The Chinese meishan piglets got their name in honor of the eponymous Chinese province. And they originate from the Taihu breed, which became the ancestor of several species of pigs. A distinctive feature is the black color of the body, very long ears, combined with a short head. True, those representatives of this species that had white markings in the region of the extremities and heads were brought to Europe from China.
Distinctive features and features
By orientation, the breed of pigs meishan is pronounced greasy. Its most important advantage over others can be called a strong immunity, thanks to which animals demonstrate good resistance to diseases and a high level of survival (among newborns, 9-11%).
Representatives of the meishan pig breed are growing rather slowly, but they are distinguished by the ability to accumulate fatty deposits very quickly. At the same time, the meat retains high quality characteristics. Chinese origin plays a key role. For the inhabitants of this country, lard and liver mean more than meat tenderloin, hence the selection orientation with a long history.
The natural habitats of the meishan are subtropics, so the warm climate these animals tolerate very well.
Due to the large area of the ears, they have the ability to regulate heat transfer well. As a result, Chinese pigs are ideal for breeding in hot countries.
Of the most significant characteristics of the breed, the following points should be highlighted:
- short stature, about 60-70 cm;
- dominated by black color;
- saggy belly;
- legs are thick and short;
- Saggy ears of large size;
- small head, short snout;
- folds on the muzzle and torso, the latter appear with age;
- subcutaneous fat is rather thick.
By slaughter age, this breed of pigs is distinguished by relatively low weight, males gain no more than 200 kg, females - no more than 180 kg, and this mark is reached by the age of 8 months. The main part of this mass in meishans is their internal organs, skin and fat.
During the day, the weight gain also does not beat records, it is about 300-400 g, the growth is slow, here the difference is small between boars and females. At the same time, the feed consumption per unit of growth in meishan is 40% less than in breeds bred in the West.
Dilution of pigs meishan requires careful maintenance, but, on the other hand, it is much easier to deal with the diet. Feed animals can be rough food, agricultural waste with the addition of food concentrates and even algae.
Advantages and disadvantages
The popularity of this breed is not so high in comparison with others, but this does not negate the set of its valuable positive qualities, in particular:
- Meishan meat has an excellent taste due to its high fat content;
- excellent fertility indices, for one farrowing sows bring from 12 to 18 piglets, moreover, meishan can do it twice a year;
- young animals show a high survival rate (9-11%), which is caused by the number of nipples in sows and the high level of fat content of their milk;
- Meishana sexual maturity reaches four months of age, but high-grade offspring is possible not earlier than 9 months;
- high level of resistance to diseases, above all, it refers to the action of parasites.
These advantages play an important role in the cultivation of meyshans, but it is impossible to go past the shortcomings that negatively affect profitability. Thus, a high percentage of fat content leads to relatively low rates of slaughter yield (67%). Also, the breeding of these pigs for meat is not too profitable, because other breeds gain slaughter weight faster. For example, Pietrain, Duroc, Landrace, which by 5-6 months already weigh over 100 kg and are distinguished by a small amount of fat.
Place breed in modern pig
It should be recognized that the centuries-old history of the breed is nearing completion. The main reason is the long preparation for slaughter, and according to this indicator, the “Chinese” are seriously inferior to European breeds. You can get acquainted with the latter by reading the article "Characteristics of pigs of breed Pietren". It is also worth adding that the presence of large amounts of fat on the ribs reduces the quality of the meat.
You can meet meishan pigs today less and less, basically, their breeding has become the lot of small farms. They continue to grow these animals, focusing on their excellent fertility, resistance to harmful microorganisms and pathogens, as well as life expectancy.
On a large scale, the meishan breed has no particular prospects, but for individual pig breeding it has a number of important advantages and advantages, in comparison with which the minuses play a smaller role.
A few care recommendations
The content of the meishans is no different. This breed of pigs is famous for its excellent health and calm disposition, therefore even those farmers whose experience in animal husbandry is small are able to breed them. Nevertheless, there are some peculiarities, and you should be aware of them in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
First of all, the pigsty for meishans must be strong and stable. This condition is dictated by the characteristics of their behavior - these pigs love to dig the ground under the walls. It is impossible to wean the meishans from this, it is laid at their level of genetics. It is necessary to equip the pigsty in such a way that its walls do not let the cold air through. It is also necessary to think over an effective ventilation system so that evaporation from animal feces is removed from the rooms.
It is better to use cinder block or brick as building materials for a barn, since they have good thermal insulation characteristics. The size of the pigsty will directly depend on the size of the herd, but approximately 2 m of space should be allocated to one individual.
About the content of piglets
Competent care is of great importance when breeding young meishan. Separate attention should be paid to the period of weaning piglets from sows. Representatives of this breed may at this moment fall into a depressed and depressed state. True, sometimes they, on the contrary, become overly excited.
After birth, it is undesirable to transfer the youngsters to another pen, it is better to move the sow away from them. If you need to take the pig in hand, you should do it carefully, without touching the sides, because he does not like it, and he will start to squeal loudly. This behavior causes aggression from the mother.
Most of the milk in sows is in the front nipples, and piglets in the first days are fighting hard for access to them. This moment should be monitored by regularly changing the position of the young in the mother’s nipples.
The indicator of health can be the tail of a pig, in a healthy individual it has the shape of a ring and stands upright. If the tail is wilted, lowered down, this is a signal of problems. Shiny skin, pink patch, softness of bristles - indicators of well-being. The absence of at least one of these signs is the reason for going to the veterinarian.
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