Selecting Pigs for Stocking
Selecting using pedigree
When selecting pigs for rearing, base on the following:
- Individual merit whereby the pig is selected must have the desired characteristics. The pig must be a good fed converter and the female pig must have at least 12 to 14 well developed teats.
- Based on records, where the pig will be selected using the available records. The records used must have the information about the sow and boar and their performance. Such pigs will be selected with a view that they will be able to exhibit the characteristics of their predecessors.
Selecting pigs on individual merit. The pig must be of the following characteristics
They need to have a good body condition, teats should be well developed (at least 12-14 in number), the pig must not have abnormalities like lameness and the posture must be normal
The males selected as a future boar to be used for mating must be selected from a sow which gave birth to at least 10 piglets with 8 or more at weaning. The male should be selected from a sow with 12 or more fully developed and well-spaced teats. In addition it must have strong feet and legs with a weight of about 110kg live weight at 155 days.
Selection of replacement stock from farmers own farm
Many farmers obtain their replacement stock through breeding and reproduction on their own farms. Farmers that adopt this practice should note the following:
- Under poor management, losses due to sterility, abortion and death of immature animals can reduce the number of animals available for replacement
- Farmers must avoid underfeeding and other factors that retard growth and delay puberty
- Always have a pool of young females and males from which to select replacements
- Caution must be taken to avoid overfeeding as it can lead to excessive fatness, high expense on feeds and may be a danger to the production and reproductive ability of the animals.