Momma Pig, a crossbred was the runt that started our love for pigs. She gave us one litter in her younger days. At about 1,000 pounds, she is enjoying her retirement!
Dot was Momma Pig's daughter and a truly amazing personality. Her Dad was a purebred Hampshire. She gave us two wonderful litters but due to medical issues, she is no longer with us. I miss her every day.
And then there is Lucy, the newest member of our family. Lucy is a purebred Hereford Hog. The Hereford breed was developed in and is unique to the USA. After crossing Chester Whites, Poland Chinas (for the white points) and Durocs (red color and floppy ears), the result was a red pig with a white face and white legs that looks like a Hereford cow! The Livestock Conservancy lists this Heritage breed on its watch list for endangered or threaten breeds. They estimate that there are fewer than 2,000 Hereford Hogs in the USA although other sources suggest that that number is increasing.
Herefords reportedly adapt well and thrive in either outdoor operations and under confinement systems. They mature early and are grain efficient, reaching market weight on less feed than many other breeds. Lucy is not aware that they are considered a docile breed. Her rambunctious nature as a weanling earned her her name and you still have to watch out for a playful head butt that threatens to throw you across her pen! She also doesn't know that Herefords generally produce large litters...yet. She gave us five beautiful piglets in her first litter but she lives up to her breed's reputation as a truly amazing mother!
Colbie is a purebred Berkshire. Berkshires are a Heritage breed and are one of the oldest breeds in the USA. They originated in Berkshire County, England and were first introduced to the USA in 1823. Berkshires provided pork for the Royal Family. Berkshire pork is renowned for its richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavor. It is thought by many to be the Kobe beef of pork. It has a very specific taste, not generic and bland or mild like regular pork. It is sought after worldwide begin most popular in Japan. The Japanese call Berkshire pork Kurobuta meaning black pig.
Berkshires are a medium sized, black pigs with white points (legs, face and tail) with pink skin. They are very deep sided with a uniform, muscular build. Berks have a relatively short snouts with a slight dish-shaped face. Ears are erect. They have an excellent disposition and are curious and friendly. Berkshires are reported to be excellent mothers. Colbie is not sure about that....