Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs

Nita-with-Glouster-Old-Spot-Pig 

oldspot

OUR PIGS

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Of the thirteen breeds of commercial pigs reared in the UK, we at Leumadair decided to concentrate solely on breeding and rearing for meat and sale Gloucester Old Spot pigs,

As a matter of interest Gloucester Old Spots are the oldest spotted pedigree breed in the world and is the only breed of any species in the world to be awarded Traditional Specialty Guaranteed Status by the European Commission

This accolade was granted on 29 July 2010. (The lion’s share of the work leading to a successful EU application lies with the Gloucester Old Spot Breeds Society for their tireless work)

When we eventually settled down after our Military service we decided that we would raise a variety pedigree animals on free range, this had been decided long before we settled on Callanish, the number and type of animal was to be strictly controlled, how wrong and green we were

The first inkling we had of how wrong and green we were, was when a friend who had pigs for sale, arrived at our Guesthouse just at the end of dinner time, with two Heinz variety weeners; we had a full guesthouse and our self catering cottage was full

In our and haste we decided that decanting them onto our bottom acre would be the right thing to do in difficult circumstances, this we did with loudly protesting and wriggly little pigs, to the hilarity and not so helpful comments of our guests, the piglets then promptly disappeared down the croft not to be seen for two weeks

Leaving diminishing trails of food leading to their permanent feeding station safely lured them back.

We then ordered an Pig Ark from down south in England which duly arrived, dismantled on pallets, the fun we had putting this together in the rain was wet, muddy but hilarious

We named them Butch and Sundance who decided as they got older and bigger that the fences surrounding their field needed reorganizing, the upshot of which was free ranging pigs whether or not we liked.

There were many incidents, which caused us side breaking laughter, our Siberian Husky Pippin vying with Butch for Sundance’s affection,

Or the time when I was in our office working, the door to the house open as usual, only to be scared out of my wits when Butch decided to come into the house and nuzzled my leg, pigs can move silently when they want to

The loss of 9 or 10 of our chickens one day puzzled us after a long search they were found roosting on the cross bar in the pigs ark above the pigs, we should have known, they spent all day with the pigs as they rooted our lawns up

But eventually the day had to come for what they were bought for, it was then Nita and I realized that it isn’t that simple to deliberately send to slaughter animals that had given us so much fun and destruction, on the third attempt a crofter friend relieved us of the burden and took them to the abattoir

The day of collection duly arrived and off we trundled to collect Butch and Sundance, chin wagging all the seventeen miles to the abattoir in Stornoway.

It was at the collection bay when on seeing just how large the two pigs were together that the impact of what to do with two eighty-kilo carcasses struck us, and Oh! How to lift them

On the way home while we were discussing the making sausages, bacon, hams, the real impact of what we had let ourselves in for struck home

It was now that we had to get to work, which turned out to be very hard work.

We had purchased a commercial Mincer, Sausage stuffer, Vacuum Packer (which extracts’ air minus 0.9 of a bar) Thick freezer bags plastic gloves, plastic boxes, herbs spices etc. Oh! And a commercial smoker from the American hunting scene for the anticipated Smokey bacon

Seventeen cold hours later all was done, packed, labeled, frozen, the kitchen scrubbed clean and the light of dawn coming through the window.

We served our first sausages very soon after

Undaunted we proceeded to our next step, which was the purchase of two sows Bluebell and Bindi

 

Since those first faltering steps we have since had our first litters of pigs fathered by our local boar “Billy”

 

Bill has pretty much fathered most of the pork in Lewis

We don't stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw


 

 

Picture Framing

Picture Framing

Vegetables and Horticulture

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Bee Keeping

Bee Keeping Isle of Lewis