We keep traditional breeds of sheep, pigs and cattle. Not only do they suit the conservation grazing requirements here at Conygree, but they make great tasting meat with a valuable local heritage. We also want to help preserve the genetic diversity of breeds such as the Cotswold sheep and Gloucester Old Spot pig.
Cotswold and Lleyn sheep
Cotswold lamb with ewe
The Cotswold breed of sheep is descended from the flocks that grazed the Cotswold hills in Roman times. Their long wool, known as the golden fleece became a major export in the middle ages before their importance as a meat producer grew in the 19th century and rams were exported all over the world. However, their popularity declined in the 20th century as new breeds developed and fashions changed, and by the 1960s only 200 pedigree ewes survived in the UK with the last breeding flock being farmed in Aldsworth, our local village, by the Garne family.
Today, the Cotswold is becoming popular again thanks to dedicated breeders. However, the sheep, also known as the Cotswold Lion, are still classed as a rare breed with under 2000 ewes in the UK.
We are building a flock of 50 pedigree Cotswold ewes for breeding here at Conygree. Occasionally we will have mature breeding stock or ewe lambs for sale. The male lambs are reared and fattened on our wildflower grassland.
The Lleyn is a traditional Welsh breed from the Lleyn peninsula. The breed was once very popular but only 7 breeders and a few thousand ewes remained in the 1960s. At this time the Lleyn was a rare breed.
Today, the breed is growing again in popularity. The Lleyn is renowned for its mothering abilities and easy care attributes. The lambs grow well on a natural diet of grass and the meat quality is excellent. They are well suited to organic farms and conservation grazing.
We are developing a flock of 50 pedigree Lleyn ewes for breeding. We will have mature breeding stock or ewe lambs for sale from 2010. The male lambs are reared and fattened on our wildflower grassland.
Traditional Hereford cows with their calves
We have a small herd of pedigree traditional Hereford cows. These rare horned cattle are from the original bloodlines that formed the breed over 200 years ago, and developed into the modern Hereford we see today. These fantastic native cows will raise their own calves and feed on our pastures, converting grass, wildflowers and herbs into milk and the best tasting beef. They spend most of their time outdoors in their natural environment in family groups.
Gloucester Old Spot pig
The Gloucestershire Old Spot pig originates from the Berkeley Vale, to the south of our county. It was usually kept in the cider and perry orchards of the area and on the dairy farms. Windfall fruit and waste from the dairies supplemented its grazing habit. Local folklore says that the spots on its back are bruises from the falling fruit. Besides its correct title and variations such as Gloster Spot or just Old Spot, the breed is also known as The Orchard Pig and The Cottager’s Pig.
They live outside throughout the year being tough and hardy, and hence suit extensive free range farms like ours, more than intensive systems. Old Spots are also quiet and a joy to keep.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot is a large meaty animal with a broad and deep body and large hams. Its white coat has large clearly defined black spots. They have a very fine carcass which produces top quality meat for all purposes including pork chops, roasting joints or sausages. Traditional meat of this quality is enjoyed by the more discerning public who want more than tasteless factory farmed pork. This native breed is now going from strength to strength.
We sell most of our lamb, pork and beef direct to the consumer. We aim to reduce food miles and help reconnect people with the land, traditional breeds food provenance and seasonality. Consumers who are prepared to pay that little bit extra for quality local food with high environmental credentials are not only getting a premium product, but are also helping to support our conservation work and the survival of the Cotswold, Old Spot, Lleyn and Hereford breeds. Ourorder page has delivery details, contact us to place an order.