Tales of a Boar
Our first winter on the farm found us enjoying a sow and her five piglets, so naturally we took the next step and started looking for a boyfriend. I mean boar. We found a boar in the Grand Rapids area. He was a feeder pig, meaning any pig 2 months-butcher weight but had not been castrated yet. Feeder pigs are traditionally sold at two months of age/after weaning. We drove in a snowstorm on January 1st and picked up Sir Bubziballed or Bub’s for short and had high hopes that our sow and two of her daughters would take a fancy to him once he was of breeding age and size.
Bubs Was A Dud
After a year with lots of action and no piglets we started to get suspicious that we had something wrong. We had our vet out and realized what we had feared, we had gotten a dud rather than a stud. It happens, boars are ready to work in 6 months, we gave him a little extra time to try to figure out his job.... It doesn’t often happen in pigs, but Bubs was a dud and shooting blanks.
We Were On The Hunt
Along came Mister, Our original plan was to purchase pigs for our breeding program while they were feeder pig age and raise them up so that they are comfortable with us, we can train them and build that relationship before they are fully grown.
Academia is not sure when pigs stop growing in a farming situation. Multiple universities have started studies and every time the experiment has stopped after 10 years because the pigs continued to grow and became too big for the farm setup.
Mister was a 4 year old proven boar, he had been bottle raised by the previous farm and was a sweetheart so we went for it, we were already a year into trying to get our breeding program off of the ground with nothing to show for it.
The Drive Home
Loading him into our horse trailer was easy, then 1/2 mile from his farm everything went sideways…. we felt the trailer make a funny jurk and as Caitlin looked in the side mirror she watched Mister tumble out of the back of the trailer. He had managed to climb up and out of the back of the trailer. Larry hit the breaks and Caitlin bailed out of the truck after him.
Caitlin called the farmer and she came to try to help us load him again, we should also mention that she was pregnant. If you ever doubt what a woman can do while pregnant talk with a farmher. It took hours, and tons of patience, we went through so many yards. No one came out... they were not home or not going to get in the middle of the mess we had going on and we really could not blame them.
Thankfully he was calm, had no major injuries from his jump and enjoyed marshmallows. We ended up wrapping him in a section of fencing and slowly marched him back into the trailer. It took so much patience and broot force from the three of us. Mister's previous owner knew we were the right farm for her boy because she felt any other farm would have just opted to shoot him at that point.
We drove back to the farm and put boards up to block the window and tried again…talk about an adrenaline rush and nerve racking drive home. But we never questioned if this was the right next move. Okay maybe Larry had a few doubts at this point.
Mister was awesome, he was a Tamworth which was our first experience with this breed, he was such a sweet boy and did great with all of our girls. We were smitten with him. He did his job well and we started to have piglets on cue 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days after he came on the farm and was out of his quarantine.
He served us well and enjoyed our pastures for four years, until he started to get too big for our sows to take his weight. We liked him, his personality and his genetics so much that we chose to keep one of his sons as our next boar. Mister lives on through Oreo and we still love seeing his genetics and the red long haired calm piglets playing.