Peyton Porter, an eighth-grader at Norwood Middle School, has been busy the last few months, as her pig breeding operation has expanded. While she had Bodacious, a breeding pig she was already showing, this year she also gained a new breeding pig, Tasha. Porter is proud to have now homed Tasha’s new babies, and all will be shown at the San Miguel Basin Fair this summer.
Porter has been an active showman in 4-H the last four years, showing steer, horse, lamb, swine, rabbits and now goats, too. Her fellow club member Shay Snyder raised last year’s grand champion swine Tasha, but was reluctant to let the pig go to market at the time. That’s because she knew the female was valuable, and last year’s fair judge even admitted she was a “once in a lifetime” pig.
Snyder and Porter worked out a deal; they convinced the grand champion buyer to take another of Snyder’s pigs, and Porter agreed to keep Tasha as an addition to her growing swine breeding business.
Late last year, the 4-H girls researched a boar they felt would be a good match for Tasha’s genetics. They first bred to a pig named Battlefield that they were really excited about, but unfortunately conception didn’t happen. Next, they successfully bred to a pig named Gettysburg, a son of Battlefield. Breeding was done by artificial insemination.
Porter could tell anyone the gestation period for swine without hesitation: 114 days. She and her grandfather have farrowing pens (birthing areas) set up; they converted an old horse trailer to give Tasha more room and all her babies more safety.
Porter was pleased that Tasha produced eight pigs on Feb. 2, though the runt didn’t make it, unfortunately. She’s even more pleased that Tasha’s babies will be shown at the fair this year. Snyder, based on the girls’ original deal, got first pick of the litter and took two of the baby pigs. Porter also kept and will show two. Coulter Shumway and Kannon Sherman also got one.
“Tasha was a good mom, real good, she never laid on her babies,” Porter told The Norwood Post on Sunday. “She was in labor with the last one two hours, and we had to pull it. Tasha is doing real good, and she will be bred again in September.”
Additionally, Bodacious is now also pregnant, and she is carrying feeder pigs, which Porter said will be for sale.
Porter said with the ongoing school closure she’s had plenty of time to work with her 4-H animals. She already has her steer and goat projects, and her lamb and rabbit projects begin later this spring. She also has a horse that she shows at the fair, which she said is actually her favorite species to work with.
Next year, she said she may have three litters of pigs. With Bodacious and Tasha a part of her breeding operation, she’s now working with a new 4-H pig named Warthog. Porter said she believes Warthog may also be good for breeding purposes in the future.
She said anyone looking for pigs should reach out to her this year. She said people can’t wait for them to be born to get one.
“It’s like making a reservation,” she said. “You have to call ahead.”
To reach Porter and inquire about her pigs, the public may contact her through her grandfather Cody Young at 970-729-1834.