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Choose a breed that suits your production system

Modern breeds have higher yielding leaner carcasses than heritage breeds.

If you are thinking of buying pigs here are some things that you need to take into consideration

  • It is now legislated that people who keep pigs must be suitably qualified and to ensure this they must have completed either a Certificate 3 in Pig Production, have completed the Pig Industry Skill sets or have worked in a commercial piggery under competent supervision for at least 1 year , there is also a recognition of Prior learning, to find out more contact Dr Trish Holyoake at DEPI Pig Specialist Centre on 0354 304 412
  • To keep pigs you need a Property Identification Code PIC and a corresponding Tattoo/Eartag number. You apply for this via the DEPI on 54304444 ask for the Tag Room. Once your brand number is issued Tattoos /slap brands can be purchased from Vaucluse or other good suppliers. Check with your council to make sure pigs are allowed in your area.
  • Once you have your PIC and brand apply to APL for a PigPass NVD book, phone the PigPass helpline on 1800 001 458 , you need this NVD to sell , slaughter or transport pigs.
  • Get a copy of “Welfare of Pigs” Victorian Standards and Guidelines email [email protected] Make sure you can comply as much of the info contained within is legislated.
  • Contact the Australian Pig Breeders Association for a list of breeders who are current and have registered pigs. 0242323333
  • Familiarise yourself with the Standard of Excellence for the breed you are interested in.
  • Buy from reputable breeders who have a good genetic pool. Minimise the number of places from which you source pigs as this helps maintain the health status.
  • Understand what you are buying, the pigs if they are purebred ”stud” pigs they must be registered with the APBA via the Livestock and Business Centre at Kiama. There may also be purebred “commercial” pigs which are used for breeding meat but are not registered, these are of no real benefit to the conservation of rare genetics as they have no pedigree but may be pure non the less.
  • Stud pigs are identified by ear notches or ear tattoos , make sure this corresponds with the paperwork you receive.
  • Some people provide farm pedigrees, these are not registration papers just simply a bloodline record. Progeny of such pigs may be entered into the appendix registry if they are purebred and true to type there are assessors who can inspect these animals.
  • The name of pigs reflects the stud prefix , the sow or boar line and the animals ear notch number ,for example Glen Eyrie Ruby A800 would be a Tamworth gilt bred by Glen Eyrie Rare Breeds Farm ,her line is Ruby ,A is the year she was born 2013 and she was the 800th piglet. Her ear notch number would be 800. Essentially pigs should receive the same line name as the sire or dam, this helps keep track of the true lines. Sometimes someone changes a name this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a new or different bloodline.
  • There are no true miniature pig or Pot Belly Pig genetics in Australia. Pigs sold as miniatures often grow as big as conventional pigs if properly fed.
  • Before buying a particular breed make sure that it will suit your production system and that you have a market for the type of progeny that it produces.
  • Please be aware that pigs are monogastric and cannot live on grass , they break down fibre poorly and require a balanced grain/protein ration as well.
  • Swill feeding is illegal in Australia , look up the definition of swill on APLs website.
  • Pigs do not sweat and die easily of heat stress , do not transport pigs in hot weather and always have the front of the trailer covered. Familiarise yourself with the Land Transport act for livestock.
  • Please note the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia does not register pigs.