Litter of Large Black Hogs have arrived to Fur Immer Farm in Pennsylvania
You may ask "Ok...so you birthed more pigs. Nothing new there, Kelly. So what's so great about this litter?"
Well...let me tell you what's so special! This litter was #7 for Lady Lucy and she will be 5 years old in September 2014. As a sow ages, the incidences of stillborn piglets tend to increase and the litter size tends to decrease. The normal retirement age for a breeding sow is 4. Most sows are retired after their #6 litter.
Duane & I had discussed the situation ahead of time. Her #6 litter was farrowed in July, 2013 with 10 born, only 6 born alive, 4 were stillborn which is not good statistics. But it had been an extremely hot Summer and drought conditions at the farm, so we said "One more chance".
It was decided that should Lucy farrow less than 7 live piglets this time around, she would be "retired". Retirement in the livestock breeding world means turned into delicious LBH bacon, lard, pork, scrapple.
Lucy farrowed not only the required 7 live piglets but actually gave us a litter of 12 with only one stillborn, born immediately after another fetus that had died in-utero probably during the "Polar Vortex" in January. The underdeveloped fetus plugged up the works and delayed the next birth long enough that the piglet didn't make it.
And the most wonderful fact of all? One week and one day later, we STILL have 11 live piglets! We didn't lose one single piglet! NOT A ONE! That is the largest number we have ever had survive and that just goes to show you what fantastic mothering skills the Large Blacks, especially our Lady Lucille, have achieved!
Love my Pennsylvania Large Black Hogs!!