Last Thursday we had a new arrival on the farm. Having been very disappointed and saddened by my trip to the Hawkes Bay the previous week I managed to source a registered Berkshire Boar just down the road in Levin. This boar is registered in the New Zealand Pig Breeders Association herd book and his official name is Ohau Count the 2nd (Ohau is the stud he came from and Count is the bloodline). Born on the 13th March 2013 he is not yet one year old but easily takes the crown of the oldest pig on the farm and given that he is part of my breeding herd he will be staying for a long time, probably up to 9 years. So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Hugh...
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Ohau Count 2nd, 'Hugh' the Berkshire Boar[/caption]
I am sure your first question is where did the name come from and the answer is the kitchen, Claire and I have decided to call all our breeding stock after famous chefs and of course the first one had to be Hugh, just you wait till Nigella arrives. With the arrival of Hugh came the first of my second breed of choice, the Berkshire (pronounced bark-cher). The Berkshire pig is smaller than the Large Black but still has a friendly personality and is known, especially in Japan, for its excellent meat quality which is likened to Beef Wagyu where the fat marbles through the meat.
Hugh has been on the farm just a few days and is already showing a great personality. From the day he arrived and wouldn't get off the back of the ute to the complete mess he has made of his new 1 acre paddock. Hugh likes a good scratch behind the ears and a mud bath with me directing the water onto his belly.
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Unfortunately for Hugh he won't have any female company for a while as his mate to be, who arrives on Tuesday, is only 3 months old and it will be a good few months before she is ready for breeding, in the meantime he will just have to make do with a cold mud bath. Hopefully, if all goes well with the arranged marriage, we will have our first homegrown litter of Berkshire piglets in six months time.