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Proably the dumbest question ever….

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  largebla 6 years ago.

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  • #16422 Reply
    Member: OR
    Beecht
    Participant

    I have been told to never breed brother and sister…. I understand this concept if I were intending to sell LBH’s as breeding pigs… What would happen if they were strictly for meat? Would it be ok then? or … or … or…

    I have a brother sister pair and have no luck in finding anyone intrested in trading for either one… I was going to keep 2 boars, my LBH and a nice duroc for crossing with my LBH gilt, and use the LBH boar for breeding my york and duroc gilt and sow… feed costs and what not have me re-thinking my plan and scaling down to one boar and my 2 best girls…. The LBH are so kind and gentle I hate to part with either, which leads back to the dumbest question ever… what happens if I breed them together for butcher hogs only….

    thank you all for you help in this…

    #17413 Reply

    largebla
    Keymaster

    Three legged pigs still taste good…

    #17414 Reply
    Member: GA
    DANSAN
    Participant

    I don’t know about brothers and sisters but my boar and sows have a CI of 15.9% which the LBHA says is too close and I have some 9 month old pigs, both boars and gilts, that are the best looking that I have ever seen.

    #17417 Reply

    Matt
    Participant

    My best looking/acting animal is a 9 month old Noble Sam/Prudence gilt with a 20.4% CI. She holds her condition easily, has the shiniest, fullest and softest coat and a super sweet disposition. She’s due July 2, so we’ll see how she farrows, mothers and how healthy/thrifty her offspring are.

    #17419 Reply

    Pamela
    Participant

    What I would do- Keep the LB boar, breed him with all the gilts, keeping the LBs as meat only. Still keep them both for sale/trade as proven breeders and pick up a new line when one sells. Me, I wouldn’t register the offspring so they couldn’t be used as breeding stock. You never know what nasty stuff will show up from that close of a breeding and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for that.

    That’s just my opinion.

    Pam

    #17420 Reply

    president
    Participant

    There is no reason brother/sister breeding can’t be used for meat.

    Although frowned upon it is possible that a brother/sister breeding can produce some great breeding animals. We have some here from that scenario after we bought a sow bred to her brother from a farm in Canada. We culled some of the piglets and kept the best as breeders. Not only does a breeding to these piglets produce very low CIs, but the piglets we kept are looking wonderful! They have great conformation and are growing fast.

    Continuous inbreeding would be more of an issue and you would start to see greater problems (e.g. taking a brother and sister from the offspring and breeding them together).

    The CI is only a statistical ‘guess’ about the distribution of genetic material in the pig. The most important factor, in my opinion, is what the pig looks like, how it grows and how it reproduces (as people have stated above). Some of my best pigs are very high CIs. JoAnn Smotherman, one of our board members, has put together an explanation of the CI calculation that we are going to write an introduction to and publish on this website in the near future.

    Richard

    #17421 Reply

    largebla
    Keymaster

    I agree with Richard on this. While the preferred way to do that is sire:daughter or dam:son, if the individual animals are good quality I’d see no reason not to breed them. The main thing is to keep in mind that such close breeding will emphasize both good and bad traits in the offspring. All of our breeds were ‘built’ by inbreeding and linebreeding and culling relentlessly so in my opinion use your best judgment and go for it! 🙂

    #17422 Reply
    Member: WI
    Harvey Work
    Participant

    The summation of what has been said is this, inbreeding is like fire, “It can warm your house, or burn it down”. As mentioned most breeds were started with linebreeding/inbreeding. Some of the best animals in history were intensely linebred. Linebreding makes the genetics and phenotype of the animal more predictable because linebreeding narrows the gene pool in the selection process, which brings out the best or the worst in the genetics of the two pigs. I have a friend, who is a very astute “student of genetics”, who raises very, very good Angus cattle that grow well and are very predictable, they are intensely linebred animals.

    But, narrowing of a gene pool across a whole breed is not a good idea, as eventually you loose the wider availablity of diverse genetics, which when a breed needs to change, makes such difficult. The reason to watch CI’s is for that very reason. And, if one is practicing a linebreeding program such has to be done with intelligence, integrity and intense selection, or like some breeds, maybe dogs in particular, genetic problems cause ongoing problems in many lines. I quite frankly look for breeding animals that have a higher CI, because they should be more predictable in their inherent genetics.

    Knowing the pro’s and con’s only you decide what your breeding program will be. But, very remote that you will get any freaks, and it will not affect the meat. If you would get any “junk”, I would like to know such, because it would tell us all what to be concerned about within the breed.

    #17423 Reply

    largebla
    Keymaster

    Linebreeding in a small population like we have would only be practical if we all lived together and could do it across the herd. Linebreeding within any one of our small herds simply cannot be done intelligently; there just aren’t enough hogs present to effectively identify and cull bad traits. Using linebreeding as an excuse to justify continuation of high CIs is poor management, IMO, for a rare breed such as Large Blacks.

    Since we are so far from each other and the cost of moving and sharing hogs is prohibitive, what we should be doing is selectively breeding those hogs within our herds that present the right traits that we wish to pass along to the next generation while reducing the average inbreeding. I’ve updated an article about this on one of my sites. http://goo.gl/8zhwc

    But don’t ignore inbreeding. I have seen and heard about several defects within individual LB piglets and litters and they almost always came from higher inbred litters. The science is pretty clear that highly inbred herds perform less well than low inbred herds. We have come a long way in reducing the U.S. herd’s average inbreeding. I would hate to see us go backwards. Breed the best but do so in a way that reduces average inbreeding with each generation.

    #17424 Reply
    Member: WI
    Harvey Work
    Participant

    Your dumb question, was actually a very good question, look at all the discussion that has taken place. Bottom line – whatever your choice of breeding program, it should be well thought out with a vision of what your perfect Large Black would look like. Ultimately pigs are for making pork, but there are different view points of how that should be done. Our vision at our farm is to breed very functional animals with sows that will farrow and raise ten or more healthy, vigorous pigs that economically produce high quality pork. We have sows that will do this. Our goal is to make that a consistant result for us and our customers.

    We have three breeds, but over perfect hog in each breed will be distinct for that breed. Our Large Blacks will be different than our Tamworths or Chester Whites. As Large Black breeders we should all be concerned about making our contribution to the breed a valuable improvement, that is our goal. Again, whatever your breeding program, rigorous selection should take place, and only breeder quality animals sold to our customers wanting breeding animals, eat the rest.

    So, breed hogs as you so choose, with a vision in mind!

    #17425 Reply

    president
    Participant

    Line breeding is a very effective breed management tool when done properly. Low CIs give no indication of good breeding, they can dilute the breed gene pool to such as degree that there is no outcross available. If you are looking to preserve the breed lines, then some line breeding will be necessary. Breeding for low CIs can jumble everything up and doesn’t necessarily help to preserve the distinctiveness of each line.

    Bottom line, don’t let the CI be your only guide to buying or raising pigs.

    If anyone is interested in learning more about dealing with small population breed management a great resource is: ‘Managing Breeds for a Secure Future’ by Bill Sponenberg available at the ALBC (www.albc-usa.org).

    To echo Harvey’s comment, you obviously didn’t ask a dumb question!

    Richard

    #17426 Reply

    largebla
    Keymaster

    I agree with what you are saying, Richard, but I disagree that inbreeding (linebreeding) is a good choice for our rare breed. There are simply not enough LBs to work with and we don’t have the capability to effectively monitor the effects. Without having that capability it could be very harmful to have uncontrolled linebreeding going on.

    Effective linebreeding requires the use of a large population of animals and a study of the effects of linebreeding over a long period of time. You must be able to identify heritable traits over several generations to determine whether they are fixed and beneficial or detrimental. Only then can one make a intelligent decision about what actions to take. This simply can’t be done with the small individual herds we now have in the U.S. I think it is very dangerous for new breeders to get an unrealistic idea about linebreeding their small herds. Linebreeding done improperly can result in the opposite effect than what is desired, passing along latent, damaging traits.

    Linebreeding will lead to a narrowing of the genetic base of a breed and will reduce its flexibility and ability to adapt to changing circumstances in the future including ability of its immune system. These dangers have been recognized even by those who manage the largest breeds and they pose a much greater threat to rare breeds. Linebreeding can also result in loss of vigor whereas mating of unrelated bloodlines often results in greater vigor (hybrid vigor within a breed).

    We have yet to establish an effective process for monitoring the effects of breeding strategies across the LBHA herd. We can partly monitor the productivity of individual sows but our data is not completely trustworthy as some breeders report all litters and piglets while others don’t. But even this analysis (number of litters, piglets born and piglets survived) doesn’t include desirable / undesirable traits. So we have no idea what impact linebreeding or reducing CI within individual herds is having on the larger herd other than just an increase in piglets.

    However there is significant research that indicates that inbreeding is detrimental especially to a breed with a small population. I believe that reduction of average inbreeding should continue to be our goal along with provision of information concerning breeding strategies to our membership.

    I also have yet to see any good evidence that there are significant differences between boar and sow bloodlines across the larger herd. I’ve seen lots of Longfellows, Majestics, Supers…I have yet to see any trait that distinguishes one from another. And the concern about jumbling things up is actually what is needed to ensure the long term viability of a small population. It is this “jumbling” that helps to ensure all of the genetic material is preserved and the population has the best chance of not becoming susceptible to the bad effects of any destructive latent genes. In my opinion the most valuable hog out there is the one that has traits that make it a good breeding hog and is unrelated to my herd.

    We have been very successful in drastically increasing the numbers of LBs in the U.S. but it is still too early to start trying to create better bloodlines through linebreeding. There will be a time when we have the large herds and analytic tools necessary for that but we just aren’t there yet.

    #17427 Reply
    Member: OR
    Beecht
    Participant

    WOW and thanks! I am loving all this discussion… learning alot for sure!

    There is a saying I have heard….

    It is linebreeding when it works well and inbreeding when it doesn’t….

    As for my breeding program, I have pigs that are for butcher only… I wanted to add the LB into my program for the quality of meat they produce… And only being able to get a related pair anywhere close, well here I am…. I also have your standard duroc and york sows and wanted to do some cross breeding to get the best of both worlds in a hog…. and really did not want to keep another boar just for breeding my LB gilt…

    As far as breeding the LB I have no market here at all for anything other that butcher pigs or fair pigs, and I have not had any demand for a LB fair pig 😉

    wanting to expand and improve the breed would be a wonderful thing in the future, just not in my current cards…

    I so do LOVE all this discussion as I am learning a great deal, and my mind is spinning in new and different direction because of it…

    I will breed the LB to each other and see what comes of it…. At least now I know can…and since they are not intended for anything other than the freezer, I have nothing to loose….

    AND AGAIN… I an learning SO much from this discussion!! Thank you!!

    #17428 Reply
    Member: OR
    Beecht
    Participant

    WOW and thanks! I am loving all this discussion… learning alot for sure!

    There is a saying I have heard….

    It is linebreeding when it works well and inbreeding when it doesn’t….

    As for my breeding program, I have pigs that are for butcher only… I wanted to add the LB into my program for the quality of meat they produce… And only being able to get a related pair anywhere close, well here I am…. I also have your standard duroc and york sows and wanted to do some cross breeding to get the best of both worlds in a hog…. and really did not want to keep another boar just for breeding my LB gilt…

    As far as breeding the LB I have no market here at all for anything other that butcher pigs or fair pigs, and I have not had any demand for a LB fair pig 😉

    wanting to expand and improve the breed would be a wonderful thing in the future, just not in my current cards…

    I so do LOVE all this discussion as I am learning a great deal, and my mind is spinning in new and different direction because of it…

    I will breed the LB to each other and see what comes of it…. At least now I know can…and since they are not intended for anything other than the freezer, I have nothing to loose….

    AND AGAIN… I an learning SO much from this discussion!! Thank you!!

    #17438 Reply

    president
    Participant

    There is, not surprisingly, research that shows that pure outcrossing in small herd populations is detrimental to that breed.

    Line breeding is an effective tool when used properly, as I said before. While it is not something for the beginner, it is still an effective tool in maintaining breed characteristics. I just want to get across that if someone uses a low CI only for selection of an animal, from a reputable breeder, they are just as at risk for having a poor animal as they are if they have a high CI one. Genetics is not cut and dried so that it can predict with absolute accuracy which is a good pig and which is not.

    Linebreeding and outcrossing (low CI breeding) have different goals and are both equally valid depending on what you are trying to achieve. Line breeding allows the retention of traits and outcrossing builds in hybrid vigor and crosses traits. Both are valid goals. However, when you have a small population as we do thoughtless outcrossing can cause just as many problems as thoughtless linebreeding. Linebreeding also allows an easy outcross that generates a low CI animal with good hybrid vigor. Outcrossing in a small population can lead to increasingly difficult outcross opportunities.

    Again. Both methods of breeding are valid, both are subject to problems and neither should be used as the sole selection criteria for purchasing a pig.

    Richard

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