Sow Breeds

Breeding questions, sow talk, semen management, baby pig basics
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Rjb6455
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Sow Breeds

Post by Rjb6455 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:04 am

So my family started breeding pigs a few years ago. We have one sow that is extremely maternal, but all of our other sows aren't. They either have troubles breeding, or farrow a week early or a week late, they'll lay on their babies and won't nurse the first day. I can't imagine commercial barns have this problem. We AI everything, and use crossbred sows. My question is do other show sow people have this trouble or is there a certain breed to use?

buckibri
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Re: Sow Breeds

Post by buckibri » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:30 pm

It's not do much a question of breeds as it us selection pressure for maternal traits. The modern show pig industry has selection pressure based on a physical appearance that isn't conducive for maternal traits. As an example the two major maternal breeds landrace and Yorkshire have some of the worst maternal traits in the show pigs.

The industry has accepted the overall poor reproductive performance of the animals. You however don't have to do so and can work with your good sow to enhance your herd.

In my case, I don't tolerate reproductive issues in my sows. I raise very competitive show pigs as well.

Norm
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Re: Sow Breeds

Post by Norm » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:32 am

Amen buckibri.

Mary-Okie
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Re: Sow Breeds

Post by Mary-Okie » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:13 am

buckibri wrote:It's not do much a question of breeds as it us selection pressure for maternal traits. The modern show pig industry has selection pressure based on a physical appearance that isn't conducive for maternal traits. As an example the two major maternal breeds landrace and Yorkshire have some of the worst maternal traits in the show pigs.

The industry has accepted the overall poor reproductive performance of the animals. You however don't have to do so and can work with your good sow to enhance your herd.

In my case, I don't tolerate reproductive issues in my sows. I raise very competitive show pigs as well.
totally agree,

The showpig industry is based on phenotype traits. However, all the education I received as I got a degree in Animal Science and swine breeding was based on genetics, data and pedigree analysis with some visual evaluation.

I struggle listening to collegiate livestock judging reasons today as there has been such a big movement to projecting maternal performance of a female based on what she looks like. Good Luck With That!

With feed being such a huge factor on the way a gilt looks at the end, phenotype traits have become very poor indicators of reproductive efficiency. You need to study the female side of the pedigrees and talk to the breeders. Buy females out of highly productive females and out of boars that are out of highly productive females. It's not full proof by any means, but your odds are better.
Colby Ferguson
Mary-Okie Farm
cferg615@outlook.com

“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.” Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant

Rjb6455
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Re: Sow Breeds

Post by Rjb6455 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:41 am

Thank you guys for the advice. What are some of the more maternal sires that you know of?

buckibri
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Re: Sow Breeds

Post by buckibri » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:21 pm

Colby, agree very much that having some knowledge of the genetics is very important and the industry does provide some data for pures via the stages program if you believe in that program. Also agree that feeding a pig has a massive impact on their appearance for a show. Have no issue with feeding well as long as it isn't with non labeled materials.

I think that things as simple as adequate vulva size , underline quality, structure, and adequate frame size are important.


As to the question of what lines have some production value I can vouch for the yak durocs and the old newlin and brink lines of Hamps. I love the old hank hamp boar at Shipleys. I think you have to look a bit outside some of the traditional show lines in landrace and Yorkshire. I've used some York semen recently from purple power and their inbred lines and have been impressed with the pigs, no farrowing yet.

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