Boars Snoozing in Morning Light
From left to right that is Spot, Speckles and BigUn in the shade of some brush at the far end of the south field. Speckles is the smallest of the boars, and several years younger. He’s probably only 500 lbs, about 1/2 to 1/3rd the size of the other boars since he’s so much younger.
People often ask if boars are dangerous. Certainly, they would be if they stepped on you or rubbed you up against a post. Also don’t get them angry and I wouldn’t suggest approaching a strange boar, just like with any strange animal. They do have razor sharp tusks as well. However these three boys are very gentle – that’s how they survived to this size. Any that show temperament problems have gone to market at far smaller sizes.
People are also surprised that multiple boars in the same herds get along. These boars grew up together so they have worked out their pecking order long, long ago. Essentially, Spot is the biggest, by a little bit, and the dominant. BigUn, almost the same size, doesn’t appear to want the job of dominant male. He’s a very laid back fellow. Speckles, a son of Archimedes who’s in the north herd, has always known Spot to be the boss and wisely wouldn’t even think of challenging such a bigger male.
The time that fight can occur is if the dominance order is changing such as when an old boar is retiring or if we were to introduce a new boar of significant size – best not done. Twice we’ve had a boar battle when one of the boars moved himself from herd to herd but this is very rare. Generally they stay with their own ladies in their own territories.
I mentioned that Archimedes is in the north herd, he’s the sire of BigUn, Spot and Speckles. Shifting Archimedes into a herd where he has a couple of far smaller boars with him allows him to continue for a few more years where he’ll have less competition. At six years old he’s starting to look like an old man and is no longer top boar – Spot ousted him about a year ago.
Archimedes sons* BigUn and Spot have significantly outgrown him, perhaps being 40% larger than him. This is interesting since Archimedes was raised on grain before he came to us and his sons were raised on pasture/whey. What makes this interesting is that grain is supposed to promote maximum growth, much more than pasture, according to the books. So why are his sons so big? It will be interesting to see how Speckles turns out – he was bigger and faster growing than any of his litter mates. This is too small a sample set to say if it is feed or genetics but they all do produce some fine pigs.
*It tuns out that BigUn and Spot are not sons of Archimedes but rather sons of Longfellow, the first boar we had. Later after writing this I found photographs of Spot and his brothers BigUn & LittleUn (Basa) with dates that demonstrated they were sons of Longfellow. Longfellow looks much like Archimedes and weighed in at a little over 1,000 lbs at slaughter which is about the same as Archimedes. The timing of the boars was close enough that it caused this confusion. They grew up knowing Archimedes as the lead boar. I think that Archimedes may have been a son of Longfellow too but is from a different sow and much older. We borrowed Longfellow from another farmer, Archie, and later got Archimedes from Archie. Speckles is a son of Big’Un. So the above comparison about pasture and grain still holds as they’re brothers but we know nothing of Archimedes’s mother.
Outdoors: 60째F/48째F Rain
Tiny Cottage: 71째F/60째F