They were pretty much the same size when I got them, though the LB was a little (not much) smaller. Now the difference in size is much more noticeable. I don’t have weights (tomorrow) but the difference is fairly dramatic. The crosses are longer and taller, while the LB is both 2-3 inches shorter in height and length. Additionally, the LB has more “belly” than the crosses, who have a long, lean “muscular” look as opposed to a little fat like the LB.\
I’m guessing the differences are due to hybrid vigor, but some confirmation would make me feel much better, as I bought the LB to breed more LB’s. If looking at the pedigree on the LB would help it is LBHA registration #5798.
Without seeing pictures of your girls there’s not going to be much advice I can offer. LBHs do grow slower than hybrids, that’s for sure. I’ve got some 9 month old piglets in the feeder pasture that are just now hitting around 150 or so, where the old mutt crosses we used to raise before getting into the LBHs would have been pushing 225 at the end of 5 months.
If you’re seeing a belly on your breeding gilts there’s a good chance they’re getting overweight. Take a look at their faces and necks, are they getting jowly looking? If they are then you’re definitely going to want to cut their grains back.
My adult, breeding, hogs each get unrestricted pasture/hay and about 5 lbs of grain per day. I feed the grain in the afternoon/evening to make them want to get out and graze and forage during the day.
My feeder pigs are getting unlimited hay/pasture during the day then between 14 piglets (4 at 9months, 10 at 4 months) they get a communal feeding of roughly 18-20lbs of grain, and they’re growing like weeds and I have to fluctuate the grain intake down when they start looking too fatty. The grain is really nothing more than a supplemental feeding to get them the extra vitamins/minerals that they need that pure pasture doesn’t give them. (I live in high iron country, so I have to supplement things like copper, B, selenium, etc).
If they’re not looking jowly, but still have a big belly, you may want to check them for worms, spring is a rough time for livestock and worms…especially if you’re as wet down there as we are up here…pretty much an every day battle against the worms.