About Our Animals
Animal welfare is at our heart and all our animals, live free range lives with all (and more!) they need to be fulfilled, happy & content.
Back scratches, belly & ear rubs for the pigs are a daily necessity according to them. Our hens love their fruit and corn treats and some demand their daily cuddles. The ewes and lambs demand, very loudly, food at every opportunity!
Rare Breed Pigs
These breeds may have fallen from favour once, but interest in them has now turned full circle. People today are interested in both the quality and the provenance of their meat - its breed, how it was raised and fed, the 'food miles' and last but not least, the flavour and texture of the meat.
The Three Locks Farm is currently home to 4 different native rare breeds - producing succulent pork, tasty bacon & hams... They are;
Oxford Sandy and Black
The Three Locks farm specialise in this breed, not only to produce the best pork, but also to help conserve the breed and produce new breeding pigs.
The Oxford Sandy & Black Pig, sometimes referred to as the "Plum Pudding Pig", is one of the oldest British pig breeds. The OSB has reached crisis point at least twice in the past when numbers dropped so low that extinction was a real possibility, but they have grown in popularity in recent years and numbers are now recovering, but still at Rare Breed Survival Trust watchlist level 4.
The breed has an excellent temperament and mothering abilities, particularly suited to outdoor systems, a good forager and, as they are a coloured pig with a good coat, they are far less prone to sunburn. The base colour can range from light sandy to rust with random black blotches, a white blaze, feet and tassel on the tail. A particularly good pork pig, but the bacon is also excellent!
Large Black
One of the largest British Native Breeds with a long back and deep chest, the large black is also Britain's only all black pig. Even though their coat is thin, they are very hardy and well suited to life outdoors. Their lop ears trail low over their faces but they are enthusiastic eaters! Now one of the rarest breeds in Britain, there are less than 200 breeding sows on record, they are categorised level 2 (endangered) by the RBST.
Originally from the West Country, the Large Black is related to the black pigs of Spain, used in the production of Iberico jamon. In the 1950s and 60s, there was a prejudice again coloured pigs and despite all their positive attributes, the Large Blacks fell from favour. They are docile, friendly pigs who typically have very large litters - 12-14 is not unusual.
Large Blacks are sometimes called the Elephant Pig - not just because of their size but also because the piglets bear a strong resemblance to a small black elephant with their big ears and swishing tail. They produce great pork but they are probably best known for the excellent quality of their ham and bacon.
Gloucester Old Spot
The breed originated around the Berkeley Vale in south west England. They were usually kept in the cider and perry pear 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.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot is a traditional breed suited to outside production systems. Its lack of suitability to intensive systems served to turn it into a rare breed for almost all of its history. They are currently listed as a level 4 on the Rare Breed Survival Trust watchlist.
GOS make excellent mothers, they are docile, making it a suitable choice for first time pig keepers, and hardy, the breed is kept in many parts of the UK where extremes of temperatures and weather patterns are experienced.
They are good dams, the GOS is a milky breed and a protective mother. In many cases, sows will continue breeding at a greater age than many other breeds.
Quality Pork & Bacon - there is a huge demand for the high quality meat produced by GOS pigs.
British Saddleback
One of our most recognisable breeds, the British Saddleback is the result of the amalgamation of two similar lines, the Essex and Wessex Saddlebacks. Despite their popularity, they are still rated Level 4 on the Rare Breed Survival Trust Watchlist.
This pig has a black head and neck, as well as a clearly defined belt of white extending over the shoulders and continuing down the front legs. The rest of the body should be all black with the possible exception of white hind feet, tip of the tail or on the snout.
British Saddlebacks are traditionally docile, and are noted for being great mothers. They are also very hardy and excellent grazers - with a particular fondness for dandelions. A good dual-purpose pig - producing both delicious pork as well as ham and bacon.
Chickens
Along side a few hybrids and our rescued ex-battery girls we currently have 4 rare breeds of chickens; Cream Legbars, who produce a small light blue eggs, they are flighty birds and will only lay approximately 160 eggs per year each. Exchequer Leghorns, who produce large white eggs, they are also quite flighty birds, but are very striking to look at and lay about 240 eggs per year. Cuckoo Marans, lay a darker egg and are quite docile, they lay approximately 220 eggs per year. Lastly the Welsummers, lovely docile breed, lay small, very dark eggs, but only about 180 per year.
Table Chickens

We periodically raise batches of broiler chickens, they are derived from a Ross Cobb chicken, but are cross bred to slow their growth rate. These slower growing birds have the freedom to run and scratch in the paddock without gaining weight too quickly. They are not your average supermarket chicken, the taste & texture is leagues apart. 

Bourbon Red Turkeys

The Bourbon Red turkeys are on the rare breed survival trust watchlist, they are a heritage, slow growing and very handsome turkey. They have brown to dark red plumage with white flight & tail feathers. The Bourbon Red originated in Kentucky in the late 1800’s. Once highly sought after they fell from favour when the broad breasted, fast growing turkey varieties became popular. The tide has turned and they now highly desirable, especially for people looking for a superior flavour and texture.

Bourbon Reds are Fortnum & Mason’s signature Christmas turkey.

Sheep
The Three Locks Farm flock is currently predominantly a cross breed sheep derived from the Wiltshire Horn and Welsh Mountain sheep. We are looking to start a new breeding flock of pure Wiltshire Horns.
The Wiltshire Horn is one of the oldest breeds in England and is a large sheep: 85 Kg adult female, rams 150Kg. They were run in very large flocks on the Downs of South Central England for many centuries but when the price of wool became attractive the purely meat Wiltshire sheep lost favour.
It is a hair type short fleece sheep and like other primitive breeds of sheep it sheds in the spring as a goat or a horse loses its winter coat. This means that the Wiltshires do not need shearing and have very little fly related problems such as maggoting. They produce a large premium carcass of the finest flavour and texture with low levels of fat.
Bees

We currently run five hives, with plans to add a further two on the other side of the farm. We believe bees are integral part to the symbiotic ecosystem of our farm and the surrounding area. We have lots of established hedgerows, which we have rejuvenated with new whips of native hedging. We also have set aside seeded with meadow flowers to help the bees along. We predominantly harvest the honey, but also have some limited wax and propolis. The wax is generally used to make our reusable food wraps, to help customers use less plastic, but we have also made some fantastic furniture polish!

We always leave plenty of honey for the bees use over the winter months. 

 
 
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