In European countries, the breed of pigs Pietrain is popular. It has a pronounced meat orientation and has good slaughter yield. These individuals show resistance to viruses, even fatal ones. As well as the absence of problems with obesity, which has a positive effect on the quality characteristics of meat. Domestic farmers most often use these piglets for crossing with others to make meat and greasy productivity more efficient.
From the history of
The birthplace of the breed is Belgium. As in other countries, the Belgian breeders tried to cross different types of pigs to produce productive meat breeds. The selection process lasted for quite a long time, but gave the desired result as a result - the pigs appeared in the light of classical meat orientation.
The basis of the breed was two lines: Berkshire pigs and white large ones. On the domestic representatives of the white color, you can read here - "Russian white breeds of pigs."
A special feature of breeding Pietrain was the method of intrafamily crossing used by breeders. Potential breeders should pay attention to this fact, as he provoked a number of breed defects, which will be discussed further.
But, in general, petrens are the genetic material that makes it possible to obtain an excellent result in terms of meat productivity. This may explain the high popularity of the breed and its distribution in a number of European countries, including Russia.
Appearance and its features
A distinctive feature of this breed of pigs is their powerful, muscular physique. The shape of the body strongly resembles a cylinder, it is distributed in width, but rather short in length.
The sacrum is also wide, the development of muscles is evident, especially in the sirloin of the animal. The back is muscular, has a contoured relief. Ham is large, fleshy and characterized by a smooth transition to the hock joints of the pig. At the same time, the backbone is relatively light, the head is small, and has a straight profile. Small sizes are also different and characteristically standing ears.
Adult female Pietrain weighs in the range of 150-220 kg, males can gain up to 250-260. During the day, the average weight gain is about 500 g. Pigs reach the mark of 90 kg in about 7 months. The obligatory external sign of the breed will be its color, it is white with black spots in the form of spots. There are also pure white animals, the standards do not contradict this.
Fecundity is low, as is milkiness. One farrow brings about 8, a maximum of 10 piglet breed pigar. At the same time, young animals have a rather high mortality rate, since due to a lack of milk, sows do not have enough food for the piglets.
Advantages and disadvantages
A lot of advantages that this breed differs in, explains its popularity. Among the most pronounced advantages are:
- high percentage of slaughter weight, up to 70%;
- pronounced dietary character of meat, which is not so common;
- the meat gene of the breed is characterized as unusually stable, and in the process of hybridization the meat orientation is not lost;
- pigs of this breed are not prone to obesity affecting the quality of meat;
- resistance to viruses, especially circovirus, which carries with it a high mortality rate and does not have a cure.
The latter aspect is especially appreciated among breeders, but one cannot ignore the shortcomings of these pigs. In particular, they have low rates of acclimatization, poorly tolerate stressful situations, as well as temperature drops.
If you get too carried away with stimulants, meat Pietrain quickly loses its qualities, becomes lighter and oxidizes. Low fat content, as the dignity of the breed, has a reverse side. Daily weight gain is not very high - this is the most important negative characteristic of the breed. Animals are also fastidious in food, strict adherence to the diet is mandatory.
All these disadvantages can be at least partially leveled due to the correct keeping of animals. Here it is important to take into account different aspects, so before you start breeding everything should be carefully weighed and thought out.
Some aspects of keeping animals
Creating comfortable conditions for keeping is the most important condition for successful breeding of these animals and achieving high performance. The peculiarity of the Pietrain breed is that its representatives require a mild climate for normal functioning.
If we talk about more severe conditions, then the key to success is a high level of comfort content. In cold conditions, and for these animals it comes after the temperature drops below 16 degrees, the pigs start to hurt, for them it is destructive. However, the heat is also contraindicated for them. If the temperature rises above 30 degrees, the probability of heat stroke becomes very high.
When setting up a pigsty, you need to think about organizing a heating and cooling system as needed. The walls of the building should not be frozen in winter, therefore they are covered with straw and use heating devices in severe cold. The roof should not leak, including because the breed is also susceptible to dampness. For summer maintenance, an open-air cage equipped with a canopy is perfect.
Something about feeding Belgian pigs
The fastidiousness in the diet is due to accelerated metabolism and the absence of a large layer of subcutaneous fat. You can make whatever efforts you like, but the breeders will not be able to achieve a significant increase in weight, it is impossible at the physiological level. Another thing is that improper and unbalanced nutrition will cause the piglets to grow even slower.
The percentage of survival among the young is not very high, so early feeding is mandatory. With it, the mortality rate of young stock can be significantly reduced.
The basis of the diet of pigs Pietrain should be protein, and in large quantities. In this capacity can serve as fish and meat waste, as well as waste from the kitchen. Although a large weight gain per day is impossible, it can be improved by adding boiled potatoes, fodder or sugar beets to food.
Care should be taken with cereals, such as oats, barley or corn, their use will interfere with normal weight gain.
Some breeding issues
Based on the description of this breed, we can conclude that puberty in males, subject to their proper feeding and maintenance, occurs approximately at the age of 6-8 months.
Sexual maturity in females occurs even earlier, but breeders recommend not to allow mating up to ten months of age. Such a restriction is dictated by the care of the health of the offspring. If piglets are born to too young sows, then their survival rate will be very low.
The average duration of pregnancy in females is approximately 4 months, but several factors directly affect this aspect. So, the habitat of animals, their conditions of maintenance and food ration is of great importance. The time of the year for which the farrowing is expected, the number of previous pregnancies and the number of piglets in each of them will also matter
An important characteristic of the breed is its genetic potential. These pigs are often mated with other breeds to get excellent meat results.
Pietrain breed is different, the so-called paternal line, and, despite the weak tolerance of stress, has good immunity, which is transmitted to other generations. The resulting hybrids demonstrate excellent genetic results, surpassing the starting material in many respects.
Read about other hybrids in the article "Breed of Karmal Pigs".
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