best breed of pigs to show

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best breed of pigs to show

Postby Lake » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:03 pm

This will be our son's first year of showing pigs. I know there is good and bad ones in every breed. I would like for the gilts to show good but also make a good mothers to raise furture show pigs. Any information would be great.
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Postby feldy » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:28 pm

I would say my best mothers are either yorks or spots! As far as showing goes, the yorks are really tuff to get into the winners circle! Spots are not as tuff in that regaurd. Depends on what you are planning on doing. If you want to raise crossbreds down the road, I would say go with a york gilt, but if you want to stay pure I would get a good spot gilt!
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Postby Piggy » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:28 pm

I want to put my 2 cents worth here. I would NOT breed a gilt for show pigs until you have a whole lot of experience. If you only want to show and sell local then you can try your first year. I do NOT think that spots will outshow a york. Yorks win many market shows and most all breed shows. If you want to show crosses, a York crossed will give you nice crosses. If you have NO knowledge of breeding and showing I would just pick up two nice gilts your first year, one being a York, hamp or cross and go from there. Good luck, Piggy
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Postby shug » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:08 am

I believe Feldy meant a Spot would be easier to win with. Hence 20-30 head in a york class vs 10-15 in a spot class. He didnt mean anything against yorks or that spots out show yorks. Spots would be a great choice. Then as you learn move on into the Yorks and Crosses.
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Postby hampy622 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:10 am

depends where you show. If its a state fair or national show then the off breeds would be a good place to start but if you are showing just at a county fair or something smaller I would go right into a hamp, york or cross bred. My preference though for purebreds are hamps, yorks and spots.
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Postby osage101170 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:37 pm

We've done the same thing you wanted to. We showed the first year then started breeding immediately. Our first year all our own stock placed in the bottom of their classes and we only won with what we bought. Our second year 5 out of 6 of our market hogs placed first, and the 6th placed 2nd to its' littermate in their classes at county. Their was alot of luck and circumstance that helped us out, but, it was very rewarding to win first, second, and fourth overall market hog, reserve grand champion breeding gilt, and county born and bred at our county, and grand champion heavy weight, and reserve grand overall at district. All out of 1 litter we bred and raised ourselves. You can do it and you can enjoy it, but, if you are going to do this there is a couple of things you need to accept.

1) It is very expensive. Not the best bang for your buck. You're more likely to spend less and win more if you buy from an established breeder.
2) It is very difficult to win with your own pigs out of a sow or two when everyone else is buying pigs that have come out of bigger herds from experienced herdsman.

If your going to do it buy the best gilt you can afford. If you can't afford a good one then wait and save money, or have your kids take out a small farm loan if possible. I hear it helps them establish a credit line and it is low interest. To me their is nothing more important than starting with good genetics. Put structure at the top of your list. Get the help of an experienced herdsman to find you the best structured pig you can get. If she does not do well in the show ring, consider trying to buy the winner (if it has good structure) and eat yours. You might even be able to work out a swap if they are not planning on breeding. It is important to start with the best genetic material you can lay your hands on. If you breed a loser, thats probably gonna be what you show.

On the other hand, if the money isn't the issue and the educational aspect and experience is, go for it and have fun!!!!
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Postby Luke30 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:28 pm

well said Osage, he is right on the money with everything he posted.
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showig

Postby Lake » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:57 pm

We would just show at our county fair, maybe at our district fair. At our fair last year duroc and hamp gilts were the champion and res. champion. There were alot of different breeds but no spots at the fair. The champion barrow was a hamp. All the winners were raised by a local producer. Lot of them were shown by his kids. Thanks for information.
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Postby dingdar » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:33 pm

i really think any well bred well fed hog will do a good job. hard to say who the judge will be cause they all judge differant, some may prefer a breed. My opinion is the breed aint got a whole lot to do with is but more of genetics and feed and good genetics are found in all breeds, now of course we all have our favorites.
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which breed is best

Postby oldobserver » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:33 pm

you have gotten lots of good advice here. its a learning process for us all. buying vs raising them is a tricky subject.
for a new person i suggest that you buy the best you can for a couple years to learn and then go into breeding after you have fully explored all the options.
my kids have some success breeding but it is with minor breeds and they fit a special market niche. most county shows are won by good crosses, hamps and yorks and those area readily available for purchase.
our experience is that a litter raised for show can cost about $1000 and you can still end up with nothing worth feeding out. so if money is a consideration, it is always best to buy the best you can. if you want a really good learning experience and money is not the main issue then talk to as many people as you can, learn all you can ahead of time, get the equipment you need and go for it.
there is nothing better than raising a litter and having success with them. it teaches kids pride in ownership and so many other things that are valuable life lessons.
this forum is an excellent way to learn so dont ever hesitate to ask for help.
goood luck!
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Postby TDODD » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:00 pm

You've just recieved lots of good advice. I would like to also add from expierence, wait . Show for a couple of years learn and visit with some good breeders. Take the first years and watch, ask and learn. And, another concept that took me years to learn was, just because you have a good show gilt, that by no means makes them a good producer of show pigs. It's been my expierence that most good sows were not that great in the ring or never went to the ring. Just because you win with them does not mean they will lay down and produce. Not to detour you in anyway, the industry can always use good honest people, but raising good quality showhogs is hard work!Structure and proven genetics is were it is at.
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