Swine and Cheese

A passion for Pigs and Food


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I can’t begin to tell you the sadness you feel when the culmination of the whole project has to come to its awful conclusion as far as the living creatures are concerned. After writing last weeks blog Neale announced on Monday that he had booked our three rare breed pigs in at the very reputable small abattoir in Leintwardine for the 7th July, today. So I delayed writing the blog until I had said my farewells. It is incredibly hard to not feel a huge twinge of sadness and betrayal when you send animals you personally cared for to their deaths. I know as soon as we receive the three carcases and heads I will be fascinated to follow the butchery which is being done by our wonderful Dukeshill butcher Glyn. But right now I’m not happy because I really will miss them. Just like the wonderful Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall I have fallen in love with all things pig. I was already a huge fan because of what we can do with a pig here at Dukeshill but the actual pig keeping was a whole new experience.

Awkward angle shot due to pushing & shoving by pigs

Awkward angle shot due to pushing & shoving by pigs



Loading them onto the immaculate trailer we had hired wasn’t too hard despite Lola making a getaway across the chickens’ field. After a circuit she was exhasted so thankfully resorted to a huge troughful of food cleverly placed at the back of the trailer. Oinky, the Gloucester Old Spot, true to his breeds nature was the first to get in and just calmly walked straight into the trailer, followed by the sprightly Lola. Tallulah, the Berkshire, true to form wasn’t having any of it and took ages to coax in however her greediness got the better of her and finally she just had to get to the trough.

Interestingly after Neale had confirmed the kill date with the abattoir he then estimated their weights by measuring their length and girth. He had been told that pigs kept for just three months from weaners i.e. 6 months old would weigh about 55-60 kilos. Imagine his surprise and mine when we discovered that Tallulah the Berkshire was a whopping 84 kilos, Lola the Tamworth about 75 kilos, and Oinky the Gloucester Old Spot 63 kilos. We await the unkind comments from the abattoir when they say they are possibly the fattiest pigs they have come across. I suspect it might have been something to do with all those treacle puddings!

At least our rare breed piggies had a wonderful short life. Yesterday I passed a lorry on the M6 going through spaghetti junction with pigs crammed inside and I can guarantee ours in their Rolls Royce style trailer had a far nicer end than those poor pigs. As sad as I am today I don’t regret the experience at all. R.I.P. Tallulah, Lola and Oinky.

From L to R: Tallulah, Lola and Oinky

From L to R: Tallulah, Lola and Oinky



Watch out for the Berkshire vs Tamworth vs Gloucester Old Spot pork taste tests.


Written by Sarah

July 7th, 2009 at 1:52 pm