November 2, 2016 at 6:24 pm #21742Member: IA
Some of you may already know but for those of you not on the Heritage Purebred Pig Facebook page here goes…
My farm, Lucky George Farm, just completed a successful import from the United Kingdom to the US of British Large Black pigs. It isn’t a vast number but the three gilts we imported are fresh genetics never before represented in North America from lines that go back to the original British herd book created in 1898. Each of the bloodlines has a history and tradition of its own that can be traced through over a century of time. The bloodlines are: Blackie, Constance, and Nocturne. You can see how rare these girls are by reviewing the British Pig Association’s Annual Breed Survey at: http://www.britishpigs.org.uk/C_Survey%20results%20for%20web%20LB.pdf As you can see in 2015 5, 6, and 7 farms carried the three different lines in 2015 in all of the UK. Of those pigs only 3 Blackie sows gave birth in 2015 to registered progeny, 4 Constance sows, and 7 Nocturne sows.
All three of the girls will be the foundation for our British LB Breeding program. We also have a Sunshine that stayed in the UK and will be bred there for her offspring to come to the United States. In the UK they run kinship percentages on pigs to show how related animals are to each other before breeding. The UK has a 3.95% kinship across the entire country herd of LB. We have run the numbers and our girls with the British semen we will use on them have kinship of 3.70% all the way down to .02%. These numbers were provided to me by the Large Black Pig Breeder’s Club Breed Surveyor and I did not come up with them independently.
We will be selling ONLY breeder quality stock to the public in the future. Any pigs not conforming to the BPA Standards of Excellence will be eaten by our meat customers. Announcements will be listed on our farm Facebook page (see Lucky George Farm) as well as our website: http://www.luckygeorgefarm.com as pigs become available. The girls are young so it will be a while. We had the patience to see through a multi-year long import process and we will have the patience to do what it takes to infuse North America with 100% British Large Black Pigs.November 3, 2016 at 7:18 pm #21753Member: GA
Is there the possibility of the offspring of these girls (or a few generations on) being incorporated into the American registry of Large Blacks at some point in the future? Looking at the known bloodlines of both boars and sows compiled by the Livestock Conservancy it seems that would be a good thing.November 9, 2016 at 7:58 pm #21770Member: IA
I’m going to take a stab at answering you Bob but part of my answer will need explanation. My farm/family’s goal is to provide purebred Large Black pigs to dedicated breeders in North America. Specifically, the pigs we provide to these breeders will be progeny from Large Black pigs that were born in the United Kingdom. The parent stock is listed in the British Pig Association’s herd book and were bred by our fellow members of the Large Black Pig Breeders’ Club in the UK. I have personally met 4 of the five breeders of the boars and gilts we will use to create our British foundation stock here in the US. In fact, I have stayed in the homes of two of the breeders and toured their farms and herds before selecting the stock we imported in. We took this engagement seriously and were not about to bring over janky pigs or anything that was not show quality and excellent breed representatives.
For an understanding of our “pig politics” my husband and I recognize all of the male and female bloodlines that are in existence in the UK and listed in the BPA herdbook. We began our herd with American stock but have found them lacking in the traits we desired. Our solution was to go to the homeland of the Large Black and at great expense create a conservation herd of 100% British Large Black Pigs. Our expectation is that we will be working with breeders that share our values and those people that require more genetic diversity than what the American stock provides.
For your statement of “American registry” do you mean the LBHA because there have been no less than 4 registries for Large Black pigs in the United States and an additional operating in Canada. It will be a while before we have breeders available for purchase but if you are looking to increase your current level of genetic diversity I would suggest reaching out to the Livestock Conservancy and asking about the British semen that was imported in June of 2015. I kicked off the coordination of the project at the Livestock Conservancy’s National Conference in November of 2014 as an owner of Lucky George Farm. Following the conference I coordinated communication with the AI company in Northern Ireland, Dr. Harvey Blackburn of NGAP, the Large Black Pig Breeders Club, and the Livestock Conservancy. I removed myself from direct contact with the project after the sitting board voted me off the board for my private involvement in the semen import of 100 straws of LB semen and 100 straws of GOS semen. The project is now looking for breeders that meet certain qualifications to begin using the semen. I was alerted to this fact last week at the same time as the GOS registrar, Ted Smith, and the LB registrar.
I do hope you find what you are looking for and that you are able to utilize any of the information I have shared in the above post. We feel that the future of our breed is in the hands of responsible and honest breeders. We must all stick together to have a successful future that bridges the generations of Large Black pig breeders across the globe.