Our historic first litter of Meishan piglets has arrived!

 

We are ecstatic to announce the arrival of our first Meishan litter, out of God’s Blessing Farm “MooShu” (Illinois/Iowa) by God’s Blessing Farm “General Tso” (USDA/USDA). 100% Foundation bloodlines.

This is a historic litter for us and for the breed. It’s our first litter of Meishans, and (to my knowledge) the first Meishan litter born in South Carolina). It’s also the first litter born in the world that combines the bloodlines from all 3 research herds (Iowa State (via Carl Blake/Rustik Rooster Farms stock originally from the Iowa State Herd), University of Illinois and USDA)- 0% COI and incredible genetic diversity previously unknown in this country. (Prior to the Illinois and USDA herd dispersals in 2016, all Meishans in the USA were descended from the Iowa State herd’s 2008 dispersal)

This unification of the three research herd bloodlines is one of the goals that we and other foundation breeders are working on. The reason is that after the original Chinese imports arrived, they were kept separated, with no cross breeding between herds, for over 20 years. Genetic drift studies (The Blackburn Studies) revealed that they had become differentiated from one another. “[Blackburn’s authors] confirmed that to truly breed a hog most similar to the classic Chinese Meishan ,and to assure the broadest genetic base for the breed, a coordinated effort to interbreed the bloodlines (but still preserve pure examples of these bloodlines) would be in the best interest of the breed.” MooShu’s litter is the first litter to do just that. (More extensive breed history: http://www.meishanbreeders.com/breed-history/ )

Ten month old MooShu farrowed ten piglets- 6 gilts and 4 boars, all healthy and active. MooShu was bred at 150 lbs and today is approximately 225. She’ll potentially be 300-350 lbs when fully grown. Meishans are a hyper-productive breed with early sexual maturity, this litter was successfully sired by a 16 week old boar (He was born October 1st and sired this litter on January 21st)- on his first pairing with our gilt (and her first exposure!). We’re thrilled with the profligacy of this rare heritage breed.

As champions of Heritage breeds, my Son and I were immediately drawn to the Meishans after learning about them early last year. At the time, 14 year old Connor had written about them for a 4H project. When I read about God’s Blessing Farm’s incredible acquisition of the last remaining Meishans from the USDA and Illinois herds, I knew this was a breed conservation effort that we had to be a part of.

A few months later, we picked up MooShu (Illinois/Iowa) and her sibling, a barrow. In November we picked up ShuMai (USDA/USDA gilt), General Tso (USDA/USDA boar) and KungPao (Iowa/Illinois boar). Thank you Ricardo Silvera and Angelia Silvera for making the opportunities available for us and others to access these valuable genetics and continue the lineage of these incredible pigs!

Photos include this new litter, some of the incredible Meishan pork we just picked up from our USDA processor, and some of our Meishan herd.

A few select piglets will be available as breeding stock from this litter. I don’t sell Meishan as pets.

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