Baker farm raises rare Gloucestershire pigs (GALLERY)

grundel pigs gloucestershire hilltop farm baker

Dr. Don Grundel gives Peter, his Gloucestershire Old Spot breed hog, a friendly rub at Grundel Hilltop Farm in Baker.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM.

BAKER — Being approached by a lumbering 650-pound porker can be unsettling, until the hog proves he's just eager to make a new friend who'll rub his jowls and ears.

Hilltop Farm gallery photos>>

This particular pig is Peter, the breed hog on Grundel Hilltop Farm, and he has plenty of reasons to wear a big grin, including the hearty rubbing he gets from farmer Dr. Don Grundel.

Peter and his mates, Pansy and Peaches, are Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, and thanks to a handful of pig farmers such as Grundel, their breed was rescued from the brink of extinction.

Today there are about 200 registered breeding Gloucestershire sows in the United States, and only one breeder in Florida, Grundel said. Between 300 and 500 of the pigs remain in their native England.

Almost 1,000 of the pigs in the U.S., including Peter and his family, aren't registered, Grundel said.

"They've got a great temperament," Grundel said as he rubbed Peter's snout, evoking a chorus of grunts and snorts. "Any other breed hog of this size, you'd never be able to get close to."

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