Sunny Piglet Days


New Tamworth & Large Black Sows in North Home Field with Piglets

We’ve been having fantastic weather. A little rain at night and lots of warm but not overly sunny days. The pastures are lush with clovers, grasses and other forages. It’s ideal farrowing weather and we’ve had lots of new piglets born in both the north and south herds.

Outdoors: 76°F/44°F Sunny, Light Night Rain
Tiny Cottage: 72°F/67°F

Daily Spark: Everyone knows what FarmAid was for. So what was CoolAid for? To help people like Fonzy or Richie?

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Sunny Piglet Days

  1. Jamie says:

    A lop eared Tamworth? Did you buy her or is she from your mix? She’s lovely but she’s got an old spot face don’t you think?

    • Both of these were among the sows we purchased this winter. That one is actually about 3/4 Tamworth and 1/4 Large Black. That’s where the flopped ears and face comes from. Hamlet, the boar, was pure Tamworth. She gets to claim what ever ethnicity she wants when the census takers come around. :)

      No papers – she needs to prove herself in the field. Dealing with a whole new set of genetics in this new herd is interesting, shall we say, after having so many generations and years of selection on our existing herds. There are surprises and I’m sure there will be more. After a few years of litters I’ll have had a chance to get a good idea of what their characteristics are like.

  2. JaniceJ says:

    Richie, definitely Richie. He needed cool! (in answer to you hypothetical at the end)

    Love the happy pig pictures!

  3. Anika says:

    Great site you have here! I was wondering how many piglets on average you loose because of crushing and how many are stillborn? What do you do to prevent against this?

    • Very few. The key is good mothering genetics, sows that are in good condition and not fat and the sows being able to go off to private areas to nest, having enough space in the pastures. I suspect that crushing is a much bigger problem in confinement and penning operations which is why they use farrowing crates. We don’t use crating.

  4. Jealous. So jealous. Our pastures are brown and crackling. We’re having to feed next winters hay we bought last month, NOW. No rain in site. Any yest the pigs don’t complain. Only I do. Love your new addition. She is stunning

  5. skeptic7 says:

    I really love your pigs. I have been following the pig posts and I saw earlier that you had added Berkshire, Tamworths and now Large Blacks to the herd. How are they doing so far? Are the Large Blacks very large in comparison to your other pigs? The breed is very old and what was large when they were formed might not be large now.
    Have you eaten any of the Berkshire cross pigs yet? Is there a difference in their marbling compared to the other breeds? What interesting surprises have you had with the new pigs?

    • We have always had some of these genetics in our herds but this year we added several pure bred breeder animals of these breeds to mix in. It will be a long time before we see the results. The Berkshire boar has just joined the herd and it will be months before we see piglets from his breeding and then six more months for them to grow. The Berkshire are supposed to have superior marbling which is what is of particular interest with them.

      The Large Black are actually smaller than our other herds which are primarily Large White crossed with Large Black, Berkshire, Tamworth, etc. The Large White is known as the biggest of pigs. Large Blacks are larger than other blacks but smaller than Yorkshires a.k.a. Large Whites. I’ve read that Yorkshire is actually the oldest breed and the foundation of many other breeds. Their excellent performance is why they are chosen as foundation genetics so often. Since we’ve selected for size among other things for years we have some very large and fast growing pigs in our established genetics. The Large Black we already had for years, Blackie, was a particularly productive and very well endowed sow which is why I am interested in more Large Black genetics.

      The Tamworth I’m not particularly impressed with but they have not had time to really show their stuff so I’ll reserve judgement.

      There have been a number of surprises with the new genetics. I’ll write more about that sometime in greater detail.

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