Blackie Fall PIglets 2009


Some of Blackie’s Recent Piglets

Blackie, our Large Black sow has come to associate returning to the south end shed with having piglets. She has now farrowed seven times in two years, a record right there, in the area of the south end shed and atrium which is near by.

The fencing to the south end shed was closed so she actually farrowed her eighteen piglets (2nd litter that size) just outside it this time. Holly switched the fencing around so that Blackie could get in and after a few days she moved the piglets up under the translucent glazed shed roof where she can bask in the warmth. The pigs really appreciate the greenhouse spaces for cold season farrowing.

Blackies repeated large litters and fast turn around time without losing condition has made her one of our favorite sows and a record holder on our farm for size of litters (top twice), litters per year (top twice), litters per life (one of the top), piglets weaned (one of the very top) and piglets per year (two times of over 30 per year and all time record holder). What is amazing is she also rebreeds so soon (within ten days) and have short gestation times yet never loses her body condition. With some other sows who’ve gone less quickly than her we’ve had to hold back their breeding time to let them regain their weight after big litters. And she does this all on pasture without commercial corn/soy based grain feeding. On top of that she has sixteen teets, two more than most of our sows and four more than most pigs.

These are excellent traits so as you can imagine we’ve been keeping back some of her very best daughters for breeding. Some of the best of her sons have gone to other farms as boars. Jill is one of her daughters who has also been a top performer coming in a very close second to Blackie. Like Blackie, Jill has sixteen teats and is an excellent mom. In the north field we have several more upcoming gilts from Blackie – we’ll see how they perform.

Outdoors: 50째F/34째F Partially Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 68째F/63째F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Blackie Fall PIglets 2009

  1. Mary Ricksen says:

    Who woulda thought something that get's so big and temperamental could be such a cute baby.

  2. heyercapital says:

    Walter,
    That's a tremendous management case study. I'm sure an ag college ABD would write all that up in a research paper, publish it, get on the ag talk-circuit, and get all sorts of speaking honoraria and more research grants for genome selection & phenotypic expression studies.

    While you just keep selecting gilts for more teats.

    Brian

  3. Anonymous says:

    Walter I want to thank you for having given us gilts out of blacky last year because they have been excellent mothers. We bread them with another boar of a neighbors a white boar. I would like to get one of your boars. I will email you. Do you ever let sows that you sold come back to your farm for breeding again?
    J.

  4. Hi J.,

    We don't allow pigs to come back to our herd for the simple reason of disease prevention. We have a closed herd. New animals coming in, or animals returning, could bring disease back with them. I would be especially hesitant about your sows since they've bred with another boar. A great many diseases are sexually transmitted.

    The best solution is to have your own boar. You could get a weaner now and he'll be ready to start doing breeding in about six months and at his prime at about ten months.

    There are some farmers who do lend out their boars or take in sows for breeding. Try checking the classified ads or AgriView if you're interested in that.

    Cheers,

    -Walter

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