NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: GOS or Berkshires for a noob  (Read 7513 times)

Wibblers

  • Joined Apr 2011
GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« on: April 11, 2011, 09:28:55 pm »
Evening all.

Our first post hear although we've been reading a great deal here the last few weeks/months!

We're about to take the plunge and get our first couple of wieners. We've an acre of land to cultivate for veggies, hops etc and they're cheaper than a tractor and we can eat them at the end of the season  ;)

Basically we have the choice of either a pair of GOS or a pair of Berkshires. What we'd like is some feedback as to which would be best for us? I gather the GOS's being lop eared should be easier but that the meat could be more fatty than the Berkshires.

Any thoughts gang??
Voss Electric Fence

Tudful Tamworths

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Liz's website
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 10:38:25 pm »
Both would be suitable. However, I'd go for Berkshires. Easy to handle, reach pork weight by five months old, and very economical to raise. GOS are extremely popular, but friends who have them find them hugely stubborn when it comes to moving them from a to b - e.g. loading them onto the trailer for the abattoir. Also, Berkies won't suffer from sunburn like GOS over the summer months (should we have a summer this year!).

Don't fret over it - choose one breed (flip a coin if you have to), take them to pork weight. Next time, try another. That's the only way to find out what pigs/pork you prefer. Have fun and enjoy your pigs x
www.lizshankland.com www.biggingerpigs.com
Author of the Haynes Pig Manual, Haynes Smallholding Manual, and the Haynes Sheep Manual. Three times winner of the Tamworth Champion of Champions. Teaching smallholding courses at Kate Humble's farm: www.humblebynature.com

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 10:59:14 pm »
I'd go for GOS, they're wonderful animals and taste absolutely great. We've never had problems with any of ours being stubborn, but then again they will follow food wherever it takes them!  ;D

Nice to see you're calling them 'wieners' (instead of 'weaners') - you've got the right idea!  ;D


And welcome to the forum!  :wave:


JulieS

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 06:28:45 am »
Welcome to the forum  :)

I'd say GOS (but then I might be a little biased!).  Not too fatty if you feed them properly and maybe a little stubborn......but make them think it was their idea to start with and they will do anything.

Good luck with whichever breed you choose.  Let us know how you get on  :love: :pig: :love:
Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.

Mr Pig

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 08:38:40 am »
For 'stubborn' read 'laid back' and you begin to see one of the many advantages of GOS.

Wibblers

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 12:09:55 pm »
Thanks everyone.

Can't believe I wrote 'wieners' lol Thinking of those lovely sausages already mmm.....

nelson

  • Joined Jan 2011
    • lelogisfrance
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 03:52:50 pm »
Hi - go for the Berkshires - here are the sausages  :yum:

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 05:12:51 pm »
If someone tells me how to add pictures I'll upload some of our GOS bacon  :yum: :yum: :yum:
(We didn't take any photographs of the sausages or burgers, they got eaten too quickly  ;D)

Wibblers, you probably already realise we all have our favourite breed! :D  Have a look at what's available near you, that might make the decision easier.  ;)

Wibblers

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 05:17:37 pm »
Gosh, you guys are as bad as us brewers when it comes to your favourites!

We've decided on the GOS's (sorry Nelson, Tudful) Them being reared quite literally down the road to us really swung it.

Oh that and the fact my 2 daughters (5 & 8) said they preferred 'pink pigs with black spots' bless 'em!

nelson

  • Joined Jan 2011
    • lelogisfrance
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 05:37:16 pm »
Wibblers  - no problem - just enjoy your pigs and the yummy meat they produce :yum:

Hilarysmum

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2011, 10:17:50 am »
Welcome to the diverse world of pig keeping, it wont be long before you are as hooked as the rest of us.  ;D

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2011, 11:50:48 am »
we just got 2 gos weaners...sooo funny, they were having "madpig" this morning, flapping their ears and running round. completely different characters to tamworths (who i adore) like 2 naughty puppies...lol   :love: :pig: :wave:

loosey

  • Joined May 2010
  • Cornwall
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2011, 12:11:40 pm »
 ;D I call mine the pink ones! The only thing that would sway me away from GOS next time is their contsant need for factor 50 in the summer ... they cover their whole body in mud from the wallow and then leave the tops of the ears to burn to a crisp  ::)

Also, does anyone keep GOS with any other breed, and have you noticed that they STINK compared to other breeds?! :o

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2011, 01:36:55 pm »
Yep, ours do the same: the top of their ears would be a fluorescent pink if we were not careful, the rest of their bodies are a uniform brown.

With our GOS, their own bodies don't stink much - unless they've been rolling in a wallow they've just peed in, of course ;) The pooh gets cleaned up every morning and evening, but on a hot day with wee fermenting in a wallow, a gas mask wouldn't be amiss. Every summer there are those few days when you can smell them from a distance. We've resorted to a rotating system for wallows (they dry out so quickly here we need to top them up every day anyway) which helps a great deal.
It's Eau de Porc!  ;D



princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: GOS or Berkshires for a noob
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2011, 07:34:39 pm »
Also, does anyone keep GOS with any other breed, and have you noticed that they STINK compared to other breeds?! :o

we havent let the meet the tammies yet. im hoping the tammies wont break through the fence when the weaners go outside for the first time... :o
we thought the piggy smell in the stable was really strong too... and theyvonly been here half a week...the tammies dont seem to smell at all, but the yard has def changed scent since our shetland cows arrived last year.

 

GOS x Berkshires

Started by white-blazes

Replies: 3
Views: 1439
Last post May 05, 2012, 10:35:43 am
by HappyHippy
Berkshires for bacon

Started by Rhea

Replies: 1
Views: 929
Last post January 03, 2016, 10:21:08 am
by pharnorth
Berkshires and bacon

Started by cambee

Replies: 11
Views: 669
Last post August 02, 2019, 06:06:58 am
by Rushy
Just ordered my new pigs - Berkshires

Started by xxmillyxx

Replies: 1
Views: 1144
Last post January 14, 2010, 08:42:45 pm
by clydesdaleclopper
Berkshires need to gain min 5kg in 4 weeks!

Started by Bumblebear

Replies: 5
Views: 1536
Last post November 02, 2012, 08:11:30 pm
by Berkshire Boy

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS