Herd Book Classifications For Individual Pigs,
The American Meishan Breeders herd book will classify each individual founding Meishan pig entered into the herd book in two ways in one of two ways
A.M.B.A. Certified Pure Pig-Foundation Stock – Pigs , male or female,directly traceable to any of the three research herds through a chain of custody investigation carried out through the National Herd Census
Grade on Appearance These are Meishan gilts or sows submitted during the national herd census which the A.M.B.A. feel have a very high probability of being pure Meishan. However if for whatever reason a direct chain of custody back to one of the three research herds cannot be verified female examples of these pigs will be classified Grade on Appearance. Members may appeal at a later date and these pigs can be reviewed and reclassified if a chain of custody can later be verified.
Successive generations will track percentage of genetic contribution to the individual pig when bred to a Foundation Level boar (only).
For Example an individual offspring from a Grade/Foundation breeding might be 50% Foundation Level Stock and 50% Grade on Appearance pigs
Only females will be entered as Grade on Appearance. They should reflect the size , temperament coloring , conformation and prolificacy called out in A.M.B.A. breed description . They should be free of any hint of genetic contamination. They should also be sound examples of the breed. Boars will not be entered into the pedigree herd book to minimize the impact of possible genetic contamination.
A.M.B.A.Certified Pure Meishan Pig/Foundation level boar..
Bloodline Contributions of Individual Pigs
In addition The A.M.B.A. herd will track each individual pigs bloodline or percentage of contributing bloodline.
Those bloodlines will be noted as:
USDA Herd (USDA)
Iowa State (IS)
University of Illinois (UI)
Grade On Appearance -(G) Females only
Successive generations of pigs will track each individual pigs bloodline contribution.
For example an Individual Pig might be 50% USDA,25% IS and 25% Grade
Breed Performance Criteria
Finally since one of the most critical differentiating traits of pure and genetically healthy Meishan Pigs is proflificacy(their hyper-prolific nature demonstrated by larger litters). The A.M.B.A. recognizes that litter size has a genetic component(although it is not the sole determining factor to individual litter sizes). The A.M.B.A. also recognizes that litter size, while not a highly inheritable trait in swine, does respond to selective breeding .To help breeders preserve this trait in the North American Herd the A.M.B.A. will award “Performance Stars” to sows that successfully farrow a litter of 12 or more piglets. Any individual sow that does farrow a litter of 12 live piglets or more will receive a Litter star” on her pedigree.In addition when a sow is awarded a star the boar that sired that sow will receive a “Litter star” also. “Litter Stars will also be awarded to her male offspring in litters over 12. Proper boar selection is a critical component in herd development and management. Superior boar selections can have the greatest impact on the genetic sustainability of the U.S. Meishan herd. The utilization of this performance criteria will assist all member breeders in their herd sire selection.