Sow in heat last weekend

This post is to note when I saw one of our sows in heat.

We have three Hereford pigs.  Chuck and Amy are brother and sister.  They’re around eight months old.  Chuck hasn’t covered a girl before, but we have big hopes for him.  Amy had a hard start and isn’t as big as we’d like.  She’s a gilt, meaning she’s never been a mom.  This note is about Lucy though.

Lucy is our sow and delivered a large litter this summer.  She wasn’t a great mom, but we’re giving her another chance.

Saturday, I saw Lucy standing for Abner.  Abner is a young Duroc who isn’t big enough to cover Lucy.  Chuck shooed Abner away and proceeded to guard Lucy.  It was a sweet picture, both Chuck and Lucy talking to each other.

I didn’t see Chuck cover Lucy.  He’s (barely) big enough to do the job and he’s been enthusiastic in other situations.  Hopefully he got the job done.

Chuck has about six months to prove that he’s the man for the job.  He’s not as big as the ladies so that’s why I’m giving him a while.

The two sows that I want him to cover are almost a year older than him.  Lucy was born in June of 2013.  Charlotte was born in July of 2013.  Chuck was born in March of 2014 if I remember correctly.

I was careful not to expose him to the sows while he was small.  Young boars can get intimidated by big sows and never perform.  It’s been good seeing him stand his ground at feeding time, so I’m confident that he’s big enough to be ready.

What will we do with Chuck if he doesn’t work out?  We’ll probably sell him.  It’s possible that we would butcher him but not likely.  He’s definitely got male hormones flowing through him and he wouldn’t taste very good.  There are ways to deal with that but it’s a lot of effort and time.