May 3, 2012 at 7:54 am #16626Member: TX
Being new to LBHs and swine in general, please educate us.
We have 2x 1 year old Majestic/Prudence gilts. We are “shopping” for a mate. How different are the separate lines? Should we be looking at another line to diversify blood and/or physical characteristics? Should we be looking for a similar line to “line breed” and strengthen what we have (keeping CI as low as we can of course)?
To go one step further….. what physical traits do we have? What do the other lines have to offer? Are they distinguishable? Can one tell a Majestic boar vs a Super or a Prudence vs Warbler etc?
We are just homesteaders raising our own food and sell a bit to cover our cost to raise them. We have no plans of going commercial or getting heavy into breeders (maybe?). Knowing that, aside from finding a good mate and low CI off-spring, is this all something I should be concerned with in looking for a boar?
You can see a fairly up to date pic of our girls on our FB page:
Thanks for any advice.
Found a list of different lines in another thread if anyone wants to copy and paste =)
WarblerMay 6, 2012 at 8:11 am #17938Member: MO
Here on the farm we believe that the different lines can/do have different characteristics BUT other breeders will & do disagree with us so you will get a different opinion from whoever you talk to 🙂
Breeding for a low CI is in our opinion bad practice because over time it mish mashes the lines so nothing is really what it says it is. You should never buy any animal based on its CI alone – you should also look at the conformation of the animal. Among many others ask the questions: Does it look good? How productive are the parents? Was the mama a good mama or did she squish/abandon some of her piglets? How many were in the litter?
Hammy, our Majestic boar, is what we call a typical Majestic. He is definitely different from the other boars. Hard to explain but we have seen other Majestic boars out there that have that look. Why? If you look at his pedigree you will see Majestic running through both sides – he has a CI of 20%. On the other hand, Martin, our Majestic boar out of Canada is a mish mash, very nice looking boar but does not look like Hammy. He is a superb breeder though so we do use him. CI of 8%.
When you breed for a low CI there is NO guarantee of what you will get. When you do some linebreeding/inbreeding you are concentrating those genetics. Now there is a risk to that & breeders should be prepared to cull hard as sometimes the bad genetics come through.
One of the advantages we have here on the farm is that we can “play” around with the pairings & try different pairs together. For example we have tried Ginger with a couple different boars but the one we like best is with Stitches. They produce SUPERB piglets & so from now on they will stay together. Stitches is what we call our bacon pig (or pork chops) – he is SO long in the middle. Last year one of his sons who looked just like him went to Canada. When you are selling breeding stock you want to make sure that the pig in question is well conformed, when you are breeding replacement stock you want to make sure that if it is a boar, he looks just like his daddy & if it is a gilt that she looks just like her mama.
We are at the stage here where we have now grown up some of that first generation from our own breedings. We have a gilt out there called Mandy, who is out of our sow Mildred. Mandy is the spitting image of Mildred so we are thrilled as Mildred is no longer around. It is sometimes hard to tell at 8 weeks old exactly what they are going to turn out like so if they are not exactly what we are looking for we sell them on as they are still great Large Blacks.
Our Longfellow & Charlotte are stockier whereas the Prudence are taller & longer. There is no known Grandeur in the LBHA registry. We do have Defender here but have yet to produce any live boars from him so waiting patiently, or not so patiently! Have not seen enough Supers to make a comment on them.
As to your question as to what boar you should buy. That is a personal decision that you have to make but if we were you, knowing what we know now, we would purchase a Majestic boar to concentrate those genetics & to help continue preserving the breed.
Hope this helps,
MissouriMay 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm #17941
You have just asked the million dollar question! There are innate qualities of each line, this is inevitable. I notice characteristic differences in each of my hogs. I have a Super boar who is sweet as pie (great quality, produces consistent sized litters) and sires some of the cutest little buggers I have ever seen, everyone who has purchased my piglets has been very happy. I do not have another boar yet to determine what the differences are between Max and another. I do have several sows who have different blood lines and notice things like ear length – my Warbler lady has ears that are very long; slightly humped back of the Prudence – almost miniscule. I see different things, BUT can I be sure that the things I see are due to their blood line? Or is it just because of each hogs’ individuality that I see these characteristics.
The Board is striving to figure out how to identify these line characteristics. This really requires the involvement of the general membership. We need to see (photos) and hear (membership reporting back) what the characteristics of your hogs are. We would like to visit individual farms and see with our own eyes, BUT this is not financially feasible at this time. As Liz stated, what people see with their own eyes may be and often is different than what you will see with your own eyes.
-FeliciaMay 8, 2012 at 8:26 am #17944Member: TX
Thanks for the replies! I think we are gonna stick with Majestic.May 8, 2012 at 11:38 am #17945
Our boar (Boris) is Majestic, in fact I think he is the offspring of Pomeroy’s Hammie and Ginger. He is fabulous, drop dead gorgeous and as sweet and loving as a puppy dog. Unfortunately, he is suffering from pneumonia now and we have been working with our vet to try to get him healed up. First time out, she fell in love with him and his sweet nature – even though he feels awful and we were giving him a shot every day for 5 days, he never once tried to bite or get mean, just by the 4th one he would move away. That first round didn’t fix the problem so now he’s on exceed, 1 shot every 5 days behind his ear sub-q. We were dreading the first one but he just stood there eating while Rus gave it to him. Just feel bad for him and hope this cures him. He’s such a WONDERFUL boy and passes that great temperament and conformation onto his offspring that he’d be very hard to replace.
Anyway, got off topic there a bit, we love the Majestic males. Our sows are Charlotte and Matilda and look very different. The Charlotte is longer, more level backed and leaner, finer boned, and her nose a bit more upturned. Her temperament is sweet, sweet, sweet & she has at least 10 pigs every time. The Matilda sow is ’rounder’, heavier boned, not quite as laid back (but in no way mean) not quite as long bodied, & has between 5-7 pigs each time.
I also agree with Liz about the coefficient. All domestic breeds of animals were developed by line breeding and inbreeding to ‘set’ the type desired. Breeding close like that will intensify the good as well as the bad; it’s a matter of only breeding the best to the best. In my opinion, some folks put too much emphasis on the coefficient & not enough on the individual animals.