There is a saying that old pig farmers hope to be reincarnated as boar hogs when they die. I believe it after yesterday. Sow #9 was living under the hill in the 8 acre “Fishing Hole” paddock with 8 other sows all of which are scheduled to breed in December. The gestation period for pigs is 3 months, 3 weeks & 3 days so my plan is to introduce the boar to the ladies around the first of December so the baby pigs will be born outside in April when it is warmer.
Sow #9 had other ideas. The hormone flow during a sows heat must be enormous since they will even skip dinner when in heat. A sow comes into heat 5 days after her last litter is weaned and again every 21 day until bred and will stay in heat for 1-3 days. This old girl was not going to wait. I looked out the window yesterday morning and saw her in the barnyard walking back and forth across the fence from my two young boars. I didn’t know who she was but I immediately knew what was going on in one look. She had come through the fence at the bottom of the hill a quarter of a mile away and walked up the road to the top of the hill and followed the road and down the hill the other side to our little barnyard/orchard to the west of our house. She was “after her man”. Two young boars where ready, willing and able to serve her but they were on the wrong side of the electric fence. So the took turns serving each other. That is something that looks even worse than it sounds but is rather common.
Majestic and Noble Sam were more than friends in the same pen many years ago until we finally separated them to breed different groups of sows. Once the job was done I put them back in the same pen together and all hell broke loose. These two giant males went after each other like sumo wrestlers facing each other with all their might and power. Both would dig in with their haunches and push with every ounce of strength shoulder to shoulder against the other while raking their razor sharp tusks up and down trying to tear each others sides open. I drove between them with the RTV and managed to keep them apart until they exhausted themselves. I think they were glad to be saved and one walked away giving me room to lead the other to a different paddock. I never put them together again and swore never to go through that again.
Majestic is long gone but Noble Sam is still active and knows he is the man. The sow is losing patience with the two young boys and now she had another boar on her mind. Noble Sam is on the east side of our drive and the two young boars are on the west side. Sam has worn a path next to the fence walking up and down next to the road glaring at the younger boars. Foam forms from his month as he grinds his tusks against his upper teeth to hone them until they are razor sharp. His musk odor is reeking and the sow soon is pacing back and forth down our drive with Sam walking next to her on the other side of the fence.
J.R. drives up and says, “I tried to get her back in with the feed bucket but she wouldn’t pay any attention to me.”
I replied, “Well she is not going to pay any attention to me either so let’s just turn her in with Sam. The piglets should be born about the first of March. March comes in like a lamb so let’s go for it.”
Jay walked behind her to the gate I held open and #9 walked into the “love den” to her lover and stood still as he whispered in her ear, nuzzled her a couple of times and then mounted her which is when I snapped this photo.
Here is the procedure from the internet:
“If standing, the boar will mount her, care must be taken to see if she is served in the correct place, the boar may aim too high or to low. The service will take 10-20 min. Once the boar is in position he may appear to go to sleep, but things will be happening. He will deliver approx 200cc of seminal fluid (5cc from a bull and 1cc from a ram!) Followed by a tablespoon of ‘bumpy jelly’, which blocks up the passage to retain the fluid.”
Jay and I leaned on the gate and watched. Sam never moved. I think I saw a tear or two roll down his cheek and maybe a slight smile on his face. After about 10 minutes, #9 started moving a step or two as if his weight was getting uncomfortable but always stopped again. A full 15 minutes passed before she finally walked away and Sam nuzzled her some more. Jimmy said they mated at least three more times the rest of the day.
Pee Wee said, “That should get a good litter!”
Today Noble Sam was pacing again back and forth along the fence and Sow #9 was on the other side of the paddock looking for food. She looked to be craving pickles and ice cream.
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