Gloucester Old Spot Pig
The Gloucester Old Spot is a black and white breed that is predominantly white in colour. In recent years, selection has been towards less black and now only a spot or two are usually found. The breed also has a heavy drooped ear.
Gloucester Old Spots originated in the Berkeley Valley and have not spread widely from their native home. 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 Gloucester that was of an unattractive dirty white colour.
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.
Gloucester Old Spots are said to be good foragers or grazers. This is not surprising considering the type of feeding practised 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.
A Gloucester Old Spot breed society was formed in 1855. And while it has never become a dominant breed in its native country or in any other country, it has had an influence on the world's swine production. There is little doubt the breed contributed more than just some influence on the colour pattern to the Spotted breed in the United States.
The stuffed old spot in the photo can be seen in the Folk Museum
More information about these pigs can be found at www.oldspots.com
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