In pigs breeding we have what we call paternal and maternal breeds. Yorkshire pigs and Landrace pigs are the main maternal breeds used globally while the main paternal breeds include Duroc pigs, Pietrain pigs and Hampshire pigs.
The performance of pigs is the result of two influences: genetics and environment. Because the genetics of a pig plays an important role in its performance and meat quality, all pig producers should be familiar with the potential and application of genetic selection.
During breeding, Landrace (LL) is crossed with Yorkshire (YY) to produce First Generation (F1) gilts (LY) that are sold as parent stock to pork producers in order to produce market pigs.
What happens is that at conception, genetic information from the sire and dam combine to create the genotype of the offspring. The pig’s genotype is simply the genetic makeup for the animal. For most economically important traits, the pig’s genotype can be thought of as setting an upper limit for an animal’s performance, sometime called the genetic potential.
Whether the pig’s genetic potential is realized or not is usually heavily influenced by environment. Environment is a collective term for all the non-genetic influences on an animal. Environment includes but is not limited to nutrition, housing, health status, and thermal conditions.
The phenotype (physical appearance or performance) of a pig is the result of the animal’s genotype and environment. The relationship between phenotype, genotype, and environment is often summarized as the following equation:
Phenotype = Genotype + Environment
Heritability is the proportion of differences in performance among animals that is due to genetic differences.
The pork producer will need a terminal sire with both good carcass and meat quality characteristics. Usually Duroc is taken as the best choice so the market pigs produced will be (LYD). All these are supposed to be fattened and slaughtered and the cycle continues.
Cambrough is a brand of First-Generation gilts produced by PIC and their gilts are exceptional. We have a number of series of cambrough that includes C29, C23 and all these are specifically supposed to work as parent stock for producers.
They have different Camboroughs because their selection is based on both consumer and pork producers’ interest. They also produce different Boar products which fit their different gilt types depending on the needs of the producer.
The more market pigs are crossed the higher the reduction in their performance potential.
Please, have you ever asked yourself a question why your cambrough pigs are not performing the way they should? Smiles, I guess you have!
Breeding in Pigs
Line breeding uses the same principles as inbreeding but a desired characteristic is being sought. For most breeders, genetic diversity is the key to producing healthy litters and robust examples of future breeding stock.
This isn’t simple when the genetic pool to pick from is small, but it is important. Fortunately, with modern technology, not only can you find out how related one pedigree pig is to another, you can also use artificial insemination from unrelated boars to assist you in lowering the risk.
A mistake some breeders make is registering multiple boars from the same litter to use as sires. One boar should be the maximum from each litter or you risk producing lots of boars used in others breeding programmes, pushing up the number of litters that are closely-related and thereby failing to expand genetic diversity.
Use different, unrelated AI boars each time you breed. Remember that other breeders will be using those AI boars on their own farms, making some of your herd closely related to others around the country.
AI stations do change their boars or add new ones to the list, so take advantage of new genetics. It is recommended for breed conservation that one individual male should not contribute to more than five percent of future breeding populations therefore it is wise to avoid the most popular AI boar.
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