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  • #16464 Reply
    Member: WA dalanfarmdalanfarm

    I am serioulsy pondering attempting to import LB stock from the UK, either as adults (not real liklely), weaners (still not real likely) or importing embryos for implantation (probably the method I’d use).

    Of course two things are likely true, it’s probably expensive and bound to be a headache. I’m kind on the “get some fresh genes” bandwagon for this breed. I like them and conserving them was a big part of why I started breeding them. And I just plain like them (playing with them and eating them…I know…sicko).

    I assume there’s interest in the stock once it’s here and on the ground, but is anyone else interested in being an active participant in the import project?

    I know it has been successfully done (albeit some time ago).

    I have no time lines, no cost estimates yet, but I am working on them.

    Let me know!

    #17497 Reply
    Member: ,Il BfarmBfarm

    Hey Dave, I’ve been interested in importing too. Did a little research into this myself already. The problems with embryos or semen is they have to come from a sanctioned facility. I also think there is a ban on importation from the U.K. at the moment. But Christina Ross from Australia would probrably work with us and she is a member of the LBHA.

    Live hogs would be expensive but the cost would go down if we imported a lot. Because you have to rent a pen in quartine for a couple of months more piglets in the pen less cost for pig. I have some info I can email you.

    Oh by the way Olivia and Large Marge had 15 piglets between the two with 13 still alive mostly boars in the two litters. Also Fat Albert is doing great hanging out with my Majestic boar Mr. Pigsby.

    #17499 Reply
    Member: WA dalanfarmdalanfarm

    Glad to hear the piggies are doing well 🙂 Albert really is a sweet pig. While I am breathing easier with fewer breed stock, I confess I miss them a bit now and again. I hope they give you years of good piggin’.

    Any idea on what lines are available in Australia?

    I think semen imports are still OK from Ireland. There is a listing on the UK Large Black Pig Breeders club for a fellow selling Bilgrim Defender and one other boar line straws and I think the listing said it offered international shipping.

    Buying straws from this fellow could be a good first step if there is interest in international stock.

    #17500 Reply


    I might be interested, but based on price. The other disadvantage with bringing in semen is that it is only for the boar lines.

    Liz and I have brought in lines from Canada to help diversify lines before and we are planning on doing so again within the next couple of weeks, this time for different lines. You have to be careful because the Canadian lines have been poorly bred in some cases (no offense meant) and heritage details lost.

    The best, albeit expensive, way to go is to bring in piglets. I looked into this last year and worked out it would cost about $10,000 for the shipping of 40 piglets and then quarantine fees and local transport on top. You would also have to finance someone to go over to the UK to select those lines and transport them to a quarantine facility in the UK before they were shipped. Oh, and then the cost of the piglets on top of that!


    #17501 Reply
    Member: WA dalanfarmdalanfarm

    Richard that almost sounds doable, especially if a group got together (I personally think getting the LBHA itself would be complicated). I know this guy how probably knows his way around the UK (uh that’s you), who might be able to make a go of the UK side of things. Before the travel and pig purchase your gross costs are $250 a head.

    I would think any new imported piglets could command easily 4 times that as breed stock and their progeny could not only bring some fresh blood and good genes, but also good market opportunities for the US sellers.

    I think the key would be spending the time to find some good, meaty pigs and get as vastly unrelated groups as possible.

    maybe 4 groups of about 10 (each group having the same sire/dam). much fewer than that and you run the risk of a few dropping off and the new lines descending from a single pig…not super useful from a genetics standpoint. I think 🙂

    #17504 Reply
    Member: WI AvatarHarvey Work

    Whoever makes the trip, I would be most happy to go along for an “extra set of eyes” and a second opinion!

    #17505 Reply
    Member: ,Il BfarmBfarm

    Dave, I think you have the right idea. I also think we should target the lines that are most endangered so that we can preserve them over here in the United States.

    #17507 Reply
    Member: WA dalanfarmdalanfarm

    Dan you make an interesting point. I think the qualities I would look for are…

    – Good meat conformation (big bum vs. small bum) in parents

    – Larger litter sizes

    – 14 + teats on the ladies

    – Lines not present in the US

    – Low resulting CI of the breeding pairs that will be produced when imported animals are bred for sale in the US. This would be my last priority.

    If they are all beautiful, new lines with good litters and a little more butt on them, a 25% Ci pig would be fine with me (and would still produce a dropping CI with any US line hog).

    In general I have no interest in greatly improving the LBH. All I have to do is look at the “old” Berkshire (pretty hard to find anymore) and the “improved” Berksire (no fat and I assume faster gaining), and my heart sinks.

    BUT, getting some pigs from the UK with better pork confirmation and larger litter sizes would be great and not leaping towards a fatless LBH, in my opinion of course 🙂

    #17508 Reply
    Member: WI AvatarHarvey Work


    I would agree with your breeding priorities. There is no need to make the Large Blacks like all the other breeds, that would be senseless and wrong for the breed. A bit of refinement maybe, as you say. We must remember the things that make the breed great; heritage, retained instinct and good disposition, supreme pork quality, and hardiness in an outdoor environment. We are now keepers of the breed in the U.S., we need to take that seriously.

    #17678 Reply
    Member: AK AvatarTriple McLean Farms

    Just for general info, semen can not be imported from Australlia because they have no sanctioned facilities. I too have been looking into getting some line from Australlia, I think Cristine said she has 2 boar lines and 4 sows, but I would have to double check to make sure, would be nice if we could get something going.

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