They sure are ugly but I'm not going to hold that against them. The swayback does worry me from a structural point of view - not good especially when carrying a large gestation or heavily bagged. It is a good idea if the teats clear the ground.
The article says they are slow growing and fat - that does not make them a good choice in my book. It goes on to say "Their 240 day weight was 170.5 lbs., with an ADG of 0.75 lbs." which is pretty disappointing.
They claim the pigs have high reproductiveness with "often two litters per year" but Yorkshire and most other pig breeds I know do two litters every year and often 2.3 litters per year so I'm not impressed on the Meishan reproductive capability either. It also says they have 15-16 piglets per litter - but do they have enough teats to handle that? How many do they wean and how large are they at weaning? Critical issues.
The article also says they're good at handling a diet high in roughage, e.g., grazing, but so do our mixed Yorkshire pigs who thrive on pasture even without any other feed. Most pigs seem to do great on pasture from what I hear from other people despite the myth that you need this or that heritage breed. Again the Meishan isn't impressing me.
Allow me to clarify, the meshian hog is the foundation stock of the english large black, the "machines" as they are often called are able to act like a breeding hormone for several generations. If a maternal line has 25% M in the line, the ovulation numbers are out of sight. The f1's have often sloppy lines, but I'm wanting a them for a f2 maternal cross.
Looks like a fat breed, well yes the industry has gone too far to the lean side, I have a real problem getting fat on my hogs, they are just so lean. Sausage hogs are becoming a real problem area and money maker.
Walter, this seems to be the crux of our disagreements....your own the world's only perfect hogs...I on the other hand enjoy breeding and trying improve and beat my own numbers. I readily admit the faults of my hogs, mothering, aggression, leaness, uniformity, etc......given enough time i have every problem. What I don't do is get on here and tell what my hogs do in the show ring and in the breeding barn...
These M's are a possible solution for what will be selling in 2010, and by then I'll be after what people want for 2012.
No, RedHog, I have never claimed to own the worlds perfect hog. In fact, I have said many times about how we are working to improve our line. One does not improve if it is already perfect.
You exaggerate and put words in other people's mouths. You said the name and gave no details. So I looked it up to see what it was. At that point I hadn't even noticed that it was you who had posted that. I was curious to know more about a breed I had not heard of.
I merely read what was written at the link I found at the university web site that talked about the breed and commented on that. Of course, since it's you saying it I now have even less faith in the Meishan hogs. You're the one who's being reactive and unpleasant. I was previously just talking about the breed characteristics.
Okay, I'm going to weigh in here also. Those are some ugly sharpei/potbelly looking pigs. I can definitely see the Asian influence here. Personally, I don't care much for the swayback and low slung bellies. The backfat is going to be more popular. I was reading the other day about a local company partnering with Tyson? to develop an alternative fuel based on animal fats. The true lard hogs fell out of favor in this country many years ago, and now it looks like they're going to be reintroduced. As with many fads, people will buy into these lock, stock and barrel, before finding out whether they'll be complimentary to the individual farms.
As to the slow growth, I don't really have a problem with that, in that I slow-grow my own pasture/woodlot hogs. I think it's healthier for the pig, thus healthier for me. The slow foods bandwagon has been around for a long time, with good reason. Plus, the SF proponents pay better, so the economics isn't an issue. It's all about niche marketing.
OK, Redhogs, The University of Illinois were the first to import Meishans into the U.S. I worked on one of their research farms nexdoor to the Imported Swine Farm, as they called it. Meishans come from China where there is no grain production, so they survive on grass and scraps, hence the slow growth and small maturity size. They reach sexual maturity at 120 days. Theirmilk is much higher in butterfat and the pigs rotate on the teats. A third plus is you can foster piglets onto a Meishan sow anytime during her lactation and she will allow it to nurse. Carcass wise, they're horrible. 3-4 inches of backfat with a six month old barrow measuring a 2 inch loin and a totally boned-out ham weighing 5 lbs. But as I said in another thread, foreign countries don't use the retail-cuts slaughtering method that we do in our country.
Secondly, the University crossed the Meishans with Yorkshires and retained the F1 females to use for F2's. They were AI'd to Duroc sires with litter averages of 14 farrowed, 14 weaned. The F1 females were very heavy milkers, good mothers, and had more Yorkshire handling traits than the pure Meishans(Meishans are very timid and hard to drive). The F1 barrows that were carcassed averaged 4 inch loins and 2 inches of backfat. Also, the F1 females matured to 500-600 pounds, whereas the Meishans usually matured around 300 pounds. Bottom line was, the F1's were useful, still had fairly high ovulation rates, and much improved carcass traits. The F2's were all over the place in type, carcass traits, and growth/feed efficiency. I have been retired for 7 years now, so I'm sure further studies have been done that I don't know the particulars on. I, personally, wouldn't use the Meishan or any dillutions thereof as we can come up with the same productivity with crossing our American recognized breeds and have a better carcass in the end.
I agree that machine F2s will have to be culled agressively and the F1's will only good for grandparent stock...The buzz that was generated at the pork expo leads me to believe that alot of farms will give a composite machine sows a try. I was talking with several guys and i believe i will be able to market both my F1's and F2's to tinkerers like myself who enjoy the breeding side of production and are not willing to pay the current price for 25% M sows from PIC and other gilt multipliers. They may well just be hype, I may end up culling the entire line in a year or two, but thats the great thing about pork vs. horse breeding....you can make sausage out of the mistakes.
Meishan might be bad on boar taint...... just read this overon the pigsite......
MLC research2 has shown that slaughter generation boars containing 12.5% Meishan have higher skatole levels than Large White x Landrace boars (0.17 v 0.11ppm respectively). The proportion of Meishan cross boars exceeding 0.25 ppm skatole increased from 3 to 19% as average slaughter weight increased from 88 to 103 kg.
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