Meet ‘Twinkle Toe’ and her new brood! As a first-time mom, we’ve been impressed by her great mothering instincts and nice, healthy piglets. She’s a mix of heritage bloodlines, a Large Black and Hereford cross. The Large Black is a breed known for being excellent mothers and foragers, among other positive traits.
Why is this important to us? In a pasture-based hog operation such as ours, certain breeds that are better adapted to living outdoors and getting a significant portion of their diet from grass and forbs is critical. It reduces the amount of feed they consume and provides abundant nutrition. Their black color also provides a little boost during the cold winter months by absorbing more sunlight! Good mothering behaviors are important because we do not use gestation crates that cage the sow to restrict her movement. (In a gestation crate, the only movement a sow is allowed is standing to lying down.)
Piglets are particularly vulnerable in their first 48 hours of life, before they are very mobile. Imagine trying to keep track of 10-19 tiny 1 lb. piglets if you are a big 400 lb. animal. (Yes, our biggest sow has birthed 19 piglets in a farrowing!)
We need good mothers like Twinkle Toe because on a small-scale family farm like Groundworks, every life counts.
PASTURED PORK, HOGS, LARGE BLACK HOG, HEREFORD HOG, FARM