We welcomed a new barnyard family member this weekend. It is with mixed emotions that we welcomed a new boar named Cletus. You may remember a while back; we had our beloved Large Black boar, Boris, in time out away from the sows. We thought/hoped Boris had been friend-zoned, and that was why he was not doing his job. Time has passed, heat cycles for the girls have come and gone, due dates have been by-passed, and still no baby piggies. My bib overall wearing buddy finally admitted that he believes Boris is the issue with his breeding program.
I don't think Eric wanted to face that Boris has surpassed his ability to make babies. Boris is a lovely creature. He has a calm, sweet, mild temperament and acts more like a dog than a pig. He loves scratches and attention. I suggested that perhaps Boris needs a dose of testosterone to increase his "swimmies." However, Eric assures me he has read carefully, and there is nothing to be done to remedy the situation except replace Boris with a younger boar.
Eric looked for several weeks to find a new Large Black boar but to no avail. All the available boars are too young to do what nature intended them to do. Eric says it is bad for the girls' health to miss a year or so of pregnancy, so buying a baby boar and waiting for him to mature is not an option. Eric's friend, who raises pigs as well, told him about Cletus. Cletus has no pedigree. I'm not even sure of what breed of a pig he is, but he is personable and cute. He has ears that stand on end, and when he gets treats or scratches, he smiles. He seems to be a happy, mild-tempered fellow.
Currently, Cletus has taken up residence in a large stall in the barn. He seems content to be alone at this point and enjoys his feed and treats. Eric will slowly introduce him to the rest of the pigs once we are sure he is healthy. Although we will not have our registered Large Black babies, as we had hoped, at least the girls will remain healthy and on track. Hopefully, sometime in the near future, Eric will be able to find a Large Black boar and continue with his breeding program.
As for our friend, Boris, Eric is unsure of his future. There are several options, but none of them are desirable, in my opinion. This is my issue with raising animals for harvest. It seems unfair to build a relationship of trust and friendship with them only to have them end up as part of the food chain. However, such is the way of farm life. For this reason, I will stick to my lovely dairy goats, who I know are here for life. As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, don't make friends with your food, and keep washing your hands.