Naming & Numbering
A FEW HOUSE RULES
Before you start breeding pedigree pigs you must be members of the BPA and have a BPA approved PREFIX e.g. ZAPEL. The rules on how you choose a prefix are on the BPA website.
You must declare if you will be NOTCHING (preferred) or double tagging your pigs as the primary identification.
NB: tattooing is not an option for British Saddleback identification.
The piglets born must be from BPA Herd Book registered parents and have been allocated an individual "R" number. The parents must be of the same breed and the sow owned by the breeder.
Any piglets born can then go down two routes;
1. Pedigree meat certificates - for those not meeting breed standard
2. Registration in the Herd Book - for good examples of the breed
To achieve either of these the piglet must have been Birth Notified before 10 weeks of age. There are two methods of registration with the BPA, the preferred method is the Incremental Registration and this is the option given to you by default when joining. The second system for registration is the "Ear Number Naming" system which you would have to request.
HOW A NAME IS MADE
A pigs name is made up of the BREEDERS PREFIX e.g. ZAPEL, this is the breeders registered name with the British Pig Association. The breeder prefix the piglets are named after is whoever owns the sow at the time of birth.
The next part of the name is the BREED BLOODLINE NAME: the male piglets are named after their sire bloodline e.g. VISCOUNT and the female piglets are named after their dam bloodline e.g. ALVIS
The next part of the name is a NUMBER and the number allocated for REGISTERED pigs will depend upon which system you are signed up to.
HOW TO NUMBER YOUR PIGLETS
In a litter of piglets born no matter which registration system you use you will be required to BIRTH NOTIFY all piglets in your litters. Starting with number 1 and ending at number 799 (or 399 if you don't want to do the 400 notch). You can then go back to 1 notch with the addition of supplementary letter on the ear tag starting with A; so 1A to 799A, 1B to 799B, etc.
IF YOU DON'T BIRTH NOTIFY YOU CAN'T REGISTER YOUR SADDLEBACK LATER ON
This number which is NOTCHED in the piglets ear (before weaning or litter mixing) is an accumulation of all the bloodlines and sexes within a breed belonging to that breeder. So if the saddleback piglet is the 23rd saddleback piglet born to any registered saddleback parents owned by that breeder, it should have 23 notched in its ear.
Within a litter the boar piglets are numbered first; so in the example of an ALVIS dam mated with a VISCOUNT sire with a litter of 9 piglets born (4 boars and 5 gilts) and they are your first litter of British Saddlebacks, they will be numbered as follows:
BOAR 1 (the number is omitted on your first piglet paperwork but IS notched in the ear)
If your next saddleback sow e.g. a BABBLE by the same/different sire gives birth next; and she has 3 boars and 3 gilt piglets they would be numbered:
Most piglets in a litter will NOT be good enough to REGISTER in the BPA herd book and only those fully meeting the Breed Standards should be considered.
HOW TO REGISTER YOUR PIGLETS
Those not good enough and do not meet the breed standard can not be registered but can be issued with a "Pedigree Meat Certificate" at time of slaughter. Those which are good enough can be named in either of TWO ways mentioned earlier and once you have started with a naming system you cannot change it, so give it some consideration at the time of joining the BPA.
With either naming system you select the appropriate notch number of the pig you wish to register from the BPA software (if using the computer) or from your paperwork if using the manual system. Click on the register button and follow the instructions.
With the Incremental System the name and number is created according to the number of pigs you have registered of that bloodline name starting with number 1. So a piglet notched number 23 might only be number 1 on the registration system if you have not registered a pig from that bloodline before. The pigs ear notches will not match the number part of its registration name unless your first piglet is of registerable quality.
If you chose the Ear Number Naming system then the number the piglet is notched with is also its number on the registration paperwork and its notch number will always match its registration name number.
The ear number naming system is easier to interpret (aka the lazy way) but the Incremental system tells you and other breeders of the number of quality registered stock you are putting through the herd book instantly, which is why it is the preferred system.