The farm population keeps expanding! The latest additions – three purebred Chester White gilts. They’ve been dubbed “The Princess Pack” because they’re so fancy. They’re almost too nice to live on this farm. They have pedigrees. When they came off the trailer they were absolutely pristine and white. As you can see, they’re adapting to the dirty life here.
They came from a confinement setup, so Matt had to teach them how to eat out of old-fashioned feeders. Sometimes confinement pigs will freak out when turned into open spaces but these girls dug right into the dirt and started having a good time.
Length of frame
We felt that we could probably direct market more than the 2 litters a year that we’re doing now. But it’s one of those things – you almost have to have the goods to offer before you can find out how much you can sell. We didn’t want to take too big of a risk, so we signed on as Niman Ranch producers. That way we’ll have a secondary market for what we don’t sell direct. And it will be a market where we’ll actually earn a premium for our meat, whereas if we sold to Tyson we’d get docked.
And what we’ll kindly call “width”
I’m the first to admit I know nothing about genetics and swine breeding. But I’m the one that chose the Chester Whites to cross with a Large Black boar. CW’s are supposed to be good mothers, have large litters, nice temperaments, and easily adaptable to outdoor living. I think the frame length and meat quality of the CW’s will compliment the LB qualities. But at this point it’s just one big experiment! Can’t wait to see how it turns out.
These girls are December/January born, weighing 150-160 pounds. They’ll be ready to breed in the fall to farrow in March. Our Large Black boar is too large to breed these girls. So we have yet to decide whether we’re going to try and buy a young LB boar yet this summer, or have them AI’d. There’s also the matter of figuring out housing for everyone. It’s a constant game of musical animals around here!