Strong structural, reproductive, finishing, carcass and meat eating quality traits.
Thank you to all of our loyal customers for your continued business!
For over 49 years we have been intensively selecting Berkshires hogs through the use of the most extensive testing procedures available to the swine industry. We have tested every herd sire and sow through on the farm progeny tests, public test stations, national STAGES program and National Progeny Test program. Because of these efforts we can more accurately predict the performance of the hogs we sell to guarantee your success.
Having met our breeding goals for structure, carcass, and meat eating quality traits, the challenge is to breed to maintain them.
We are still improving growth rate, but it is a slow process when considering it is a medium lowly heritable trait and our selection differential is now limited because of the already highly attained growth rate.
Genetic improvement in maternal traits is extremely difficult considering the low inheritance of maternal traits and the large number of production factors entering into reproduction. Getting sows to wean 10 pigs and still breed on a regular cycle is still our goal. Weaning 25 pigs per sow per year is doable with the proper environmental control.
Our current herd capacity is 100 sows and the ability to raise all the offspring. Nearly 100% of all gilts are sold as breeding stock and 25% of all boars. A major portion of breeding stock sales is to repeat customers wishing to produce American Berkshire Association Meat Certification Program providing pork for export with the remaining for domestic sales.
Depending upon the international markets, live breeding animals are exported to foreign markets at times and can be a large portion of the market needs.
To maintain our genetic performance traits, the closed herd concept was developed in about 2000, resulting in consistent performance and improved performance where traits demand change. Presently our herd consists of 10 genetic lines and allows for criss-crossing lines without genetic sacrifice, but rather consistency and improvement of performance as indicated elsewhere. No additional lines are anticipated at this time. At least 2 sires are maintained in each line at all times with up to 7 generations in several lines. Interestingly, all the lines rate quite high in all the traits we select for and thus provide offspring. This is essential so as not to provide and genetic weaknesses and maintain a highly consistent product that we have become known for over the years and will continue to develop.