Friday, May 20, 2011

New arrival at Farmpark listed as Critical

Lake Metroparks Farmpark has added a new member to its family of farm animals.  The new arrival, a Gloucester Old Spot piglet, arrived yesterday.
The Gloucester Old Spot - pronounced Gloster - (GOS) breed is listed on the critical status list according to The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy survey.   This is equivalent to the breed being on the endangered list for wildlife.  Originating in England in the late 1800s, this white pig with black spots were known as good grazers and would also gain on a diet of household or garden scraps.  As agriculture has changed, grazing has lost popularity along with the number of GOS pigs.  As of 2009, there were 1000 breeding GOS pigs in England (the British Royal Family prefers GOS and it has helped bring notice to the breed) and fewer than 200 breeding animals in the United States. 

The gilt (young female) is about eight weeks old and weighs about 40 lbs.  She is located in the Barnyard area that showcases various species and breeds of farm animals.

Lake Metroparks Farmpark is a family oriented science and cultural center devoted to agriculture, farming, and country life.   More than 50 breeds of livestock call Farmpark home.   The addition of the Gloucester Old Spot brings the number of breeds of pigs at the Farmpark to five, two of which are listed on the critical status list.

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