Here is a basic guide to managing a pedigree British Saddleback pig herd.
Firstly it is always best to go to a reputable breeder who should supply you with good quality and correct stock. Each breed also has a breed rep who will give as much advice as possible.
The breed is registered through the British Pig Association (BPA), who keep all information on the pigs. The breed has 28 sow lines and 14 boar lines.
Breeders register with the BPA and chose a herd name and a Herd Designation Lettering (HDL). Any pigs that they then breed and register as pedigree take that herd name followed by the bloodline then a number corresponding to how many pigs of that bloodline that herd has registered.
Registration is different to birth notification. Any litter born to full pedigree registered parents have to be birth notified to the BPA within 10 weeks of age, the piglets have to be identified by ear notching prior to 8 weeks (before weaning, and any risk of mix ups with other litters) The numbers follow the approved system of notching for the Saddleback breed (the breed standard is for the ears to be carried forward, other notching systems for different breeds can affect the ear carriage).
Double tagging can be chosen as an alternative when you join the BPA, but you must use identical approved tags, with the pigs notification number and herd number, pigs lose ear tags, double tagged pigs cannot be shown at BPA shows, and only the breeder can order tags on their herd number, so it’s not a cheap option, and if the pig loses its’ tag it can’t be identified.
Once all the numbers on the ear mark system have been used (799) you can start again at 1 with a B and so on. See the section on Notching for further clarification.
Each birth notified pig will have a litter number, an individual birth number, and it’s ear number, preceded by the herds HDL. Any pig that is of breed standard can be registered into the Herdbook at any time in its life. It will then take on a pedigree name, linked to its unique ear number.
All information is available on the BPA website. Most of managing your pedigrees is done online on the BPA website where you will be given a secure link on joining the Association, you can still opt for a paper copy if you want.
Another useful peice of information can be found on the following link: