Monday, August 5, 2013

The Pig Of Pampering And Prayer

Grand daughter Madison raised a very unique pig this year.  It is a Spotted Poland China, which has its beginnings right here in southwest Ohio.  "The present day Spots descend from the Spotted hogs which trace a part of their ancestry to the original Poland China, which consisted of six separate breeds and was referred to as the "Warren County Hog" of Ohio. One such breed imported into Ohio in the early 1880's was a breed called the "Big China", mostly white in color, but having some black spots."

Three men from Putnam and Hendricks Counties, in Indiana, brought boars and sows back from Ohio from time to time to cross with their own good hogs; and thus developed a breed all their own from this background which kept the characteristic color of large black and white spots. At this time, two hogs imported from England, known as "Gloucester Old Spots" added a wonderful stimulant to the breed in the form of new bloodlines.

The pig nearly died early in the project so it became the pig of pampering and prayer.  When you get a pen or barn full of sick pigs, especially the children's project pigs, it's a really bad deal.  I remember we had that one year in the late 80's or early 90's.  I think I spent more on medicine and veterinarian bills than I did on feed.

One lady called Madison's pig a designer pig.  That's a pretty good description of it.  It looks like the spot colors of old but I never saw a Spot built like this one.  We saw it show at our county fair and at the Ohio State fair which ended Sunday.  Every judge liked it and it placed at the top of it's class every time.

Her cousin Cameron showed a Hereford hog at the State Fair.  I remember the Bratton's of Mowrystown showed them when I was a young man.  Spotted pigs and pigs that look like cattle aren't my deal but they add value to the industry.  Inbred traits can be used to improve other breeds by cross breeding.

The F1 hybrid from to separate but pure inbred lines changed the world, just like hybridization did to corn.  That one principle is probably why you and I are here today.  Farmers learned to feed a much larger world than anyone ever dreamed.



  1. It's a magnificent piggy, congrats to Madison!
    Is that what butchers call COOL?
    (Chops Order On Legs) ;)

  2. LOL, I thought COOL was Country Of Origin Label. That pig is all USA but goes back to China like so many do.

    From email:

    "I found the mention of Herford Hogs in your blog this morning interesting.

    Florine’s grandfather, John C Schulte of Norway, Iowa, was one of the original founders of the Hereford Hog breed back in the 1920’s. Her parents continued to raise Herford hogs during their farming career and her mother was the breed secretary for a number of years during the 1960’s – 1970’s. Her brother continues to raise Herford hogs on a limited basis currently.

    Our granddaughter’s will be showing pigs at the 4-H show at the Iowa State Fair next week. However, those pigs don’t have any linkage back to the Herfords. They did have the top carcass pig and the champion pen of three at our local county fair but the state fair competition will much more intense."