gloucester Old Spot Pigs old spot piglets

The breed originated around the Berkeley Vale area, on the southern shores of the river Severn. It was usually kept in the cider and Perry pear orchards of the area and on the dairy farms. Windfall fruit and waste from the dairies supplemented its grazing habit. Local folklore says that the spots on its back are bruises from the falling fruit. Besides its correct title and variations such as 'Gloster Spot' or just 'Old Spot', the breed is also known as 'The Orchard Pig' and 'The Cottager's Pig'. Little is recorded of the breed's development but seems to conclude that it was derived from crossing the original Gloucestershire pig - a large, off-white variety with wattles hanging from its neck, with the unimproved Berkshire, a sandy-coloured prick-eared pig with spots.

This breed is on the rare breed list as it was nearly wiped out due to marketing pressure. No one wanted the meat because it was fattier than the whites and the skin markings were not in favour. The last breeder, who saved these pigs, was even attempting to breed out the spots to make the meat more marketable. The Pig Breeders association set a ruling that if the pig had less than 5 spots, it could not be classified as a Gloucester Old Spot.

Average Life Span: 5-10 years
Gestation Period: 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days. (115 days)
Weaning Age: 8 weeks
old spot pigs
©2013 The Friends of Grimsbury Farm