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Choosing a Breeding Gilt

| 12/10/2018 6:23:00 AM

Huge Hairy Pink Breeding Sow 

Choosing a breeding animal of any species can seem overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for.  Choosing a gilt that you intend to breed is no different. I’m here to guide you through the process of choosing a breeding gilt.

Body structure. The first thing that you’ll want to look for is structural correctness. You’ll look at the pig to make sure that she is built correctly and will be able to hold up for you for years to come.  She should have nice straight legs. When you view her from the side, her back should be level and her back legs shouldn’t be tucked under her.

Look at her from behind and watch her walk away. She shouldn’t have sway in her hips. If she does, that’s a poor indication that her back end isn’t built right. One of the most common issues pigs have is leg problems. Prevent that by choosing breeding gilts with correct legs.

Musculature. Next, you’ll want to look at her muscling, similar to how you would look at a pig that you would raise and take to market. She should have good muscle definition. You should see muscling in her hams, along her loins and in her shoulder. Remember, she will be passing some of these traits onto her offspring, which you’ll be raising as meat animals, so meat characteristics are important.

Reproductive traits. She should also have sound reproductive traits. You should look at the vulva and teats on gilts that you are considering to breed. Make sure that she has at least seven good teats on each side. Check for inverted or blind teats. Piglets will not be able to nurse from these, so you want to make sure she has enough good teats to nurse a large litter.

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