The pig farmer, no matter howgood, cannot do better than the pig’s genetic potential for production.Improvement in the productive parameters such as litter size, average weight gain,mothering ability and muscling ability can be achieved only through selectionof pigs with superior genetic makeup as the parents for the next generation.
Since the main objective ofpig farming is production of meat, the pig farmers must learn to select thosepigs that can be manipulated through breeding and management in order to taptheir optimum potential for meat production.
There are many different breedsof pigs worldwide but only those that have significant influence on porkproduction are always discussed.
The farmer’s choice for thosebreeds primarily depends on the conditions under which they are reared for thusfarmers need to first establish why they are raising pigs for; breeding versusfattening (pork production). Many farmers usually start as breeders and thenend up fattening their pigs which isn’tbad but wasn’t part of the program. Thisis usually due to the scarcity of market for piglets as a result ofinappropriate planning by the farmers. You actually find your today’s customersfor piglets becoming your future competitors.
Globally, pig breeds are categorized in two depending on certain production parameters (production performance) which include the Maternal and Paternal breeds.
1. Maternal breeds:These are recognized for their large litter size, high fertility rate, goodmother ability, good weaning rates, etc and they include; Yorkshire commonlyknown as large white and Landrace.
2. Paternal breeds: Theseare well known for their high growth rate, high muscling ability, good meat andcarcass quality characteristics such as proportion of lean-to fats amongothers. Paternal breeds include; Duroc, Pietrain, Hampshire, Berkshire, spottedetc.
Pietrain breed is infrequentlyused independently due to its inferior feature of too much leanness.
NB: Camborough pig is not apure breed but an exceptional cross of Yorkshire and Landrace. The name itselfapplies only First generation gilts (YL/LY) of Pig improvement Company ( PIC).
Crossing Camborough witheither Duroc or cross of Duroc and Pietrain produces market pigs or off-springsmeant for fattening.