We had our first litters in March and so far have been happy with the results.
They have been healthy and exhibited strong immunity which is the first test here on this farm.
Sick weak pigs are usually a sign of something amiss on your farm but it can also be the result of pigs catching anything that comes along. Which points to a weak immune system.
These litters have been strong and growing from day one. They were quick to get up and get moving after birth and have been strong eaters.
The one difference it seems to me over a purebred Tamworth thus far, is they take a bit longer to show an interest in mom's feed.
These pigs didn't seem to get after the sow's feed when we fed her ground feed as fast as Tam's do. Maybe a good sign I don't know.
We will be monitoring these pigs very closely to see just how well they grow as compared to our Tamworth pigs on pasture.
In theory they should do as well or better due to the heterosis or hybrid vigor.
If you're not familiar with the Large Black here's an excerpt from the okistate website: "In the early part of this century the Large Black were used for the production of pork in outdoor operations. Its coat color makes it tolerant of many sun born illnesses and its hardiness and grazing ability make it an efficient meat producer. Large Blacks are also known for their mothering ability, milk capacity and prolificacy."
These pigs are listed as critically endangered on ALBC website.
We will be offering F-1 cross gilts in the Spring of 2013. These will be excellent pigs to inject some heritage breed traits as well as strong grazing genetics Spring Hill is known for into your pigs.