Saturday, January 19, 2013

3 Hog Night

Yeah, the cost of producing one gallon of milk. You would think after three full posts and a couple weeks we would've gotten that number for you.

You would think.

But alas, not yet. Still adding numbers, dividing numbers, subtracting numbers, redefining those pesky prime numbers. But don't lose heart. For the 3 or 4 of you who really care, I promise to get that number to you soon.

In the meantime, we have visitors. A harem of girls, Rubenesque in stature who appeared on our barn step a couple of weeks ago. Heritage hogs themselves, these Gloucestershire Old Spots thought they'd like to mix things up a bit and play around on the other side of the tracks, the Red Wattle side. Their owners, the Paddens, agreed to the gals wishes and so our other Red Wattle Boar , Wally, was put into action.

If you can call what he is doing above "action"

Wally came to us about a year and a half ago and frankly...does not get the attention he deserves. For the embarassing reason that...he is located on the FAR side of the farm whereas Max is just outside our front door and less of a walk for the South Pork Ranch's official photographer. Although a registered Red Wattle just like our big fellow Mad Max, he does not resemble that remark. Oh, he still fits the registration guidelines but in a different way.

Wally has the longer nose more indicative of the Timberline Red Wattles which I think gives him that aristocratic edge. He is also a lighter red where Max is getting darker with age. Consequently he throws lighter colored piglets (literally, when they get in his way he's been known to toss them up in the air.)

The Spots will be with us several weeks , staying through at least two heat cycles (every three weeks) as the owners are very clear they don't want these girls back until they are "with piglet." They will then raise the piglets for meat which I too believe will make a tasty pork chop.

For those who are intersted in doing the same thing, we charge $100 for the actual breeding with one free return visit if the breeding does not take. If the owner wishes to leave their gilt or sow at Horel South Pork, we charge $5 a day room and board.

There are some in the Registered Heritage Hog Arena who believe what we are doing might be less than admirable, thinking that only Red Wattles should be bred to Red Wattles. For the sake of registration and  purity of breed, I agree, which is why Keith and I only register the very best of our herd. But when it comes to meat, its taste, its nutritional factor, I am a firm beliver in cross breeding.

How about you? Do you raise Heritage Hogs? Do you loan out your boar or participate in another farms "rent-a-boar" program? Do you believe livestock blood lines should never mix for any reason? Love to hear from you.


  1. South Pork Hog Hotel looks to have charming rooms for your spotted guests.

  2. Great minds.... hmmm? We are planning to make the same GOS to RW cross only in the opposite direction. We will be using a GOS boar on a few of our RW sows. After researching the qualities of the GOS, we think this will produce superior pork - especially bacon!! And we do love bacon!

  3. I am a firm believer in hybrid vigor if you are not breeding for register stock. I accidently had Pygora and Kinder goats 30 years ago simply because I had angora and nubian does and a sneaky pygmy buck. I thought they were just cross breds, but someone picked up the challenge and decided to make them into a breed. It's like cross bred dogs we called mutts, now they want $1500 for a Labradoodle, then there are the Cheeweenies and Doxiedooles etc, that people are paying lots of money for those "mutts".

  4. Martha, I'm glad you like it, all I can see in the pics are COBWEBS that I must sewwp out of there. Hate to lose our 5 star barn rating.

  5. Dot, funny isn't it? Spotted Wattles can be GOOD thing as long as everyone is very clear about what they are selling when they sell them. Preaching to the choir I know. :)

  6. Tombstone. Exactly. WhenI was a kid mutts were what real folks got and purebred dogs were for the rich, now you need to take out a loan for something with the face of a boxer and the butt of a siamese. The nuts.

  7. It's good to see that ole Wally is earning his keep.

  8. Just as with dogs, a cross usually produces a better animal. Love those GOS's; a big favourite in the UK.

  9. Walt. he is certainly easrning his keep and our respect!

  10. Cro, the GOS are very rare to see around here but in the group of small farmers in Illinois they are gaining speed. I can never take them seriously though. Not with those goofy faces!