Large Black Pig Conservation
Hogs & Horns Homestead has been working with the English Large Black breed since 2020. We started our foundational herd by collecting a sample of several bloodlines in Canada. As we continue to source new bloodlines and are hoping to eventually have some of each of the available lineages in Canada.
Over the last three years of raising Large Blacks, we have noticed significant in-breeding in Canadian bloodlines. We combat this in our herd by having two boars at all times. We are hopeful that we will be able to continue to grow this conservation program. For a program to be large enough to decrease the inbreeding coefficient, the boar must be regularly changed out, or three or four boars must be retained for continual rotation. Our foundational herd comprises two boars, seven sows and four retained gilts. The evaluation of upcoming litters for potential breeders is continually happening.
Our goals are to improve the quality of the breeding stock on our farm and the breeding stock available to others looking to get into carrying on the breed. Second, to increase the number of registered tracked English Large Black within Canada. We plan to tackle the quality of breeding stock by focusing on temperament, litter size, mothering ability, and overall physic (straight, long backs, long ears, even teats, strong legs, etcetera.) To increase the number of Large Black herds within Canada and the number of registered, tracked stock. The promotion of new breeders to continue registering their stock is key, decreasing sales of unregistered breeding stock and making significant efforts to educate the public on the conservation of heritage breeds and the importance of food diversity.
We believe that Large Black pig conservation is important. The diversity of breed within a species is vital for disease protection, and gene diversity just to mention a few. So keep let’s keep history alive and continue to farm heritage breeds.
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