Although showpig breeders are often swamped during sale season, they want their potential buyers to ask the right questions. Not only do these inquiries help build rapport between breeders and feeders, but they also allow both buyer and seller to be on the same page regarding needs and expectations.
Showpig.com chatted with Mike McCoy of Real McCoy Genetics to see what questions he wishes his buyers would ask.
WHAT BARROW OR GILT DO YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT SIZE FOR MY SHOW?
No one knows how a hog should mature quite like its breeder. They know the genetics, and they should know which pig in their offering would be best suited for the buyer’s end goal.
WHICH LOTS DO YOU EXPECT TO BE THE SLEEPERS OF THE SALE THAT YOU EXPECT TO FEED WELL YET MAY BE UNDER THE MONEY?
According the McCoy, many buyers will ask what pigs are the best in the offering. But, with the best lots garnering a lot of attention, they may not always be in reach for buyers on a tighter budget. This is why it is important to ask this question.
“There a lot of good hogs that can be purchased under the money,” McCoy says.
I LIKE TO FEED HOGS THAT ARE ______, WHICH LOTS DO YOU THINK WILL WORK IN MY PROGRAM?
Many breeders will ask a potential buyer which types of barrows they like to feed, but if they don’t this question is imperative. Some folks like to feed them stout and some people like to feed them green. Sellers need to know the way you will feed to help you succeed.
WHAT VACCINATION PROGRAM DO YOU USE?
“This is especially important if you’re buying multiple pigs from multiple places,” McCoy says. “You need to make sure they’re all covered for the same bugs.”
IS IT OK TO CONTACT YOU THROUGHOUT THE SEASON TO GET ADVICE ON PROPERLY FEEDING AND CARING FOR THIS PIG?
“I think some people are a little intimidated by breeders and their experience,” McCoy says. They don’t want to be a nuisance, but it is more of a nuisance if they don’t call and get the help they need.”
Breeders want the pigs they sell you to do well, and many are willing to help you along the way.
WHAT HAS ITS MOTHER DONE?
Although a popular sire is great, never underestimate the power of the bottom side of the pedigree. Consistent litters by consistent dams often have the best results.
HOW DO YOU EXPECT THIS PIG TO FEED?
If you have a specific lot in mind, be sure to ask its breeder how they expect that individual to feed and perform throughout the year. Their insight into that pig’s history and the genetics behind it are invaluable.
WHAT PIGS DO I NEED TO BE LOOKING AT?
Once a breeder knows your goals and your program, don’t hesitate to point blank ask them which hogs you should be looked at. Breeders want their prospects to be placed with feeders who will care for it in a way it will win, so they will be willing to tell you which would be their pick for your situation.
NOW, MAKE A STATEMENT – IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A LASTING RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS FIRM
“I think one of the smartest things you can do is tell them, ‘This is my experience, these are my goals, this is what I want to do and if I have a good experience then I really want to keep you a source for my pigs until I’m done,’” McCoy says.
This is music to a breeders ears because they often look for young people that they can partner with for many years. Not only does this translate into a consistent customer, but for the buyers it often means greater success, since the breeder has a vested interest in keeping a valued customer. Both parties must uphold a commitment to each other, and that makes a positive pig purchasing experience.