I’m the one who chose Sandy when my husband and his parents chose Reba — Reba has yet to have any piglets and I doubt she’s pregnant.
I also picked out Niles.
I picked out the piglet that died, but I’m convinced that had she lived Dolly would have been just as good a breeder as her sister Bianca (maybe even better, because she had a much longer body).
I would like to keep one of the little gilts, but then I would need another boar and we just don’t have the space set up to have two separate herds. Maybe if we get some more acreage I can put my second herd of pigs on that and really get into the whole pig breeding.
Our boar, Niles, comes from the Blackie line at Sugar Mountain Farms. His sire is Ajax from Gopher Broke Farm in Vermont, but Ajax is originally from Sugar Mountain Farm. Blackie sows tend to be great mothers and produce a ton of piglets, so eventually I want a sow out of Niles in hopes that she will produce as well as her female ancestor.
Anyways, last night I sat in with Bianca and her crew to pick out breeders. I sat with Sandy’s piglets as well, but they are a week younger and still forming their own personalities. I did it mostly for fun, but also just incase someone wants to buy a breeder and asks for my impute.
Overall Sandy’s piglets are less shy and more likely to come up to me and let me scratch their backs, where Bianca’s tend to run away until I’m sitting there awhile. Both of these behaviours are similar to how their mothers were as piglets. Sandy has always been more friendly and Bianca more standoffish.
Jeff’s favorite out of Bianca’s litter is the only black and white one. He’s very cute, but after spending some time with him I discovered he is also the most aggressive of the bunch. He is definitely out of the running for a breeding boar, as aggression is never something you want in a breeder.
There is another boar with spots whose hair lightens as it reaches his belly. He is one of the braver of the piglets and the first that came to sniff my fingers. He’s a sweetheart with very impressive muscular shoulders and hind end, with a long straight back and sturdy legs. A fine breeder in both temperament and body structure. He reminds me of Niles and is going to be my top choice for a breeding boar should someone ask.
For the gilts there is a female with a mostly black tail who is quite long in the body with a good temperament (I've not had a chance to count teats -- you want them to have plenty so they can feed a large litter). She isn’t the biggest of the litter but is still one of the largest. The largest of the litter I’m not sure of whether its a boar or gilt, but I would also point out that one as a breeder as well as its muscles are very impressive, it’s very long, and it’s one of the sweeter piglets.
Overall I’m very happy with all the piglets. There are only a few in each litter I would dismiss completely for breeders, due to temperament or body structure