Breeding general idea

Cross-breeding program "Marble Pork" to produce Estonian quality pigmeat.

Present cross-breeding program started 1995, when Hampshire breed boars and sows were imported from Sweden and 1999 Pietrain bred from Austria, to enable quality meat production on the bases of cross-breeding.


Estonian Pig Breeding Associations main goal is to breed and circulate valuable breeding material to improve efficiency and maximize genetic value.

Efective and sustainable pig husbandry needs competency, following different standards. EPBA breeding program additionally to breeding control wants also to considerate public health, environment and animal welfare. EPBA insures balanced selection thus compansates deficience in one marker with other high level markers. For that we have implemented breeding values for efficiency and fertility.

EPBA wants every farm in animal recording system to accord or become accorded beforementioned directions (breeding, public health, environment, renewable energy use, animal welfare) minimal level.

EPBA gives guidance for pig husbandry management to educate workers in these issues, so that their positive behavior with animals could lead to better result.

EPBA main action is to organize breeding all over Estonia.

Breeding program main goal for years 2006 to 2013

  • improveing and balance genetic values in nucleus herds.
  • useing top genetics to produce effectively cross-breeds meat.
  • improveing meat quality useing LxY, YxL sows with Pietrain, Hampshire and Durok boars.
  • young boar selection by carcass evaluation in close relatives (width, fat, Scan Star measures) and meat quality indicators (pH, water, color).

20th century in pig breeding uses more and more cross-breeding. Hybrids are more vital. Breeders observ more characteristics with high heritability like growth rate and carcass muscle content. By use of computers we can use in breeding also low heritability characteristics like litter size and piglets viability.

EPBA sustainable breeding program attend closely to six branches:

  • animal health and welfare,
  • meat quality,
  • effective production,
  • environment,
  • food safety and public health and
  • genetic variety.