Hooters Hall

Posts Tagged ‘Pigs’

Farm Gate Sales & British Lops

We’ve been selling our rare breed pork at the farm gate and online since February and so far the farm gate sales are going really well. After a flurry of sales over the sunny bank holiday weekend last week we’ve sold out of all of our Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages and burgers. So to keep up with demand we’ve sent our two British Lops gilts off today. We should have the first of the British Lop sausages, burgers and pork ready towards the end of the week so if you fancy some get your order in quick at the Hooters Hall Farm Shop  http://www.hootershall.co.uk/

British Lops were originally from around the Tavistock area. The breed are one of the rarest and is classed as vulnerable by the Rare Breed Survival Trust with just 200-300 registered breeding females in Britain. The only other two breeds with such low numbers are the Large Black and Middle White. The extinction of rare breeds of livestock is a very real risk, we’ve already lost several breeds of pig such as the Cumberland, Lincolnshire Curly Coated, Ulster White, Dorset Gold Tip and Yorkshire Blue.

 As with all rare breed livestock the way to protect them from extinction is to get people eating them again so if you do decide to try some Hooters Hall British Lop burgers and sausages you’ll know that you’re doing your bit to save one of our rarest pig breeds.

Our Lops we’re very easy to manage generally calm and docile. Overall they are an excellent smallholders pig. If you’re interested in finding out more about the British lop have a look at the breed society website  http://www.britishloppig.org.uk/ and facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/British-Lop-Pig-Society/501872219877200?fref=ts

For more information about rare breeds the RBST website  https://www.rbst.org.uk/

And this is what a British lop looks like (they do get a lot bigger)


No lambs, lots of snow

A week of obsessive, compulsive sheep watching and no lambs yet. The two ewes with prominent udders look about ready to pop and have developed a distinctly triangular shape from behind. The other ewes are younger and have longer tails so it’s a bit harder to get close enough to see what’s happening with their udders.

Part of the reason for lambing at the end of March / start of April was that we hoped the weather would be better than in January/ February. Obviously this weekend that turned out not to be the case when we, like most of the rest of the country  were hit with blizzards and icy gales. For most of yesterday the snow was falling horizontally. We woke up to a decent covering of snow but it’s already started to melt so hopefully will be gone by tomorrow. It’s still bitterly cold though especially in the wind.

We decided to keep the sheep out. They don’t seem to bothered by the snow and they are very close to the lean to barn, so if any lambs do arrive mid blizzard we can easily get them inside under the heat lamp if necessary.

All the other animals seem to take the snow in their stride as well. The chickens all move into the large coop when it’s cold, whereas normally they split themselves between the two coops. The pigs aren’t keen on frozen ground but quite happy to root around in snow. The ducks have now got used to the frozen pond and also like wandering around leaving duck trails in the snow. The snow seems to excite the horses they get quite frisky especially if it’s windy as well and Bonnie does like a roll in the snow.

Here’s some pictures of a snowy Hooters Hall this morning.

Meet our British Lop Weaners

Up until now we’ve only had Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs at Hooters Hall smallholding and we do plan on breeding Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs next year. However, we’re fortunate to have enough space to keep a few weaners from other rare breeds as well. Last weekend we picked up our first lot of British Lop weaners.

The British Lop is one of the rarest of rare pig breeds, classed as vulnerable with 200-300 breeding females, on the RBST watchlist. Here’s a link to the list  https://www.rbst.org.uk/watchlist.pdf

Originating around the Tavistock area the breed was known as the National Long White Lop Eared breed until the 1960s when it was renamed the British Lop. Lops seem to have a longer back than all the Glocestershire Old Spot pigs we’ve kept and seen and they are apparently less prone to putting on excessive fat. We have 3 gilts (females) and plan on taking them onto bacon weight. They will also provide company for the in pig Glocestershire Old Spot gilt that we plan on getting early next year.

If you want to find out more about the British Lop have a look at the breed society website  http://www.britishloppig.org.uk/default.asp

If you’re interested in finding out more about rare breeds in general and perhaps supporting the work of the RBST have a look a the RBST website https://www.rbst.org.uk/

Finally here are some very cute pictures of our three British Lops