To increase diversity of the heritage breeds raised we traveled to Maine to purchase two purebred Large Black gilts.
These girls are so very different from the Tamworths. Large Blacks have long noses, long forward facing ears that protect (block) their eyes. They are mellow, taking the lower spots in the mixed herd.
The Large Black gilts were soon named Apple and Autumn as it was peak fall foliage as we traveled north to Maine. The gentle nature and strong mothering led us to keep Libby, a daughter of Apple, as a member of our breeding herd.
Spring 2020 brought a first as Autumn suffered a complication due to delivery and orphaned her 2 day old piglets. Quick research led to the plate feeding technique to teach young piglets to slurp. By pouring small amounts of milk on a plastic plate a tapping it with my finger the piglets quickly learned to drink from the dish. After a two weeks of a large dog crate of piglets in the house they returned to the barn. All the orphans thrived despite losing their mom.
Large Blacks are gentle, strong mothers of larger litters.