A boar can be made to work effectively till only 3-4 years of age. But after 4 years it becomes very huge and heavy. Thereafter it cannot be used for mating with young sows. It can only be mated to old sows. The legs become quite weak and the breeding value and ability of the boar are also under threat. Hence, to have only young and energetic boars it is important to cull the boars as they attain 2 years of age. A replacement should be planned when the boar reaches 12-18 months.
Similarly, Gilt is selected to replace a Sow. A sow is at the peak of its production when it is 3-4 years old. In order to avoid fluctuations in the number of births (farrowings) replacement Gilts should be brought regularly. Overcrowding and under stocking both can be avoided by getting a replacement Gilt. Replacement is also opted on occasions like illness and death of a Sow.
The selection of both boars and gilts is not easy for replacement. It is tough task and many factors need to be looked into before making the selection. The following is the criteria for selection of boars and gilts.
Criteria to select a replacement boar : The boar contributes 80-90% of the genetic material. To bring a genetic change in the herd selection of a right boar is very crucial.
1) The boar being selected for replacement should not cross 6 months of age.
2) It should be purchased from a reputed seed stock producer.
3) The genetics and herd health should be enquired before approaching the producer.
4) After going through the performance records the selection should be made from top performers.
5) It is preferable to avoid very thin and very fat boars. The thin boars do not possess stamina and fat ones lack vigor.
6) The boars with right body condition score should be picked up.
Criteria to select a replacement sow : To produce pork on a commercial scale the productivity of a Sow is very important. A Sow is replaced by Gilt. 50% of the genetic material comes from a Sow in the progeny. Listed below are the criteria to select a replacement Gilt.
1) It is advisable to select the Gilt from smaller litter size. The litter size should be less than or equal to 7.
2) Gilt should belong to a Sow that was good at reproductive performance.
3) Gilt selected should have at 12-14 teats.
4) Avoid selecting Gilts from large sized litters, that is, more than 10.
5) It is better to select double the number of Gilts than required.
6) Gilts with structural deformities and improper growth should be discarded prior to selection.
7) Final selection should take place at 140 days of age.
8) When the final selection is being done, a visual assessment of structure and external genitalia should be done.
9) Gilts with slow growth rate are better performers in the long run.
Swine industry is a branch of animal husbandry that deals only with pigs. The farming, raising and breeding of pigs for their meat as pork are the activities of a swine industry.
Some of the major breeds of swine in the United States are Berkshire, Chester White , Duroc, Hamsphire, Landrace and Yorkshire. Each of these breeds has its own advantages and disadvantages. Each of these breeds in discussed in detail as below.
This breed traces its origin to England. The entire pig looks black except for the feet, face, tail and ears. It has 6 white points on the entire body. The pig is mainly known for its quality of carcass. Body is very firmly built, neck is short, legs are bulky and feet are strong. Snout is relatively short. It weighs about 600 pounds when on maturity. 300 years ago the breed has won a prize for its eating qualities.
The pig is hardy and has good mothering abilities. The pig is known to be a good performer outdoors.
The meat has a high score for pH and has a good water holding potential. The pork color remains dark even after cooking. The pork is juicy and tender. The flavor of the pork is said to be better than any other stuff of a grocery store.
Chester White :
The pig is all white in color and no colored patches are seen anywhere on the body. The pig is best identified by its ears which are medium in size and droopy. The origins of this pig are traced to USA. The main advantages or strengths of this pig are that the females are having superior qualities of a mother. Muscle quality is very superior and the body size is neither too small nor too big. The body weights about 100-250 lbs.
It mainly originated in United States. It is known as 'Black Angus of Swine'. It comes in many different shades. Color varies from golden to dark red to mahogany. Ears droop in forward direction. The body length is just medium. The pig is known for moody nature unlike the Berkshire.
The major attractions for this pig are its growth rate and feed efficiency. Moreover, it is used for cross breeding and it can adapt easily in any climate.
It traces its origin to England. The whole body is black. In the neck region a white band is visible and the front legs also have a patch of white color. They are noted for their muscular growth. The quality of their carcass is highly appreciated by meat eaters. Their growth rate is faster compared to Yorkshires.
Originally it was a native of Denmark but it was imported to the United States and United Kingdom. The whole body is white is color. The body is long and slender compared to other breeds. The ears are large in size and hang in the front direction. The ears hang almost on the snout. The breed is popular for its motherhood and lactation. Lactation is at its peak at 5 weeks after farrowing.
It is also known as English Large White pig. It was originally seen in Yorkshire but was brought to America in the year 1830. It is light pink in color and ears are in vertically upward direction. It has a good built and it contains more amount of lean pork. The mature pig weighs about 500-750 pounds and a female weighs about 450-600 pounds. They are known to be very active. They are lean due their sound legs and feet.
This breed is also chosen for the purpose of cross breeding many times. The breed has remarkable motherly instincts. The snout is very sensitive to smell. The breed is famous for its clean habits.
A pig is said to be purebred if both parents are of the same breed and are registered in the association.
When a pig is registered it has to be a purebred and it is given a registration number. A record of its date of birth, the owner's name and all other details are entered.
For pure breeding artificial insemination is the most preferred method. Earlier, many producers used to sell the few pigs they raised. And it was easy to sell.
The purebreds are only bought by other breeders who are into pure breeding. Or, they are bought by a small scale commercial producer.
Pure breeding was carried out mainly for the taste of pork, size of the pig and health benefits. Apart from meat, leather, lard and other products were also marketed. Pure breeding was a choice because it brought improvement in the traits.
Pure breeding of hogs is a very special business. The number of registered pure bred hogs is only 1% in the United States. Pure bred producers have an important role to play in the swine trade. They produce the breeding stock for commercial production. Making use of pure bred improves the type.
For this reason, a purebred producer must keep accurate ancestral records of the hogs they produce. In a purebred operation the record of breeding and farrowing dates is essential. The producers need to spend a lot of time to advertising and promotion. It is also important to make use of genetic principles to bring improvement as per the demand of the consumers.