The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Pigs => Topic started by: Stereo on January 12, 2015, 11:47:26 pm

Title: Large black
Post by: Stereo on January 12, 2015, 11:47:26 pm
Been looking at getting into pigs for some time. I'm in Devon and the Large Black seems ideal for me. Docile (like me), leaner on the back than most trad pigs and mostly, likes extensive grazing, which is what I intend. Plus it's a local breed and it's black so kind of the heavy metal pig.

Anyone had these and have comments? Any good sources for stock. Probably not this year but maybe next.
Title: Re: Large black
Post by: SallyintNorth on January 13, 2015, 01:27:26 am
I had a pair.  They were nice well-mannered pigs, never any trouble really.  They did take quite a bit longer to fatten than other traditional breeds I'd had, and I had thought I probably wouldn't bother with them again.  But then we got the meat back.   :yum:  So now I would have them again, just accept that they take a while longer to grow, which gives me longer to anticipate all that scrummy meat  :hungry:
Title: Re: Large black
Post by: Stereo on January 13, 2015, 09:13:07 am
Thanks. Did you find they ate a lot more forage than other pigs?
Title: Re: Large black
Post by: SallyintNorth on January 13, 2015, 09:43:50 am
Thanks. Did you find they ate a lot more forage than other pigs?

They did rootle and so on, but I think they didn't eat as much forage as the pure OSBs. 

Hopefully Happy Hippy will call in and give you her view - she's had OSBs, LBs and Kune Kunes. 
Title: Re: Large black
Post by: mowhaugh on January 13, 2015, 09:51:41 am
My experience is very limited, in that we only started with pigs last year, and have only had Large Blacks, but we love them.  And the pork is yummy!
The only problem we are having is I am looking for a boar and it is proving tricky, but that is mainly due to our location, I think if we had been in Devon we wouldn't be struggling.
I would definitely recommend Large Blacks.
Title: Re: Large black
Post by: devonlady on January 13, 2015, 10:08:08 am
Can maybe put you in the way of LBs in Devon if you would like.
Title: Re: Large black
Post by: HappyHippy on January 13, 2015, 05:51:06 pm
Large Blacks are great  :thumbsup: Gentle, unassuming and don't cause any bother  ;)
They're slower growing as Sally says, but you can't rush them as over feeding just leads to excess fat (like all traditional breeds) They do graze a bit as adults, youngsters will still rotivate and we had a sow who went elsewhere and ploughed everything, despite being fine here  ::) I think the type of ground and amount of land might make a difference (she had more space and rougher grazing here) but they can just take a notion into their heads sometimes and have a root about - I wouldn't count any forage they get as having any major nutritional value or as a replacement for hard feeding though.
I love mine, they're second only to kunekune in my eyes (and I'm besotted with them  ;)) don't let their size put you off - they're so docile (mainly because they can't see anything  :D) real gentle giants  :love: :pig:

The Large Black breeders club is a great source of stock for sale (there's also a facebook page) ( or drop Janice the secretary a message. It's worth contacting breeders in late August to enquire and put your name down on their waiting lists for the January litters, as with all the rare breeds they can sometimes be tricky to track down, especially as they're normally reserved as soon as they're born.
HTH  :wave:
Title: Re: Large black
Post by: FiB on January 13, 2015, 08:54:07 pm
We've only the experience of 2 rounds of weaners... Saddlebacks and then Large blacks.  We had 7 of the latter, mixed ages and I think that is a dynamic I wouldn't do again .... They had a large bit of mountainside to run in and went a bit feral. Docile didn't QUITE cover how our family were describing them by the end  :-J :innocent:  in fact I was the only one who would feed them , cause I am quite fast ;D . But the meat was really tasty....  Ours had a lot of fat despite madly under feeding them according to most rules .... And I know think it may be because the growers pellets we were using were too high in protein and not suitable for trad breeds. Despite all this I will be having them again. I loved them and the meat is unbelievably good :-)
Title: Re: Large black
Post by: Stereo on January 13, 2015, 11:18:41 pm
Thanks for all the comments. I've got a 6 acre field of grass and rough which is out of the way of my main fields so looking for an enterprise to run there while also dealing with the masses of brambles that have been allowed to accumulate. I'll be looking to give plenty of space and rotate often.  Something like salatin's pastured pigs. But I've got a years worth of fencing to do on it first so probably not looking to get pigs this season. Famous last words.