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JUDGING SWINE OF BACON TYPE

because the belly meat is cheaper than the part above it, as indicated in the diagram. Allowance would have to be made in this connection for a sow that had produced several litters of pigs. It would not be desirable to have her as light in the belly as a boar or a market hog.

Quality. A fine, smooth coat of hair denotes thriftiness and good quality of flesh. A "swirl" or "rose" in the hair on the back is objected to mainly on account of appearance. Wrinkles on the skin, if at all marked, indicate coarse-grained flesh. Softness and flabbiness of flesh, denote too much fat in proportion to lean. The bone is an extremely important indication of quality, and is judged by the appearance of the bone in the legs. The bacon type of hog has heavier bone than the lard type, because there is a relation between the development of bone and muscle. Very fine bone is usually associated with an excessive development of fat, and, therefore, it is undesirable in a bacon hog, where a large amount of lean in proportion to fat is the object sought. On the other hand, very coarse, puffy bone denotes poor quality of flesh, and is often associated with hard feeding qualities and late maturity. The right kind of bone is somewhere between these two extremes. It should have good weight, but the legs should present a very clean cut appearance. A round, puffy looking leg should not be tolerated. In the boar, it is difficult to have too heavy bone, so long as it is clean cut, that is, not covered with a coarse, puffy skin. The sow, however, should have much finer bone than the boar, but it should be in proportion to her size and frame.

Condition. To be able to judge of the proper condition for a market hog, requires considerable practice in examining animals both before and after they are slaughtered. It is customary to show breeding animals in considerably higher condition than would be desirable in a market hog, but the over-fitting of breeding animals for show should be discouraged by the judge.