Pedigree Portal: Breed Characteristics of NSR Breeds

We are often asked about breed qualifications of the 4 breeds of the National Swine Registry. Below is a summary of breed requirements and markings. 
Durocs should be red with down ears. If a Duroc has white on any part of its body, including its feet, it may be disqualified. It is okay for Durocs to have white on the end of their nose, as long as it doesn’t break the rim of the nose. They are not allowed to have more than 3 black spots and none over 2 inches in diameter on the body. 

Hampshires should be black with a white belt that goes completely around both front legs and feet. They are allowed to have some white on their nose, as long as it doesn’t exceed the rim of the nose. If the white goes under the pig’s chin, it cannot be more than what a U.S. minted quarter will cover. Hampshires can have white on their back legs, as long as it is only from the hock down. These color requirements must be met by Hampshire boars and gilts for them to be eligible to show in breeding events. If a Hampshire doesn’t have a full belt, it can still be bred and its offspring can be registered; however, it can’t be exhibited as a breeding animal at NSR shows. 

Landrace should be white with down ears and should not have colored hair on any part of their body. If a Landrace has large, colored spots or numerous colored spots on its skin, it is ineligible to be recorded. 

Yorkshires should be white with erect ears and not have any colored spots larger than an U.S. minted quarter. 

Please keep in mind if any breed shows evidence of a third dewclaw, it is ineligible to be recorded.  Durocs, Landrace, and Yorkshires should have at least a 6-6 underline to be recorded. Hampshires must have a 6-6 underline to be shown as a breeding animal, but can still be recorded if their underline is not 6-6.

I hope this helps clear up any uncertainties you may have. As always, let us know if you have any questions!

Whitney Hosier

Keeping You & Your Animals Healthy

Several fairs in Indiana and Ohio have recently had exhibitors and livestock affected by the influenza virus. Influenza, or the flu, can occasionally be transmitted from people to pigs or from pigs to people. Here are some recommendations from National Pork Board you can follow to help protect you and your animals from illness:

1) If anyone in your family has flu-like symptoms, please do not attend any public livestock events, including your county, state or regional fairs, for seven days after the symptoms began or until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications - whichever is longer.

2) If any of your animals show signs of flu-like illness on the farm, please check with your veterinarian before bringing them to your county, state or regional shows. 

In addition to the precautions above, Dr. Tony Forshey, State Veterinarian in Ohio, says that being proactive and doing things as simple as washing your hands can help prevent the spread of illness. See Dr. Forshey's other comments on protecting animal and human health by clicking here

For additional information, refer to A Champion's Guide to Youth Swine Exhibition: Biosecurity, available here

By taking these precautions, you can help protect yourself, your animals and the people and animals around you. We appreciate your cooperation.

Stock Marketing: Picture Perfect

You've heard it a million times that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in June's Stock Marketing, we learned how a good picture helped the Kaufman’s land their Hillbilly Bone son at Prairie State Semen,Inc.  Now, we’re going to talk about how to get that perfect picture.
  • Get your subject to 12 o clock - Whether you’re selling pigs online or vying for buyers attention in print advertisements, a picture can make or break a sale. Have your pigs dialed in before you take a picture. Make sure your pigs are clean, in shape and accustomed to the surface you will attempt to pose them on.
  • But don’t shoot at noon - While ‘high noon’ may have been preferred time for fictional Wild West shootouts, it’s far from the ideal time to shoot livestock pictures. The bright, direct sunlight throws harsh highlights and shadows, which oftentimes don’t accentuate the features we would like. It’s also much more challenging to snap pictures of white pigs in this light. Oftentimes, it makes them so light many details can be lost in the picture. Morning and afternoon light is much less direct and harsh, and overcast days provide the best soft lighting.
  • Just a little background - Although the pig is the star of your photo, please remember to do a quick background check. Make sure there is nothing that could detract the viewer's eye from your animal. An open, grassy area makes a great background. Another common mistake is to take a picture of a light animal in front of a light background or a dark animal in front of a dark background.
  • Get low - Snap your shot at the pig’s level. Shooting down on or up at an animal can distort their appearance. Generally speaking, shooting down on an animal will make it appear smaller – something most of us will agree isn't desirable.
  • Take your time - Taking pictures of livestock isn't easy. It can, at times, be very frustrating trying to capture the perfect pose for that 'money shot.' So plan ahead, and allow plenty of time for the process. Don’t rush, and if something doesn't go quite as planned, take a deep breath and try again.
Now, it’s time to start snapping great shots! As with anything, practice makes perfect so get out there and have fun taking photos. Remember to send all of your pictures and ad information to the NSR Marketing and Communications Department by Aug. 21 to save your spot in our September Showpig Issue of the Seedstock EDGE.

Best wishes,