Bramblebee Old Spot pigs are reared traditionally - mostly outside from farrowing to finishing, a few are brought in to open fronted buildings in the worst of the winter but the rest stay out.
We use low protein pig feed from a local mill. This is supplemented with fruit and veg we feed waist apples from our farm all winter long as well as broccoli, collies and other farm grade out that fussy super markets won't take!
Also wheat grass is fed to the pigs, grown from the Aquaponics system.
Typically, a pig gets a good happy life here and being slightly slower growing than commercial pig breeds, average cull age is 8-9 months. Sausage pigs are even longer - our oldest sow now retired is 9 this year the boys favourite but what is a Bramblebee Old Spot??
Our pigs were primarily bred from the pedigree Gloucestershire Old Spot. At one point we had East Anglian’s largest pedigree herd.
Currently we have some of our pure bred sows, but have also crossed a few to improve our pigs. Through this we have made our pigs hardier and improved eating qualities.
With the pure Gloucestershire old spots, they were suffering from a small gene pool causing several problems. Now we have happier healthier outdoor pigs but still contain the Old Spot special traits.
And some very nice tasting meat sausages and bacon.