John’s COAL YEAT GRAND DUKE was the Saddleback Pig of the Year and Champion of Champions in 2011. This boar now four years old has grown a sharp pair of tusks over the winter, which for showing and personal safety, it is essential to trim. This is a process not to be undertaken lightly as a large mature boar weighing approx 350 kilo is not to be messed with. Therefore it is essential for a novice pig keeper to get a vet or an experienced pig man to demonstrate how safely to undertake this simple annual task.

Really to be safe it is a two man job, one to hold the pig snare and a second to remove the tusks with a tooth saw. This whole episode can efficiently be undertaken in 10 minutes. There are four tusks to remove, two on the bottom jaw and two on the top jaw. The two on the bottom jaw are the sharpest and easiest to remove, so I always do these first.

Now the big boar is detusked he is ready for Staffordshire Show on 29/30 May. Well, almost ready, as to date he has had only one wash and a good oiling with pig oil to soften his skin. Before we set off to the show he will be washed, shampooed and oiled at least two more times! He will join 10 other pigs of three different breeds Hampshire, Oxford Sandy and Blacks and Saddleback pigs that will fill my large trailer for the 300 mile round trip.

Busy times ahead! All these show pigs are regularly evaluated, trained and admired during our monthly pig keeping courses and compared to their ‘working’ relations on the farm.

Both Carole and I will either both or individually be at the following shows in 2013 exhibiting our pigs; Stafford County, Cheshire County, Gt Yorkshire, Anglesey County, Stoneleigh Country Fair, Gt Eccleston and Westmorland County. If you are visiting a pig show please do come and say hello.


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