-Pasture Raised Heritage Pork-
Gloucestershire Old Spot
At Hog Haven Farm we began with a specialization in the Gloucestershire Old Spot (GOS) pig and it is still our primary breed. We no longer have a GOS boar, but still maintain two sows fully registered with the GOSPBU.
The GOS is an English breed of pig named after the county of Gloucestershire. They are known for their docility, intelligence, and prolificacy, have excellent maternal skills, and an inclination to be out on the pasture feeding on green food. Their disposition and self‑sufficiency make them attractive for farmers using pasture rotation methods. They are also recognized as the oldest pedigree spotted pig in the world. Both The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal keep GOS pigs on their respective Gloucestershire estates still now today. They are regarded as thrifty and excellent foragers, supplementing their feed with roots and vegetation, and with their generally very calm and good-natured temperament, they are really the quintessential domestic pig, with respect to traditional methods of outdoor-based animal husbandry. The females are devoted mothers, while the boars seldom pose a threat to piglets or people.
Breeds like the GOS were once very prevalent, but with the advent of large scale intensive farming, certain lean, pale, "high-yield" breeds have been chosen to suit the factory conditions and needs of mass-production. Many old breeds of pig have died out or are in danger of doing so, including the GOS. There are in fact, upon last check, only about 800 total registered GOS animals in the entire USA. However, owing to increasing consumer pressure attributable to a greater awareness of and concern about factory farming conditions, pigs are increasingly being reared outdoors and marketed on a local level. In addition, more consumers are looking for a higher quality, more nutritious meat, as opposed to a cheap, bland product, and old heritage breeds well-suited to living outdoors and sustaining on pasture, such as the GOS, are increasingly being chosen by farmers, butchers, restaurateurs, and consumers more conscientious to taste, health, and environmental and animal welfare considerations.
In addition to GOS’s, we raise a variety of other heritage and hybrid-heritage breed hogs (as well as heritage laying chickens!), including Berkshire, Tamworth, Duroc, Large Black, Ossabaw, American Guinea, and more, combining characteristics to get the best of their genetics and constantly creating new and interesting offerings. Like our GOS’s, all our free range animals have been raised with care and respect and fed a regular and complex vegetarian diet; including balanced non-GMO local grains, acorns, pumpkins, produce, brewer's barley, and, of course, all the pasture and hay they desire. They are regularly given whey from a neighboring grass-fed goat cheese farm, which gives them vital amino acids and is the secret to the outstanding marbling of our otherwise very lean pasture fed meat and its flavorful fat.
We go to a great amount of time and effort to gather and supply this diet to our animals and the result is a highly nutritious, lean muscle, that is yet well marbled with a melt-in-your-mouth, deliciously yielding and healthy fat. Contact us today for current availability and pricing.
Please note that our 22 acre farm in western Goochland, VA is not *certified* organic, but we keep everything all natural. Our animals receive no chemical/antibiotic or GMO inputs and we use no chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers on the property.