For Producers - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the stress status of my pig?
The only way to be sure of the stress status of your pig is to actually test the animal (this is done with a DNA blotter card with a blood or semen sample). Berkshires do print the stress status on the pedigree – if the stress status is known, if you look under the pigs name it will say HAL 1843* nm (negative), mm (carrier) or dm (positive). This known stress status could be from either a test or a negative mating (both parents are stress negative). For more information on the stress gene, read this article - Stressed.
How do I register a litter of pigs?
There are many ways to record a litter – you can go to the website at www.americanberkshire.com (click on Producers then Forms and Litter Registration Form). Forms can be mailed, faxed or emailed to the ABA office. You can also register online (to obtain a username and password, please contact the office). We must receive payment at the time of registration (so if you fax, email or do online we need to have credit card information on file). We do not register litters over the phone. The cost for members is $18/litter if under 90 days of age and $51/litter if over 90 days. Nonmember rates are $41/litter if under 90 days of age and $101/litter if over 90 days.
How do I obtain a username and password to use the online registration and transfer feature?
To register online you must call Amy Smith at the American Berkshire Association office at 765-497-3618 to obtain a username and password. You must be a member of the ABA in good standing to register online. You will also have to have current credit card information on file.
How do I become a member of the ABA?
Membership forms are available online (under Forms). Junior membership (for people 21 years of age and younger) is free. The cost for a Senior membership (over age 21) is a $10 one time joining fee and a $50 membership fee (this is a yearly fee due on January 1 of each year or when you record your first litter of the year). A one year magazine subscription is included with the maintenance fee.
What information do I need to register a litter?
To register, you need to know your breeder number (this number is above your name on the pedigree), herdmark and whether you’re recording as a member or non-member. You also need to know the sire (father) and dam’s (mother) registered name, ear notch, registration number, sex of each individual pig and the litter’s farrowing date. If the litter is A.I.’d, you must contact the boars stud and order an AI certificate. If you A.I.’d and do not know the ear notch and registration number of the boar, be sure to include the sire’s name on the registration form so we can match the AI certificate with the correct litter.
How do I get an AI certificate from a boar stud?
If you purchased semen, be sure to call the boar stud to order your AI certificate before sending in your litter registration information. You must know the boar’s name and either the farrowing date of the litter, or the date the semen was ordered. Make sure to ask for the ear notch and registration number of the boar so you can complete your registration application. If you don’t have the ear notch and registration number, be sure to write the boars name on the litter application so we can match the correct sire to the correct litter.
How do I obtain a herdmark?
You must come up with a unique herdmark if you want to register litters with the American Berkshire Association. A herdmark is a combination of two to four letters that are included as a part of the registered name of each animal that you register. This information can be included on the membership application. A list of currently used herdmarks is available on the ABA website. The cost of a herdmark is $5.
What does it cost?
For a price sheet, go to the website – www.americanberkshire.com. Click on producers and forms.
What do I need to register pigs out of a boar I own?
If you are registering a litter out of a sire you own, be sure to have a blotter (DNA) card on file in the American Berkshire Association office. To obtain a card, please order one from the ABA office. The card must be an FTA card (these cards are specially treated to preserve the sample for many years). Blood or clean semen can be put on the card. Directions come with the card and are available on the ABA website. Starting January 1, 2012 all sires must be stress tested before litters will be recorded out of them. Sires may be stress negative, carrier or positive, but they must be tested. The ABA board encourages everyone to test gilts that they purchase for the stress gene. Please turn these results into the office so it can be noted in the pedigree system (even if your animal is a negative mating, we do note in the system when animals are actually tested).
Do I have to include the sow productivity information when I record a litter?
No, you do not have to be on the sow productivity program to register a litter. However if you would like to participate in STAGES you can do so by completing the sow productivity information.
I just sold a pig, how do I transfer it?
You can fill out the back of the pedigree with the name and address of the buyer and the date of sale. Be sure to sign the pedigree. Mail the pedigree to the office with the correct payment. The cost to transfer a pig is $3 if done within 60 days from the date of sale and $9 if over 60 days.
I just bought a pig and the seller handed me the pedigree, how do I transfer it?
The seller should have signed the back of the pedigree. You need to fill out the name, address and date of sale. Mail the pedigree to the office with the correct payment. The cost to transfer a pig is $3 if done within 60 days from the date of sale and $9 if over 60 days.
100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program FAQs:
Is this the Berkshire Gold® Program?
No it is not. The Berkshire Gold® program was a program for 50% Berkshire hogs. This program was discontinued about 10 years ago. We now have the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program certified by the American Berkshire Association.
What do I have to do to participate in this program?
Your breeding stock has to have pedigrees from the American Berkshire Association. All your breeding stock has to be ear tagged with an ear tag from the American Berkshire Association. These tag numbers need to be reported to the ABA office. All sires have to be tested negative for the stress and Napole genes. Your herd must also have a yearly herd visit.
So if I certify my herd I can use the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® label?
In order to use the label, the packer that you use must also be certified. This is also an easy certification process that involves a plant visit. The plant must complete a questionnaire detailing how they will keep the Berkshire project segregated.
How do I find out more?
Email the office and request a packet of information – be sure to include your mailing address. Email is Berkshire@nationalswine.com.
What if I have a question that isn’t answered here?
Please contact the ABA office – email Berkshire@nationalswine.com or 765-497-3618.
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American Berkshire Association | Berkshire Meat Products LLC
2637 Yeager Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906 | 765-497-3618 office | 765-497-2959 fax
times since 8/13/11