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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I'm new here and have some farming background, but mostly hobby at best. I did get an Associate's in Agribusiness as I didn't know what to do growing up (still don't really know as I dread my 9-5). I've been thinking a lot of slowly working to get a hobby farm set up once we get a place in the country. We currently have our livestock at my parents' house. As I've been thinking about different livestock, hogs were an obvious choice. In my daydreaming I wondered if anyone had tried to create a newer breed from crossing what I consider 4 of the more known breeds (at least in my Great Lakes area of NE/EC Indiana & NW/WC Ohio). The 4 breeds being the Duroc, Hampshire, Yorkshire, and Berkshire. I'm thinking along the lines of how the Beef-master cattle breed was developed. I was thinking theoretically, starting with 4 purebred boars of each and using 4 gilts/sows 1 of each breed for the start. Having the purebred as comparison. The F1 generation trying to find the closest 2 boars & gilts offspring in each litter of cross as the next breeding stock that is as close to 50/50 of the parents as you can get. I'd take more boar power than I need in breeding the F1 generation to get F2 generation. I'd do this to research how much depended on the purebred being the boar or gilt/sow. For example my F1 boars would be (purebred boar breed listed first) Duroc/York, Duroc/Berk, Duroc/Hamp, York/Duroc, York/Berk, York/Hamp, Berk/Duroc, Berk/York, Berk/Hamp, Hamp/Duroc, Hamp/York, & Hamp/Berk. I'd label the same for my F1 gilts/sows with purebred boar first. So crossing my F1 boars to berks would be (Yes to breed, No NOT breeding): Then the F3 could be bread among each other as the goal.
Generation 2BerkDurocYorkDurocHampDurocDurocBerkYorkBerkHampBerkDurocYorkBerkYorkHampYorkDurocHampBerkHampYorkHampSows/Gilts
BerkDurocNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYes
YorkDurocNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNo
HampDurocNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
DurocBerkNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYes
YorkBerkNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
HampBerkNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
DurocYorkNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNo
BerkYorkNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
HampYorkYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
DurocHampNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
BerkHampNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
YorkHampYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Boars
 

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I see you have put a lot of thought into this. There often is a bit of hybrid vigor in crossing breeds. But there is also the added variables inherit in a cross. As an individual it would be a daunting task with limited benefit. Each breed represents countless generations of careful selection by hundreds of breeders over many decades. Making a noticeable improvement by a four breed blending seems unlikely. Perhaps a cross with a lard type breed known for large litters, like Large Black, with a long lean Landrace boar would get you some nice looking crossbred piglets. As with all breeding programs, spend a bit more and get quality females. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I see you have put a lot of thought into this. There often is a bit of hybrid vigor in crossing breeds. But there is also the added variables inherit in a cross. As an individual it would be a daunting task with limited benefit. Each breed represents countless generations of careful selection by hundreds of breeders over many decades. Making a noticeable improvement by a four breed blending seems unlikely. Perhaps a cross with a lard type breed known for large litters, like Large Black, with a long lean Landrace boar would get you some nice looking crossbred piglets. As with all breeding programs, spend a bit more and get quality females. Good luck.
Definitely theoretical at this point and probably wouldn't have the means to do it alone. Just curious after reading the beneficial traits of each breed and how hybrid vigor could create a new efficient breed. Definitely always have unintended consequences as well like you mentioned. Appreciate the feedback!
 

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Once you do the initial crosses, you need many generations to lock in the traits you are breeding for.

I think you might have fun doing it, but don't kid yourself, it will be a lot of work and a lot of time involved.
 

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Once you do the initial crosses, you need many generations to lock in the traits you are breeding for.

I think you might have fun doing it, but don't kid yourself, it will be a lot of work and a lot of time involved.
Awesome, I was wondering how many generations it would take to get close to the 50/50 of each cross. Then getting a "new breed that is as close to 25% of each with the 4 traits desired.
 
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