Show Pig Record Keeping Made Easy

Show Pig Record Keeping Made Easy

clipboards hanging on a wall in a farrowing barn for easy show pig record keeping

Free Show Pig Record Keeping Forms to Help Breeders

Every year we receive calls, emails and texts from breeders looking for an easy show pig record keeping system for farrowing sows and litters. It seems like paperwork becomes more complex each year especially if you raise purebred swine. You need breeding dates for AI certificates, farrowing dates, parity, number or pigs born and number born alive all to register a litter with the National Swine Registry, Certified Pedigreed Swine or American Berkshire associations.  

Data analysis should be a part of every show pig producers jobs.  It is way to expensive to raise show pigs that are “Not Good Enough” or keep sows around that don’t do their job.  By using these 2 forms we have been able to track how well each sow performed during farrowing and with raising a litter.  We utilize this information to help determine which sows need to stay and which ones need to leave.  We can also easily determine how well the litter did overall – where they sold, for how much and how they did in the show ring.  This helps us make future breeding decisions.

We print the Farrowing Record on the front of a piece of paper and the Litter Record on the back of the paper.  One of these pages is printed for every bred sow and placed on a clipboard which hangs on the back of her crate in the farrowing barn.  These forms were designed to solve several of our most common problems and serves as a tool when it comes to culling sows and keeping up with each individual show pig.  

Back in the day before smart phones when we first started raising showpigs we would find ourselves scribbling down important information such as the sows ear notch, farrowing date and number of pigs born on anything piece of paper or feed sack within reach.  You can only imagine the problems of keeping up with all of those pieces of paper.  That system did not fit well with my “Type A” personality and we felt that we were missing out on capturing data that we could utilize to make herd decisions.  The answer for us was the development of these forms.  This one piece of paper contains all of the information that we need for our operation.These forms also contain all of the information needed to register litters.  Feel free to download the forms and use them in your own operation.  Here are the highlights on how we use the form.

Click on the Links below to download these forms

 

Farrowing Records

The Farrowing Record is the first of the free show pig record keeping forms that you will need.  This is where you will complete all of the farrowing information. We recommend that you complete all information about the sow prior to farrowing. This form can help you gain insight into farrowing problems that a sow might have and how well she took care of her pigs prior to weaning. 

Dam & Sire Information

We complete this information prior to farrowing.  If you go ahead and write in the registration number and ear notch of both the dam and sire you will have all of the information that you need right in front of you to register the litter.  If you normally record parity when registering a litter go ahead and add that information in the Litter No blank.

Inducing Times & Dates

Most of us have induced a gilt and then cannot remember the time when we induced them the following day.   When that happens it makes it hard to determine what time to expect their arrival.   This little bit of data prevents major mistakes.  Having this information on hand will also help you determine on average how many after inducing sows in your herd start farrowing.

Farrowing Specifics

We have spent many nights in the barn farrowing sows and sometime around 2-3 am we tend to nod off and when we wake up we are not sure when our little mommy had her last child so the questions always arises  “How long has it been.  Is there are problem?”  By recording the time of birth you have an accurate record of when the last one was born and are able to make a better decision if you have a problem and need to check her especially with ones that are having problems.  

We also like to farrow multiple sows at a time and by circling the sex of the pig when it is born and jotting down the time you always know how many she has and can easily make a quick count if needed to determine if something has changed since we last observed her.  In the columns to the right we can easily place a check mark indicating if the pig was born Naturally (N), Helped (H), or Pulled (P).  We use the comments section to make more notes.  This data can help us the next year when we farrow that sow again and helps us make culling decisions.   We have intentionally left a lot of blank space on the form to write and additional notes such as medications that the sow or litter might receive.

Record Keeping Form
Record Keeping Form

Litter Records

The Litter Record is the second of the free show pig record keeping forms that you will need.  This is where you will complete all of the litter information. This form can give you a lot of insight to how good the litter really was by looking at their selling price and how well they placed in the show ring.

When we ear notch each pig’s ear notch is recorded under the PIG column.  The sex and comments about each pig can also easily be recorded.  This is where we note keeper boars and gilts that we picked out in the crate and want to watch.    

Once the pig is sold we complete the that information on the form including who bought the pig, where it was sold and selling price.  The TX BRED and REG PAPER columns are used to note if the buyer needs a Texas Bred Certificate and or Registration Paper on the animal.  This info helps us organize these tasks and make sure that they are completed.  The SHOW RECORD area is completed through the animals show career.  This page is helpful for us to determine the depth and consistency of the litter and how well the litter did overall in the show ring.  We often make culling and breeding decisions by looking at how well a sow’s pigs have performed in the show ring season after season or how well they sold.    

The show pig record keeping forms are compiled along with Pedigree information into a three ring binder by sow.  We can quickly and easily flip through a sows record to determine farrowing ease, which boars worked on her, how much income her litters generate year after year and how her offspring does in the show ring.    

These show pig record keeping forms along with Pedigree information helps us make both breeding and culling decisions at Harman Farms.

Hopefully they can make your life a little easier too.

3 ring binders for organizing sow records
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