Large Black Pigs that have wormed a way into our hearts. Stories are told of them when we explain why we raise this breed.
Maximus Pig was our very first Large Black. We picked him up from SaltoEarth Farm in Northeast Ohio when our younger son was just 2 weeks old. They kind of grew together.
We had trouble locating Large Black gilts to grow with Max, and ended up with a mother and daughter Tamworths from Pamela O’Brien near Niagara, NY. When we first visited, we met their boar who looked like a Volkswagen Beetle walking around in the pasture. We were very impressed. Lily and Maple became Max’s constant companions and mates. It turned out that Lily was MY favorite sow and Maple was my husband’s. We have stories about them as well, but this is about Max.
He was the kindest boar we have ever met. I had raised all sorts of animals throughout my life, but nothing compared to our Max. He would take walks with my husband on a daily basis, acted like a dog. He would flop over for belly rubs. To say we loved Max is an understatement.
Our land was mostly in CRP (conservation program) when we first got him. So we didn’t have excellent perimeter fencing set up and used mainly a single strand of electric wire to hold the pigs in. Yes, one strand. They did very well. One day, the wire had fallen off the insulator and was shorting out on the ground. Max stepped over it, walked up to the north of the house, right up to the front door and barked… like a dog. Yes, he barked like a dog. It sounded like a deep “huff” sound. I was surprised to say the least that the boar was at the house and went to investigate. He dutifully led me to the short and waited while I lifted it for him to go under, then he calmly went back to his girls in the woods. That was it! He had just sealed the deal as the best boar we have ever had.
As he grew, I would be wary of him wanting to “flirt” with me. I am only 5 foot 2.5 inches tall and by the end of his life, he was at least as long as my husband is tall and came up above my waist in height. He would saunter over to me making a soft ha ha sound. I can tell you that I was afraid. If he had brushed up against me, I would have fallen and I did not want to be snuffled to death by loving pigs. I would call Lily over to “save” me. She would stand between Max and I so that I could leave the pen. He was never mean, never over rambunctious, but I knew better than to trust an animal that was bigger than me.
Max lived with us until he passed of old age at nine years old. The day he passed, he successfully bred three sows. He produced many excellent piglets and his name lives on in his children. He was a SaltoEarth Super 1/7 out of an AI donor from IBS with the bloodline SM Super and Cabbage Hill Matilda and his sow was Wolfe Prudence out of SM Majestic and SM Prudence.