This farm was never set up for raising hogs. So we’ve created a makeshift home for them in 2 large horse stalls in the cattle shed, plus this outdoor area. It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s muddy. And these are incredibly healthy hogs. A hog bred for leanness and for being raised in confinement would take one look at these accomodations, catch pneumonia, flop over and die on the spot.
I like raising hogs and would like to raise more. I’ve looked at the different niche markets, contemplating expanding our 1-sow, 1-boar herd. Most of these niche markets prefer, or even require, partial or full Berkshire breeding. But on the drive home from the PFI Conference I came to the conclusion that we’re really doing something right here. These Large Black crosses have been amazing for us. So we’re not going to change. We’re going to play to our strengths and market what we have.
So we’ll stick with the Large Black boar. I’ve been doing a bit of research on other breeds that might cross well with the Large Black. We would like a bit larger frame on the cross. So I’m thinking Chester Whites. A large breed with good mothering ability, suitable to raising outdoors, good litter size. Perhaps a CW cross, though I’m not sure what cross. Duroc, maybe?
I’m a complete pig breeding novice. Any pig experts out there want to give me an opinion? Or know where I can buy bred gilts?