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Swine Husbandry in Canada
By the Canadian Department of Agriculture


THE BACON HOG

Until the swine raisers in Canada adopted the bacon type as their model, Canadian pork products possessed a very indifferent reputation. Since then a valuable export trade has been built up. In competition with the finest bacon in the world, Canadian bacon commands a price on the British market very close to the top. Its excellence has appealed also to the home consumer until the Canadian market is able to absorb a larger and larger proportion so that less and less can be spared for the export trade. For this reason there should be no relaxation on the part of the breeder to adhere to the bacon model in his breeding and feeding operations.

Hogs, like other classes of live stock, must be judged, first from the standpoint of the market, and secondly from their adaptability to yield profitable returns for food consumed. Forn, condition and weight largely determine the appreciation of the market, while on constitution, nervous teniperament and feeding qualities, depend the thrift or ability to convert the maximum of large quantities of food into a valuable marketable product.

Happily, in the raising of swine for the bacon industry the intereste of the producer and consumer in no way conflict. It was for a time contended by many farmers that it cost more to produce the bacon hog than the animal of the thick fat type.

The results obtained at experiment stations, supported by the experience of many extensive and successful breeders, have all gone to show that, if anything, the contrary is truc. in experiments by Prof. Day, at the Ontario Agricultural College, out of six groups of pigs, the groups scored first and third by the packer on the basis of their adaptability for the export trade, were first aud second in economy of gain.

It cannot be denied that more skilful breeding and feeding is required to produce the bacon hog, but it does not necesarily require more food to produce a pound of gain than is required by hogs of other types.

The hog required for the production of the Wiltshire side is illustrated in Figs. 4 and 8. In weight he should be not less than 170 pounds nor more than 220 pounds, the most desirable weight being from 180 to 200 ponuds alive when fasted.

As will be seen, he is a smooth, trim, evenly-developed pig, of great length, fair depth and moderate thickness.

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