Our Green Acre has two 5 Star rated, Large Black Longfellow boar piglets for sale. To view our criteria for a quality breeder hog & to explain our Star Ratings, please visit our page: Looking for a Large Black Hog?
They both have wonderful conformation, 14 symmetrical evenly spaced teats, wonderful shoulders, backs & legs and nice large ears. Both are two weeks old. One is a Longfellow/Prudence, the other a Longfellow/Matilda. They are $300 each, with 1/2 down for the deposit. They will be ready to leave the farm January 1, 2014. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. They will be registered with the Large Black Hog Association and parent’s papers are listed below and on the LBHA page. Will ship at buyer’s expense. We are located in Ponca, Arkansas. Also, our farm is pasture based & Certified Naturally Grown. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why did you choose this breed of hog? I get asked this question a lot. Where I live not many people have even heard of, much less know about the Large Black breed of hog. First it is a heritage breed. That was a priority for me. I wanted to be part of something larger than my farm/family. Helping to build a healthy & hearty breed of pig that was close to no longer existing was a big deal for me. LB’s are listed in the Heritage Breeds Conservatory as endangered and as an extremely rare breed.
Large Black pigs were popular before the modern practice of mass pig farming became the norm. It was not uncommon to see a small herd of Large Blacks roaming a farmer’s fields. They are especially suited to pasturing, able to forage the majority of their nutritional needs from the land. They tend to grow a little slower than their modern counterparts, so when speed and numbers are the main goal, the Large Black Pig might not be the best candidate. For this reason, they fell out of favor when pig farming was transferred from the farmer to the factory.
The Large Black Pig is believed to have been developed in the late 1800′s from Chinese breeds brought into England. They spread quickly due to their ability to forage, their excellent mothering ability, and their black skin, which protects it from sunburn. These traits especially make it well-suited for a pasture based operation.
For the farmer, the Large Black Pig is a joy to raise. They are extremely docile, sometimes to the point of being annoyingly friendly. They are not aggressive like other pigs, and it is a pleasure to spend time with them. I have raised other breeds that your didn’t dare turn your back on while in the pens with them, but the Large Blacks are very friendly and have a wonderful disposition. The Large Black Pig is perfect for pastured pork operations. They are not as destructive as most other breeds, actually preferring to graze on vegetation instead of rooting below the surface. They are able to gain most of their nutritional needs on the pastures and in the woods. Veteran hog farmers have marvelled at the fact that the Large Black would eat the pasture instead of destroying it.
Another benefit for pasture based operations is the fact that Large Black Sows make excellent mothers. They are usually able to farrow without farmer interference and quickly teach their litter to graze and forage. The sows consistently have large, healthy litters and feed them well, again minimizing farmer interference.
The meat from the Large Black Pig is very dark, succulent and juicy. The muscle fibers are short, producing a very tender meat and the fat is micro-marbled, essentially self basting as it cooks. The Large Black is considered a “bacon pig” instead of a “lard pig”. Throughout England, Large Black Bacon is prized for its excellence. The consistent fat marbling make it the perfect pork for sausages and cured products. And really who doesn’t love bacon?
So those are a few reasons, but the main factor for me is their nature. They are gentle happy hogs and I truly love raising them. Of all the animals on my farm, the Large Black hogs are my absolute favorite. I love my hogs.
My existing bee hive decided to split. I found the swarm not more than 10 feet from the hive! They had taken up residence in a cedar tree limb. I tried to gather them myself, but holding the branch and cutting the branch proved to be to much. About 2/3 of the swarm fell to the ground. I kept the branch in hand and looked for & believed I found the queen. I placed them in a new hive and decided to wait for the the other 2/3 to re-form and I would try to gather them up. The next day I went to the hive and the swarm was gone. Either I didn’t actually have the queen or they decided they did not like the new hive. Either way I lost a lot of bees. That makes me very sad. I am keeping my eyes and ears open in the woods just hoping I will find the swarm one more time, but I have my doubts. I have gathered about 3 1/2 quarts of honey this year and with the unseasonably cool weather, I am not sure that I will gather any more this year. They have been doing a great job pollinating my garden. I have been super impressed by the bees. They are a great addition to the farm.
Bitty our Large Black sow delivered 8 beautiful baby piglets June 1, 2013. This video is them goofing around early in the morning at 3 weeks old just before their check up.
I know it has been a long time since I updated this blog. Farming is extremely time consuming. This time of year is especially busy. I have so much going on, but I had to report the good news. We have Large Black hog babies! I was given an amazing opportunity to purchase Itty & Bitty two grown and already bred females and Snowball a grown male back in April. We were unsure when they would farrow (give birth). Well Bitty had her and our farm’s very first litter on June 1! They are perfect. So beautiful, I’m in love. The litter consisted of 4 males and 4 females. All live and healthy and growing wonderfully. I have them indoors for farrowing so I did give them an iron injection on day 2 and ear notched the litter (read about ear notching) on day 5 and also castrated all the males on day 5. They all made it fine and are playing and growing like crazy.
Momma is doing great too. She is very docile and is a wonderful mother. She is careful and tentative. She takes care not to step or lay on the babies as she moves around her pen. Her indoor pen has an area blocked off for the babies only. They can go under the barrier that is to small for momma to fit through. There they can lay under a light to keep warm, nap and play away from momma insuring their safety. They have already ventured outside in the outdoor pen and that little trip prompted us to add metal sheeting to the bottom of the outdoor panels to insure that they do not get out away from their momma and into the mouths of coyotes or dogs that might be waiting for them. I choose to not cut out the piglets teeth or dock (cut) their tails off. That is a personal choice and I like keeping things as simple as possible.
I have a buyer from Iowa at Lucky George Farm, who will be purchasing the entire litter! I feel very blessed to be able to provide another small farm/family the opportunity to raise this amazing breed of hog. Large Blacks are hands down my favorite pig ever! Not only is LGF purchasing this litter, they are also taking 4 females from my upcoming litter from Itty, the other sow. The area I live in is not accustomed to the Large Black breed. I am hoping to spread the word and the bacon to prove what wonderful hogs they are. I mean someone is willing to travel from Iowa to NW Arkansas for pigs! That is how awesome they are!
Itty will be farrowing within a week I predict. She has been moved to the farrowing pen and now we are on baby watch again. We are expecting great things from all our sows. The three gilts we originally purchased are still playful and they LOVE water. They are growing nicely and are so very sweet. All the hogs like to play in the water hose, but Snowball is the most shy. He is so big. He tears everything up from sheer boredom. We even bought him a ball to play with and he was terrified of it. So we took it away and give to the three lil gilts. They love it! They loved it to death, they popped it within a day.
So for now that’s it. So much to blog about, but I am so sleepy. Must get some rest, another litter will be hatching soon, so I have to stay sharp! For more information or for videos on ear notching and castration I recommend watching Kingbird Farm’s videos on Youtube. Karma is super amazing and very informative. Kingbird is an inspiration to me and my farm. Here is a link, enjoy! Kingbird Farms Ear Notching and Kingbird Farm Piglet Castration
So a few months ago a neighbor of mine gave me an established bee hive. I was more than thrilled. I have since “robbed” the bees of a few frames of honey and it went well. I poured over many YouTube videos to perfect my technique and it went fine. I had also ordered a package of bees from a company online. They ship the bees to me via the US postal service. Yes, that’s right, bees in the mail. They were supposed to arrive Saturday, but they were late and showed up today. The postmaster called at 6:30 (well before opening time) and let me know they were in and to please come and get them soon, they were getting nervous (the people, not the bees).
So into town I go, pickup the 3lb package of Italian bees, that’s about 13,000 bees in a wooden framed box with wire sides. They were buzzing and fanning and doing what bees do. I put them in the car, with several curious/fearful post office patrons clearing the way for me and headed home. I viewed one more “how to install a package of bees” videos on YouTube and decided it was time to deliver them to their new home. I prepared sugar-water for them to feed on and gathered all my gear. Now most people don’t wear their protective gear to install a package, but I did. My hives sit atop a 15 feet tall building and the other hive about a foot away was super active due to the warm temps today. I don’t want to get overwhelmed or scared and make a bad step. It would be bad, really bad. So I had on jeans, boots, long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a hat with a veil. Perhaps a bit over dressed, but safety first. I grabbed my hive tool (thankfully) and my husband followed with a camera.
I followed the directions carefully. I sprayed the bees with the sugar-water to make them feed and to make them sticky. I used my hive tool to pry open the box and remove the queen (she’s in a special cage in the box), I must check her out first and wouldn’t you know it, she was DEAD. With no other alternative I proceeed to place the bees into the hive. I firmly tapped the box on the ground to knock the bees into the bottom of the box. I had made room in the hive to accommodate the bees and began to pour them into the hive. They say “pour”, but it really consisted of me shaking and dumping them out. I did this about 4 times. Spray, shake, dump, repeat. After I had poured all but about 20-30 bees out of the box I sat is aside and proceeded to install their feeder, which is nothing more than a glass jar filled with sugar-water and holes popped into the top of the lid, and a bracket to hold it. I placed a small wooden stick across the front and left about a 1 inch hole for them to enter and exit. I replace the frames, being careful not to smash many bees and begin to place the top on the hive. It doesn’t fit. Someone had added a wooden frame around the top. So I use my hive tool to pry them loose and after a bit of tugging it worked. The top went on and the bees were installed. There were quite a lot flying around, from that package and from the existing hive.
After getting all my gear off I had to contact the company which said they would promptly mail me another queen out. They said it would take 2-3 days, I hope they hurry. Not sure how long a hive will stay around a dead queen. Anyways, that’s it. Nothing to hard about it. Now we wait.
The little ladies that I cater to twice a day are proving to be very productive. Apparently they appreciate all my hard work and are paying me back by giving me some really HUGE eggs. Now not all of them lay brown eggs, I have a couple of girls who lay medium-sized white eggs and I love them too. The red hens lay early so if I’m lagging in the mornings I get there around 8:30 and I usually have 3 eggs waiting for me. They are so great! They drink spring water fresh from the spring (that I carry in buckets) and eat all organic chicken feed, that stuff’s not cheap ($55/hundred pound.) It’s much more expensive than the GMO laden corn that most chickens eat. As long as I can afford it, that is what they will eat. I don’t see any changes in the future.
Now I have a mix of hens, I like variety. I have one breed of Bantams, they are Sebrights & they are very fancy looking. They may be small, but they rule the roost. They keep my big laying hens (Rhode Island Reds) on the run & they are half the size of the RIR’s! I have 14 hens (3 RIR’s, 4 Dominques, 4 Seabrights, and a few I’m not sure of) and I get 10 (sometimes)11 eggs per day. Three of my hens are too young to lay. I also have 6 Speckled Sussex hens & 2 roosters. They are very young, not ready for laying or butchering. I also have 32 hatchlings that we raised in the incubator last month. I have a LOT of chickens. I will be culling some this fall and putting their organic meat in my freezer. Now, I have never butchered chickens ( I am the laughing-stock of the family) so this could get interesting! I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, I will be selling eggs, garden plants, lotion bars, sugar scrubs, soaps, lip balms and more at the Jasper Farmer’s Market beginning in May. So each Friday on the square in Jasper you can find me & our farm goodies. Come by and buy!
We just purchased our very first Large Black hogs! They are 3 gilts from the Matilda bloodline. Here are a couple videos of our pigs, aka “the girls”. They have just arrived on the farm and are living in the barn for a week or so while they adjust to the new place. Pasture is ready for them to enjoy as soon as their adjustment period is done. I can’t wait to see them eating grass & foraging instead of eating feed! We think they are fabulous & funny. Enjoy. The first one is a bit dark, but that can’t be helped the barn is dark when it’s rainy out.