On Febr 4 of 2018 we placed a neighbors boar in with our Berkshire! Little did we know that a wild boar had been in the fence with her already and bred her! March 26 she’d a had litter of 10. How can we market them?
That's a beautiful, healthy looking and hungry litter! No idea where you are in the world so can't offer any concrete suggestions on marketing - not that we have to market our piglets, our villagers ask if our sows are in pig or have farrowed and then they leave a message at the supermarket that they want to buy some!
In our location your piglets would be in good demand - ultimately (possibly depending on diet) stronger in flavour than traditional "commercial" pigs and better (hopefully based on the wild boar genes) for fully outdoor / free range living.
If you lived near my village (or within a few hundred kilometers) I'd definitely take a couple of females off of you - one for taste testing and one for breeding next year. Good luck whatever you do!
Just can't trust those sneaky males ! Turn your back for a moment and look what happens ! Seriously they are good, healthy looking piglets. I suspect that the "wild" flavor comes from their foraging diet and with age... Feed them grain and sell/ butcher them young, they will taste fine. Next season get a chastity belt for that sow... that boy she likes is from the wrong side of the fence...
I always thought that adding wild boar genes would make for a much tastier pig, maybe not until after being bred back to the domestic breed being kept, but I think it would certainly add some genetic diversity and hardiness to the gene pool. What better forager could you ask for than one whose personal wood pile contains a boar that did for himself in the wild?
I honestly prefer the taste more than the mild, flavourless factory farmed pork available at the grocery. I agree that I would want to keep such hybrids on a milder diet, but to a point, I would definitely trade the lack of taste for redder flesh and heartier stock with the ability to forage better.
I don't know what your plans are now, Linda, but I would sit back and see how the piglets turn out. If there aren't any behavioural issues, I would raise them and see how they do on your property. I would geld a male, or maybe all of them, unless you have an exceptional specimen you want to wait and see about, and do your taste-testing on one of those. You might want to see if there's anything about this accident that you can use to accelerate your progress.
If the wild boar that is the source of the genetics was born and raised in the area, and if his line was, as well, they are effectively a landrace breed, even if there were contributions from domestic stock now and then. You have, in effect, been gifted pig genes specifically suited to thriving in your area.
Far from being a mistake that you have to "make do" with, you might find yourself with heartier stock that lowers the cost of keeping them by better and more effective foraging, and adaptations to local wild food.
It's just my opinion, but I think it would be a waste to not investigate the potential benefits of breeding these hybrids back with Berkshire again, to reinforce those genes for which you chose the Berkshire, while benefitting from the hardiness of the wild stock.
On this matter, I would love to hear from someone who's incorporated wild boar genes into their domestic stock. There might be reasons not to do this, or specific signs or warnings that signal behaviour or tendencies for which you wouldn't want to select.
But let us know how it's going, and what you decide. Thanks for the great pics, by the way. They look great. Keep us posted, and good luck!
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
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