Who’s Been Hogging All The Girls?
27th July 2011
Boris the boar fathers 130 piglets in EIGHT DAYS.
Boris the porky playboy certainly has been hogging the females’ attention after he broke free from his pen.
The pedigree saddleback must have been as happy as a pig in mud after his escape, as he bedded all 15 sows in the farm he lives on in just eight days.
Now the two-year-old hogfather has just sired 102 piglets – three times more than he typically does in a year – and is expecting a couple of dozen more.
Farmer Darren Shaw, 46, from Tutbury, near Burton, Staffordshire says the broody boar was determined to break free.
The prolific porker is usually confined to his pen at Tebbett’s Butchers in Lodge Hill, and allowed out for a day at time every three weeks to perform his duties.
But the womaniser ripped the gate to his pen off its hinges and discovered a field full of females.
‘Boris is certainly a frisky lad,’ he said.
‘He put his nose under the gate and ripped it off its hinges.
‘It’s no wonder he’s had such a big smile on his face. We’d no idea he’d managed to mate with every single sow. You don’t know what goes on at night.’
The 130kg pig normally fathers just one or two litters each year – which would total a maximum of 34 pigs – but after escaping, the broody boar has produced over three times that in a matter of weeks.
Twelve of the pigs have delivered the prolific pigs squealing offspring so far – producing litters of between four and 15 in the last eight days.
The remaining three are expected to do so in the next few days.
Mr Shaw said: ‘I’ve been working in this business ever since I could pull on a pair of wellies and I’ve never seen or heard of a pig as prolific as Boris.
‘To have so many piglets running about is amazing. We are a small family run business and not a global conglomerate, so this amount of pigs being born is beyond belief.’
‘Once he was out we didn’t have the heart to put him back in.
‘I just thought bugger it. We don’t believe in factory farming, we’re all free range here.’
His stepson Ryan Gibbs, 20, who also works at the 12-acre farm and at the family’s butcher shop said they believe Boris’s baby bid has made him ‘Britain’s most prolific porker’.
‘He’s had a very happy look about him for a while, but for the love of me I couldn’t work out why – but now we know,’ he said.
‘He’s the most prolific womaniser I’ve ever seen. We still don’t know how many we will end up with.’
Now the farm is packed with oinking piglets.
‘All the pigs are running round outside,’ Ryan said.
‘One of the females was giving birth under a hedge and another gave birth in my onion patch in the garden. It doesn’t get much more free-range than that.
‘He got out of his pen and got to all of his harem in the space of 10 days.
‘We have 15 sows here and he got to every single one of them, and he got every single one pregnant.
‘There are more on the way and I reckon by the weekend we will probably have around 130.
‘We only have four pens here but because the weather is so mild it isn’t a problem right now.
‘We try to keep our butcher’s going by breeding all our pigs ourselves – but this is not something you ever plan for.’
The piglets stay with their mums for 10 weeks before being put in a pen.
Stephen Booth of the British Pig Association said: ‘It is a freak case, but all the females would have been on heat to be served during that time period as it is the mating season.
‘Saddleback litters normally range from eight to 16 and on a commercial farm this would be limited to two litters a year for each sow.
‘A Saddleback is a dual purpose pig producing bacon cuts and pork.
‘By the time these youngsters are six months older they will be producing a lot of bacon cuts, that’s for sure.’
The British Saddleback is the result of the amalgamation of two similar breeds, the Essex and Wessex Saddleback.
Saddlebacks are traditionally used as a ‘baconer’ and grown for bacon and hams.