Large black pigs
If you’re looking for a pig breed to raise that’s an easy keeper and produces quality meat, try the Large Black. The animals do well in both warm and cold climates, and simply need a shed to run into when the weather is bad.
Felicia Krock is the secretary and registrar of the Large Black Hog Association. She says there are several more reasons why they’re a great fit for a small farm.
"They are very docile. If you’re running one or two hogs, you don’t need a whole bunch of room for the pastures," she says. "They’re really easy on the pasture, they don’t root as much as other breeds. And, their personality is just unbelievable. They’re more like dogs than they are hogs, and the meat flavor is out of this world."
The Large Blacks have a long body and deep belly, but are not so muscular that they look like prizefighters. They have long, floppy ears that hang over their eyes.
Krock says their hogs are out on pasture all day, and are also given a small ration of feed mix. However, she says there is no one way to raise these pigs. When the animal is ready for market depends on personal preferences.
"Each farm will have a different outcome and a different slaughter-by date. They also are looking for a different weight. For us the optimum weight is 275-325 lbs., and we have some barrows that are 9-months old and are over that weight," says Krock. "So it really depends on how you feed them, what they have access to."
Large Black pigs can weigh as much as 850 lbs. But don’t let their size intimidate you. Krock says they crave human attention and will roll over onto their sides, begging for a belly scratch.
See what other Large Black owners have to say about their pigs
The American Livestock Breed Conservancy has Large Blacks on their list
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