Sunday, April 19, 2009

The long pig farrows

The long pig is a china/hampshire cross. She's named the long pig because she is really much longer than the other pigs. I thought it would be interesting to throw some longer pig into my herd, so kept her and bred her instead of selling her earlier.

I got her from a fellow who thought that he wanted to pig farm, but then realized about 4 months into it that you actually need to care and feed for the animals every single day. Surprise!
I'll buy individual animals if I think that they're nice looking, or entire litters from other farmers from time to time. I do that to have the opportunity to grow them out and look at them to see if there's something interesting I'd like to add in terms of genetics to my herd. The jury is out as to whether the long pig will work out on pasture as a mother though. Hope she does.

The color variation is pretty fun. You can see the faint outline of the characteristic hampshire stripe on the long pig -- the white on the front shoulder with the black rear. But the piglets are wildly spotted and dappled. Click on the picture for a bigger version.

While I'm taking these pictures the long pig is giving a serious of low contented grunts as she nurses her piglets. GRUNT! GRUNT! GRUNT!


Dean Smith said...

I'll bet long pigs yield a lot more bacon. Funny, we used to judge pigs by their fat, the more the merrier, just like milk. That has all changed.

Bruce King said...

I think we're gone too far on the 'lean pork' scale. It's hard to cook and make tasty as lean as they sell it in the stores. That's why I like the berkshire breed of pigs; good marbeling, tasty bacon, all around good pig.

I'm hoping that by producing some longer pigs I do get more bacon, but not too long; I need them to be able to support litters of piglets and not have back problems.

Dean Smith said...

I raised Hampshires in 4H in Indiana in the 50's. Good pigs. I won champion Hampshire at the Jasper County Fair one year. The pig topped out at 1 1/2 inches of fat on his back 2 weeks before the judging, so I took him off of corn (cold turkey, boy was he mad) and put him on 100 percent oats for two weeks. It worked.

Actually fat is good for you, if you work it off.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused, what does that mean when Dean says it worked, he got less fat or more fat???


Anonymous said...

Those little spotted things are SO cute.