Tater, the best boar I’ve ever raised, and the pinnacle of my attempts to create an Oxford Sandy and Black for the midwest. Alas, Tater had one crucial problem. He was sterile. Or at least he was functionally sterile. He would make a few feeble attempts, but quit before achieving the proper insertion.
When I told me son about Tater, he said, “If he’s so good, couldn’t you collect his semen and use it to artificially inseminate.”
“I think that’s what has contributed to this problem. Twenty-plus years of artificial insemination has led to the rise of problem breeders,” I said.
My memory may be fooling me, but it seems like boars used to do a better job with natural service. Part of the problem may be I don’t keep enough boars around. You would think I would be smarter than this with close to forty years of experience. We always said it starts with the boars. If you don’t get the sows bred, you are out of the livestock business.
Fortuitously I had kept a backup boar, just in case Tater didn’t work. Chris is pictured below, half Yorkshire, half Landrace. He sired all the winter/spring litters.
And then we come to Taiphan, pictured below. Mean, ugly, difficult to be around, and he gets the job done. I forgot what a truly aggressive breeding boar is like.
When a boar is sexually aggressive, you have to worry that he gets enough to eat. I remember boars from years ago that we had to remove from the breeding herd to let them gain some weight.
Taiphan was in the first litter born in 2013 in a snowstorm. Most of his littermates froze, so we know he’s tough as well as aggressive. His dam was a Duroc sow and his sire was DRU semen from SGI. So he’s 3/4 Duroc and 1/4 French Muscolor. He sired the early summer litters.
It’s not easy. You have to have some redundancy in case something goes wrong. And if everything happens to be perfect, pour yourself a glass of lemonade and enjoy the two or three minutes while they last.