Bloodlines are the family names applied to the females and males of all pedigree GOS pigs and are as follows:
- Princess Ann
- Princess Freda
- Princess Joan
- Princess Mary
- Star Antoinette
For all herds the naming of pedigree pigs upon registration is quite simple. A registered pedigree pig has three elements to its official name. (If you wish to operate the Cyclic Breeding System you must be registered to do so please see link below)
First is the herd name, identifying where it was bred. Each herd has a unique name or ‘prefix’ lodged with the British Pig Association (BPA) by which all pigs from that herd can be easily identified. For the purposes of this demonstration, we’ll call our herd ‘GOSpigsisbest’ (most herd prefixes are related to a place but we’ve selected this as one unlikely to be accepted by the authorities for demonstration purposes).
Second is the bloodline name and this is easy. All females are named after their dams (mothers) and all males after the sires, (fathers). Thus the female farrow from an Ellen dam are always Ellens and the males from a Sambo sire are always Sambos.
The third element is a numeral which can take two forms. Some herds assign numerals to each pig registered of each bloodline. Thus the first ‘GOSpigsisbest Ellen’ wouldn’t have a numeral she would be ‘GOSpigsisbest Ellen’. The next Ellen gilt from that herd registered would be known as ‘GOSpigsisbest Ellen 2nd’ and so on. The other way that some herds number their stock is by allocating the ear number of that pig. Thus in such a herd, the twenty first pig birth notified and ear marked (see below) might be the first Ellen gilt registered and thus she would be ‘GOSpigsisbest Ellen 21’. By such methods, you can see with long established herds, ‘Xxxxxxx Princess 2261’ etc.
But full registration is the second element in recording pedigree GOS pigs but we have put it first so that you may know what to ask for when buying pedigree stock. When you begin breeding GOS, you need to understand the following.
Birth Notification and Ear Marking
Firstly, you must join the BPA and register your herd perfix. This will allow you to birth notify (birth certificate) pigs born on your holding from pedigree registered parents. If the pigs you have purchased are not fully registered, you cannot birth notify or register any of your own bred stock. If the pigs you have bought are ‘eligible for registration’ ask the breeder to fully register them as pedigree for you which only the breeder can do.
When a litter of pigs is born in your herd you have 10 weeks in which to birth notify them. This is done online with the BPA when you record all the pigs from that litter but in order to identify those pigs, they must be earmarked. This is most easily done before they exceed 3 weeks of age as once they get heavier and stronger, they are more difficult to handle. BPA rules say that they can be identified with by ‘double tagging’, an identity tag in each ear, or by tattooing the ear number (allocated when birth notifying) in each ear. The second method (tattooing) is preferable as tags can be lost and pigs that are not tattooed cannot be shown.
Tattooing equipment is available to purchase from the Club Shop.
There is guidance here about how to tattoo your pigs Tattooing Guide
See also the GOS Cyclic Breeding System – click here