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Selection and Evaluation of Breeding Animals 

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Selection and Evaluation of Breeding Animals . AgriScience 2. Bell Work. Whats wrong with these pictures?. Factors affecting Selection. Production Environment Performance Needs Marketing Goals. High Stress low feed input concrete confinement climate low labor input. Low Stress

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bell work
Bell Work
  • Whats wrong with these pictures?
factors affecting selection
Factors affecting Selection
  • Production Environment
  • Performance Needs
  • Marketing Goals
production environment
High Stress

low feed input

concrete confinement


low labor input

Low Stress

plentiful feed

year around feed quality good

moderate climate

birthing assistance available

pasture raised

Production Environment
performance needs
Maternal Performance

fleshing ability

milking ability


large litter size

birthing ease


Paternal Performance

rapid growth


muscling conformation

feed efficiency

Aggressive breeding behavior.

Performance Needs
marketing goals
Seed stock Herd

herd improvement

male sales

show barrows/gilts

Commercial Herd

feeder operation

finish operation

Marketing Goals
factors used based on
Factors used based on…..
  • Producers needs or preferences
  • Characteristics that need improvement
  • Records or other data
  • When not known an artificial set of factors called a SCENARIO can be used. This is done in judging contests 
selection based on 3 methods of evaluation major categories
Selection based on 3 methods of evaluation:Major Categories
  • I. Visual appraisal
  • II. Production testing
  • III. Pedigree evaluation
selection criteria for breeding animals overview
Selection Criteria for breeding animals: Overview
  • Skeletal Dimension
  • Muscling
  • Trimness
  • Structural Soundness
  • Capacity
  • Performance
i visual appraisal females
I. Visual Appraisal- Females

Know the anatomy of the animal.

i female visual appraisal skeletal dimension leanness muscling
I. Female Visual Appraisal- Skeletal dimension, leanness, muscling
  • Conformation- Breeding animals should have the same conformation traits as the model animal for market animals.
  • Size and scale- appropriate size/weight for age.
  • Health and vigor
i female visual appraisal structural soundness
I. Female Visual Appraisal-Structural Soundness
  • Underline: The mammary development should be normal for species. None inverted, small or damaged. Normal size genitalia.
  • Breed character: Traits of the breed. Females should show femininity.
  • Soundness: The feet and legs are important. They must have good feet and legs. Legs should be strong and straight and should set out well on the corners of the animal.
i female visual appraisal soundness
I. Female Visual Appraisal- Soundness
  • Unsound- Obvious restriction of movement
  • Intermediate- Structural condition is not serious enough to create risk in movement
  • Sound- free of major or minor structural weakness
i female visual appraisal capacity
I. Female Visual Appraisal- Capacity
  • Spring of rib
  • Depth of side
  • width in chest floor
  • Need room for internal organs and fetus development for young.
female performance appraisal
Female Performance Appraisal
  • Select females from prolific mothers.
  • The ability of the female to raise large litters are an indication of mothering ability.
  • Weight gain of young from birth to weaning is the indication of milking ability of mother.
  • Cull females from small litters, that have difficulty birthing or poor milking ability.
female performance appraisal1
Female Performance Appraisal


Select only healthy females.

Females should be tested for appropriate diseases for species and certified disease free.

Select replacement females from home herds when possible.

a sow is productive if selection standards
A sow is productive if?Selection Standards

Prolific- min 8/9 offspring

2.5 to 4 lb birth wt.

21 day litter wt= milking ability

Sow index- how good she is compared to her peers (contemp. group)

lets do the math sow index 100 6 5 l l 1 0 w w
Lets do the mathSow index:= 100+6.5(L-l)+1.0(W-w)

L= # piglets born alive

l= avg. # piglets born alive for contemp group

W= 21 day weight for individual

w= 21 day weight for contemp group

lets do the math sow index 100 6 5 l l 1 0 w w1
Lets do the mathSow index:= 100+6.5(L-l)+1.0(W-w)
  • Betsy had 9 piglets
  • Her contemp. Groups had

an avg. of 7

  • Betsy’s piglets avg. 105 lbs.
  • Her contemp group avg. 110 lbs.
  • What do we know?
iii pedigree
III. Pedigree
  • Record of female ancestry
bell work did you know
Bell work: Did you know
  • Uncle Sam was a New York pork packer who sent barrels of Pork to troops in the War of 1812 stamped U.S.
  • Living High on the Hog came about because the higher rank you were in the army the better cut of pork you got.
  • Heaviest Hog ever: was a Poland China named Big Bill weighing 2,552 lbs.
selecting a breeding male

Reproductive soundness



Performance testing results


Selecting a Breeding male:
visual appraisal conformation
Visual Appraisal- Conformation
  • A male that has traits of the meaty hog
  • Carcass traits-Length, loin-eye area and back fat have high heritability
  • Look for soundness of feet and legs
  • Flat underline, trimness and muscling
  • Frame and body capacity
visual appraisal reproductive soundness
Visual Appraisal- Reproductive Soundness
  • Select a male that has visibly sound reproductive organs.
  • The testicles should be well developed and of equal size.
  • Do not select male that have umbilical or scrotal hernias.
  • Select males that are aggressive and show a desire to mate.
performance health
Performance- Health
  • You should check the health of the herd from where the male comes.
  • Buy only healthy males from healthy herds.
  • male should have a certification free of specific disease concerns of species.
  • He have current vaccinations for common disease concerns.
  • Should be free of external and internal parasites.
performance testing
Age at 230 pounds

Amount of back fat

Average daily gain

Feed efficiency

Carcass quality

Loin-eye area

Weaning weight

Performance Testing

Typically 2 or three from the same litter will be tested

  • A pedigree shows the ancestry of the male.
  • It can be helpful in determining the potential breeding value of the male.
  • You can possibly check performance testing on close ancestors.
  • males should not be used for breeding purposes before they are of appropriate age.
  • Replacement males should be bought 60 to 90 days before using.
independent study assignment

Independent Study Assignment

1. Find selection standards for males and females of your species in the criteria we have just discussed.

2. Find all breeding statistics for your species:

Gestation period

Estrous cycle

Estrus period length

Puberty age

Breeding age