We are passsionate about our animals and the food that they produce. You can rest assured that the meat you are buying is pure Gloucester Old Spot from our own home bred herd of pedigree pigs and not from two different breeds that have been "crossed". Many producers call their meat Rare Breed but cannot specify it comes from a pedigree animal, as they have "crossed" two different breeds.
It is essential that our animals live as natural a life as possible and are treated with the respect that they deserve. A very popular word at the moment is "Free Range" but we like to look after our animals better than that. There seems to be many definitions of "Outdoor Reared" and the reason we call our pigs "Outdoor Reared" is because when mum is ready to give birth (farrow) we bring her in from the fields, where she has been "free ranging", so that she can have her babies in a safe, warm, dry, secure, peaceful environment with plenty of fresh straw and water. Mum and babies have access to outdoors so that they can continue their normal behaviour and we can watch over them. Then at 8 weeks of age when the piglets are weaned they and mum all go permanently back to the fields into their dedicated paddocks, where they can "Free Range" to their hearts content. NONE of our pigs are "intensively reared". So in our opinion fancy words mean nothing, it is the actual way you care for your animals that is important.
For a traditional breed of pig like our "Old Spots" it takes at least twice as long to reach maturity than a intensively reared animal, which is why the pork from Rushey Hey Farm tastes so good. All our animals mature at their own pace and I have to say, make a merry mess in the fields whilst they do it, digging and rolling and sunning themselves.
When the time comes we take them to our local abbatoir personally to ensure that they are fully cared for right to the end. We have found that without doubt a happy, healthy animal produces an excellent quality meat. At Rushey Hey Farm our happy, healthy animals provide us with excellent meats and out of respect for them we make sure we use them nose to tail, top to toe.
It is extremely important to us that people are made aware of where their food comes from and what is involved in producing it. So with this in mind we encourage our customers to talk to us about what we do, at the Farmers Markets and events that we attend. Please feel free to ask the farmer or producer questions when you visit Farmers Markets or food events, as that is what a Farmers Market is all about. You have the questions and we have the answers.
Old Spot Facts
The Gloucester Old Spot is the oldest spotted pedigree breed in the world
Old Spots are easily managed as they are placid and very laid back
Old Spots are tough and hardy which makes them an ideal outdoor breed
The most expensive British pig was an Old Spot
Old Spots are prolific dams and make excellent mothers
It is well known that the best tasting bacon and pork is from
Gloucester Old Spots