Clear Morning Moments

Farm Life

Fast Growing Hogs (Be Careful What You Wish For)

Updated: Apr 28, 2019

I stumbled across an article on managing hog-on-hog aggression and was surprised to read this:

We are very much stuck between a rock and a hard place with this issue....It’s vital that pigs are bred to grow faster. We live on a “Hungry Planet”, with competition for feedstuffs, so it is also vital that improving FCR [Feed Conversion Ratio] is a major priority. Yet, ironically, selecting for precisely these traits is also potentially increasing aggression.

There is a tendency among American Guinea Hog breeders, myself included, to attempt to get their AGH to grow just a bit faster and a wee bit larger than strains found on other farms. I gravitate toward retaining the largest, fastest growing hogs from my litters. This article, however, has reminded me why temperament must be a heavily weighted selection criteria.

My boars are big, beautiful, gentle giants. I can add immature boars to their paddocks with no sign of fighting or aggression. I would not add two, unrelated mature boars together in the same pasture, but once the boys become friends, there are no issues. They live together in harmony as buddies.

I want this peace to continue. If there are piglets in a litter that always seem to start fights, I am going to move them to the bottom of the possible breeders list.


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