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Evaluating pigs.

With the show season underway and the inevitable reports starting to come through of winners of this and winners of that I've been pondering the subject a bit. I know all the spiel about protecting the rare breeds etc. etc  and I am a BPA member and all but one of my breeding pigs are registered with their litters being birth notified. However, it makes me wonder about where is the real value in any given pig? I don't show any of mine though I'm sure with a bit of a wash and brush up some of them would stand the test in any show ring. To me though the real value is dictated by their actual performance, ie breeding and mothering ability, litter sizes, quality of finished carcasses and freedom from health problems. Those are the things that put the money in the bank for me and I wonder how for most people how showing can be anything other than a nice but time consuming and expensive hobby. Maybe the idea as often portrayed in Practical Pigs magazine that pig keeping is indeed a hobby backs that up. Or do people call it a hobby because they can't make any wages out of it?

Its definitely a case of the latter for me.

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