Blackie and her daughter Jill are some of the most productive sows on our farm. They’re good mothers, keep their condition on pasture and produce large litters of healthy fast growing piglets. The piglets above are Blackie’s from her latest litter. They’re a many colored bunch representing the variety of color genes. Blackie appears to be a Large Black – that is to say she has the phenotype of the Large Black breed of pigs. But I know from her siblings and her offspring that she’s not pure Large Black. The boar who sired these piglets is predominantly Yorkshire with a bit of Berkshire, Glouster Old Spot (GOS) and Tamworth in him. He looks like a GOS. Seeing the different colors and other characteristics is fun.
Ducks, Chickens & Geese come to Investigate
When I fed Blackie the chickens, ducks and geese came over to see if they could get some bread too. Because we were getting a cold rain I had moved Blackie and Flo, both who were close to farrowing, into the lower pond level paddock where they have access to the south end shed.
Blackie Bagged and Nest Building
I often get asked how I know if a sow is going to farrow soon, that is to say, have piglets. The photo above shows Blackie just prior to farrowing. She’s fully bagged and gathering hay to build her nest. It’s hard to see in this photo but her vulva is enlarging.
Outdoors: 48°F/43°F 1″ Rain
Farm House: 67°F/62°F
Tiny Cottage: 64°F/58°F