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