Should Replacement Gilts be Raised or Purchased?
North Carolina State University Animal Science Fact Sheet ANS94-802S. The demand on commercial pork producers to raise leaner animals without compromising reproduction or productivity dictates that a terminal crossbreeding program be used. A terminal crossbreeding system allows the producer the best use of specialized sire and dam lines. Terminal sire lines should be used that are extreme in leanness, muscling and growth. Emphasis should be placed on litter size, milking ability and longevity within the dam lines, with some regard to backfat. By using sire and dam lines that differ completely in breed composition maximum paternal, maternal and individual heterosis will be achieved. A terminal crossbreeding system also allows the producer to have maximum consistency in the final product, uniformity of production practices and less labor in the breeding barn. The problem in a terminal crossbreeding program is obtaining replacement gilts. There are two options. They can be purchased or raised on the farm.