The basics of judging swine. By Sabrina White. Symbol meanings. Home. Back. Next. Review. Choose. Goals. By the end of this unit, students will be able to identify: Basic body parts on a pig The meaning of basic terms used in swine judging
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By Sabrina White
By the end of this unit, students will be able to identify:
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A market hog can be any gender but the most common are gilts, sows, and barrows. We raise them for the intent of using them as food products and pork byproducts, such as, leather or the pig ears you give to your dog.
We judge or evaluate market hogs so we can ensure we get the most and best meat from the hog. This also means the producer will get the most money from his stock. It also helps in choosing a hog that will stay healthy. Undesirable characteristics may lead to soreness or lameness. This can cause the pig to go off feed. In turn, the pig would be costing the producer money.
What do you look for in a
Years ago, pigs were raised to be fat. People used the lard for various reasons so they made that part of the emphasis when they raised hogs.
In today’s culture, we want lean meats because they are healthier. So, we put most of the emphasis on lean meat from our pigs.
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A gilt is a female swine before her first litter is born. Replacement gilts are raised for the purpose of reproducing good quality offspring and they will eventually replace a old sow.
We judge replacement gilts to ensure they pass desirable traits on to their offspring. Another reason for evaluating them is to ensure they will be able to produce and maintain a sizable litter. Finally, the main goal is ensure productive longevity.
More emphasis is put on body structure and leg structure for replacement gilts. This is because they will be around much long than market hogs. The replacement gilts will be around for a few years compared to market hogs you are around for a few months. Try to think of it like this, in general, replacement gilts will be good for market but not every market hog will be good for breeding.
Overall look for:
Long, lean body
Wide, square, structurally correct feet and leg placement
Long, deep, wide muscular ham
Long, square, wide, level rump
Crease down the back when looking from rear
Overall look for:
Basically same body structure as a market hog
Prominent, refined, evenly-spaced underline
More emphasis on structure or body and legs
A barrow is a male swine that has been castrated.
Remember, a fully intact male is a boar.
Remember, a female swine after her first litter is born is called a sow
That body part is the ham!
Replacement gilts are bred for reproductive longevity.
Remember, market hogs are bred for their meat.
Remember, gilt means they haven’t had a litter yet.
Remember, you want good quality offspring.
Today we put the emphasis on lean meat so we want raise lean hogs.
This hog is over weight. We put the emphasis on lean meat so we breed lean hogs.
This is a boar.
Remember, a barrow is a male swine that has been castrated.
Remember, a sow is a female swine after her first litter is born.
The barrow doesn’t belong in a replacement gilt class!
This is a replacement gilt class, take a closer look.
Hog A has an ideal body condition.
Hog B has excessive fat cover.
A long, lean hog is the most desirable.
Think back to what we want from a hog.
Prevent excess cost to the producer.
Prevent lameness to the animal
Ensure females reach reproductive potential
All of the above
We want to prevent excess cost to the producer, lameness to the animal, and ensure the females reach their full reproductive potential.
They are all reasons we want to evaluate hogs.
After you’ve taken a look, continue on and answer a few questions on the placings.
Hog 2 is the heaviest – muscled and nicest designed hog. He has a more correctly turned loin edge. He maintains the muscular thickness back into a powerfully constructed hip, ham, and stifle.
Hog 3 is nicely balanced; however, he lacks the overall muscle mass and volume found in the class
Hog 4 is a heavy barrow; however, is too non-descript in his muscle shape and design
Hog 1 is the most modest in muscle of any of the hogs.
Hog 1 is the most modest in muscle.
Hog 3 is more conformationally correct hog of the pair. He is more descript over his loin edge. He is more free of fat throughout the lower third of his body.
Hog 4 is a heavier barrow
Hog 3 is more conformationally correct hog of the pair. He is more descript over his loin edge. He is more free of fat throughout the lower third of his body. Hog 4 is a “pounds heavy” barrow; however, he gets too non-descript in his muscle shape.
Take another look at the muscle definition and at the condition.