Our current Large Black Hog breeding stock include a boar from the Noble Sam bloodline and two gilts from the Warbler bloodline.  We picked Boaris, the boar, up from the breeder on May 31st of 2014 , and the two gilts, Marit and Kari, up from their breeder on June 5th of 2014. 

When we got them Boaris weighed in around 260lb and Marit and Kari each weighed about 200lb.  Within a year and a half Boaris has grown to over 600lbs and was over 7 feet long.

I fully expect them to hit their mature weights, 700lb for the gilts and 900+ for Boaris, with no problems.  Key factor when raising breeding stock is learning not to feed them like we would a feeder pig and, instead, keep them in "fighting trim".  We don't want excessive jowls, flappy hindquarters, or sagging bellies on breeding stock...fat pigs won't breed!

These hogs have a definite personality.

Boaris even has a morning routine where he's outside at first light to greet the sun with a little dance and a croon.

All three of them, Boaris, Marit, and Kari out in the mud.

Spring and early Summer can be rough, with nonstop rain and cooler temperatures.  These pigs don't root much because being Large Black Hogs they'd much rather eat the pasture instead of dig it up, however with the rains they can tear a section of the pasture up pretty bad just by walking on it.  This is why we do a rotational grazing program on our farm, move them frequently and minimize the damage to the pasture while maximizing the fresh greens.

Absolutely no aggression has been shown by any of them, even the boar. They all come running out to get rubs and scratches when they see us coming.  They've been compared to 400lb black labs, and I can definitely see where that comparison came from. 

Here they are in the new hog pasture, getting a morning skritch from my daughter with a couple jealous, fence jumping, goats looking on.

 

Piglets on their first morning, scooting around looking for that very important first drink of colostrum.

 

2 days later and they've already grown in leaps and bounds.  This breed is amazing.

 

Here they are buddy piled in their hoop house, it was a whopping 32 degrees when I took this picture.  Seeing them laid out evenly without actually being in a pile tells me the hoop house is doing its job of keeping them warm.  We also insulated the back of the hoop house with some subprime hay to keep the North wind from billowing the tarp and sucking the heat out.

 

Here they are running around the pasture the day we put them out there.  After spending a couple minutes realizing the world is actually much larger than their farrowing pens, they wasted no time running around and exploring their new digs. 

They also seem to find great joy in scooting in under the gate and harassing the goats.  Our Alpine doe, Emily, and Myotonic buck, Albert, handle the frequent invasions in stride.  But, if they're going to be around Emily, they're going to be clean, even if she has to bathe them herself.

 

As you can see in this picture, this breed is solid, even as piglets they're built like little tanks and our far Northern weather doesn't seem to bother them at all.