Contest: Pick the Best Sow

Dave Perozzi commented on my last post about valuable pasture swine genetics and asked me to show pictures of “good” vs. “bad” sows.  You can read my reply here.  I told Dave that is a great idea for a blog post, so I came up with this idea for a contest.

Out of the four sows pictured below, pick the sow who will have the most live piglets at one week after farrowing.  I’m using one week as a stand-in for weaning because any death loss after the piglets start leaving their hut is minimal and difficult to measure.  As a tiebreaker, guess the number of piglets the winning sow will have at one week.

Contest entry will close Thursday,  April 28th at 7 am.

The winner of the contest will receive a $25 gift certificate at Kiva.  Kiva is micro finance, an idea I love that helps connect lenders to borrowers, often in developing countries which may have limited access to capital.

A description of each sow is below each photo.  The red sows will be having their fourth litter.  The white sows will be having their second litter.  I’ll talk more about each sow in my comments and in a future post.

Good luck!



#1: Slightly erect-eared red sow


#2: Drooping ear red sow


DSCF2349#3: Drooping ear blue-butt

DSCF2354#4: Drooping ear white sow

9 Responses to Contest: Pick the Best Sow

  1. All right I am going to guess #3 the Blue butt pig. By the look of her tits she has the most milk. She may not have the most piglets # 4 looks like she will but #3 will have the most pigs left alive after 1 week. I really don’t know what I am talking about but it sounds good 🙂

  2. Edmund says:

    I think #3 and 11 live pigs.

  3. Ellie k says:

    No 2 with 9 piglets surviving.

  4. Dave Perozzi says:

    This is a fun challenge.

    My best sow was shaped like #1 and she did a great job cranking out large litters of 14+. So I’ll put my money on #1 with 14 in honor of Penelope the Berkshire.
    I prefer the look of a more barrel-shaped pig like #2 or #3 and I selected more in that direction because I thought the more compact piglets did better, especially in the cold weather, but I’ve noticed that my stockier sows don’t wean large litters. I’m speaking from a lifetime experience that includes only about 15 sows, so I’ll admit I’m ignorant.
    #4 looks like trouble. While she may be able to raise piglets, she doesn’t look to have reserves, so I’d forecast some rebreeding problems unless you can really supplement her hard during late gestation and post-farrowing.

  5. cathylee says:

    No 2 and 11. Never raised a pig.

  6. Valerie says:

    Number 4 and 13. This is a random guess because I have no way to judge.

  7. Hey everyone, the sows started farrowing so I’m going to move the contest deadline to 7 am April 28th, tomorrow morning. If you know anyone else who would like to get in on the action, please let them know.

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