The quality of the pigs you breed determines how profitable your pig farm will be. Superior breeds furrow more piglets and pack more weight therefore fetching more cash. Selecting quality gilts and boars is make or break decision for a pig farmer.
In this article, we outline factors you need to consider when selecting gilts and boars for breeding in your farm.
Selection of Breeding Gilt
It is extremely important to select a good gilt since it contributes half the quality of the herd. Below are things to consider when selecting breeding gilt:
- Gilts selected to have at least 12 teats so as to accommodate a large litter
- Gilts to be selected from sows, which wean 9 -10 or more piglets per litter and are known to be good mothers and first farrowing at one year of age and farrowing interval of seven month.
- Select breeding gilts at weaning period, further selection should be done 5-6 months of age.
- Select fast growing weaners. These will likely consume less feed per unit live weight gain. Thus less costly to keep.
- Select gilts which have developed hams and comparatively light heads.
- The selected gilts should have good body confirmation i.e. strong legs, sound feet etc.
- Gilt should not select for breeding purpose having supernumerary and inverted teats, and fat deposited at the base of the teats
- Guilt must be at least 8 months old at first service.
Selection of Breeding Boar
It is extremely important to select a good boar since it contributes half the quality of the herd. Areas to be consider while selecting breeding Boar:
- Boar to have sound feet with good, full hams, uniform curve at the back and of good length.
- Boar to have at least 12 nicely placed rudimentary teats so as to pass on this characteristic.
- Boar to be selected from sows, which wean 8 -10 or more piglets per litter and are known to be good mothers.
- Boar to be selected from the herd which is having normal sex organs, active, healthy and strong.
- Selection to be done before castration i.e. at 4 weeks. Select biggest from the litter.
- Boar must be at least 8 months old at first service.