Home & Shop Companion #0040
From the pages of Farm Mechanics magazine, November 1926.
The World’s Champion Litter
Seventeen Pure-bred Durocs of Jenkins Bros. Weighed 4925 Pounds in 180 Days.
This is the world’s champion ton litter of 17 purebred Duroc Jersey hogs that weighed 4,925 pounds at the end of 180 days, or an average of 289.7 pounds each. They were bred and raised on the livestock farm of Jenkins Brothers near Orleans, Ind. The sire of the litter was High Top Colonel, junior champion at the Indiana State Fair in 1925, and the dam was Hoosier Giant’s Belle 3rd, a good deep-bodied sow with lots of capacity.
“Much of the credit for the success of this litter should be given the herdsman, Bent Sanders,” said Mr. Jenkins. “Bent almost lived with the sow and pigs day and night for the first ten days and at no time during these early days were the pigs allowed to be with the sow except when nursing. As soon as they had finished nursing they were placed in a separate pen adjoining the one in which the sow was kept. The sow was gentle and easily handled, so when it was time for the pigs to nurse we just rubbed her a little and she would lay down. Another sow farrowing at the same time had only six pigs in her litter and she was given six of the pigs from the litter of 17, leaving only eleven of the pigs for the mother to nurse.
“The hogs were fed a ration of ground corn and oats 50-50 mixed in a thick slop with milk, sweet milk when we could get it and buttermilk the rest of the time. They ran to a self-feeder containing shelled corn and tankage all the time and during the last 30 days we added some soft, damaged wheat in a separate self feeder.
“A three-foot concrete foundation wall around the house and a concrete floor on which wooden paving blocks were laid, kept out the wind and cold during those early spring days. The house is lined with tongue and groove lumber on the inside and a good grade of building paper in between the two walls keeps out the wind and cold so that usually a small fire in the stove in one end of the house is all that is necessary to make it warm and comfortable during ordinary spring weather. The pens were all thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and clean straw put into them before turning in the sow for farrowing.”
Bent Sanders has been with Jenkins Bros. for nineteen years and has been growing hogs all this time, so he should be pretty familiar with the business. Bent says, “With a big litter the only safe thing to do is to keep them separated from the sow when they are not nursing, until they are big and strong enough to keep out from under her when she lays down.”