The aim of the study was to measure the phenotypic morphometric and reproductive parameters of Mizoram local pigs. The study was conducted through body measurement and by questionnaires. The results revealed that there was no significant difference in the phenotypic morphometric parameters between male and female pigs. Moreover, the male pigs showed non-significantly higher morphometric value than female pigs. The average age at first fertile service, average age at first furrowing, gestation period and service periods were 323.75 ± 9.90 days, 437.75 ± 9.41 days, 113.63 ± 0.53 days and 113.13 ±7.81 days respectively. These morphometric and reproductive analyses may be useful in the selection of breeding stock for future parents and the detail study and breeding plan may helpful to develop a new variety of pig.
Mizoram is a beautiful land locked hilly state, situated between 20.20ºN and 24.21ºN latitude and 93.20ºE and 93.29ºE longitude. The climate of Mizoram is pleasant and in summer the temperature ranges from 20-32ºC whereas in winter it varies from 5-21ºC. Mizoram receives vary high rainfall (av. rainfall 267cm/yr) during summer (May to Sept.) and during winter it is dry and cold. Agriculture and livestock rearing play an important role in rural economy of the Mizo people. The total pig population of Mizoram is about 1, 14,559 out of which 48,622 are indigenous (Livestock census, 2012, GOI). A very good proportion of local pigs bear some important distinctive characters which differentiate them from the other recognized breeds of the world. The population of these pigs is distributed in the eastern district of Mizoram (Champhai, Aizawl, Saiha and Lunglei). Because of extensive use of crossbreeding programme the local pig population of this region is under threat of loss of purity. About these local pigs no recorded data are so far available. Considering the need and importance, and with the aim of conserving these local animals, a preliminary survey work was conducted to have an idea about these animals.
Materials and Methods
Around 200 households who reared the local pigs were chosen randomly for the survey work. Experimental animals of 120 Mizoram local pigs of both sexes (60 males and 60 females) were randomly selected from eastern district of Mizoram (Champhai, Aizawl, Saiha and Lunglei) (Fig.1)
The animals were healthy and there was no history of cross breeding. All the important data like housing system, feeding system, litter size at birth, growth rate, body length, chest girth, ear length, tail length, skin color etc. were recorded for the study. The height measurement (cm) was done using a graduated measuring stick. The length and circumference measurements (cm) were effected using a tape rule while the width measurement was done using a calibrated wooden caliper. All the measurements were carried out by the same person in order to avoid variations between individuals (Table 1).
Table 1: Phenotypic morphometric characteristics
|Body length||Length from the base of the tail to the middle of the shoulder blade along the back on the midline|
|Height of shoulder||Midpoint of the shoulder blade to the floor in the perpendicular plane|
|Height at back||Point of pin bone to the ground|
|Heart girth||Circumference around barrel measured behind the foreleg|
|Neck girth||Circumference around barrel measured in front of the foreleg|
|Tail length||Base to the tip of the tail|
|Ear length||The distance between the tip of the ear and the base|
Reproductive traits such as age of maturity, inter-farrowing interval, litter size, gestation period and mortality pattern were recorded based on information by the 200 responding farmers through standard questionnaires. The format developed by National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), India was used for the survey work. All the data were tabulate and analyzed by following standard statistical procedures (Snadecor and Cochran, 1994).
Results and Discussion
The study revealed that the herd sizes vary from 3 to 10 numbers and managed in stall fed condition. Animals were kept in single or in small groups in separate sties made up of locally available materials. Floor and mangers were made up of wood and it was raised from the ground level. All the pigs were fed with kitchen wastes, root, tubers, leaves, vegetables etc. and with small amount of concentrate in the form of crushed maize or oil cakes. Physical characters of these group of pig comprises of brownish to black in hair colour, very short and convex snout, big neck, concave top line, short scanty hairs, brownish skin, short stout legs, blackish to whitish hooves, short tail, horizontal ears, and bear seven pairs of teats (Fig.2)
Records of the physical measurements like body length, chest girth, ear length, tail length and body weight at different age groups are presented in the Table 2. Morphometric traits considered in the present study showed no significant differences between male and female of Mizoram local pigs. But non significantly higher morphometric values were observed in male than female pigs. Unlike descriptive traits, body measurements, which are quantitative characters, are influenced by both genotype and environment. Therefore, the variation in body measurements may be attributed partly to the variation in availability of feed resources in village situations. This was confirmed by Jones (1998); Borkotoky et al. (2014), who reported that the limited feed resources available in villages for pigs reared under semi intensive system.
Table 2: Physical parameters of local pigs of Mizoram
|Parameter||At birth||2 months||6 months||1 Year|
|Neck Girth(cm)||16.60 ± 0.43||16.40± 0.64||36.88 ± 2.97||36.50± 2.60||52.83 ± 3.24||51.00 ± 2.81||9.80 ± 3.92||68.00 ± 5.27|
|Chest Girth(cm)||18.20 ± 0.52||17.80 ± 0.82||43.00 ± 2.71||41.53 ± 2.60||60.22 ± 3.66||57.89± 3.30||101.80± 5.20||78.00 ± 4.83|
|Body Length(cm)||22.60 ± 0.46||22.30±0.46||40.06 ± 1.74||35.38 ± 2.16||52.55 ± 3.15||50.67 ± 3.05||91.20± 0 .71||71.80 ± 1.03|
|Height(cm)||14.20± 0.33||13.40± 0.22||29.94 ± 1.23||29.36 ± 1.21||44.56 ± 3.56||37.67 ± 2.57||60.40 ± 2.80||52.80 ± 2.74|
|Tail Length(cm)||7.70± 0.50||7.50± 0.56||11.13 ± 0.30||10.86 ± 1.28||15.11 ± 0.94||14.22 ± 0.86||26.20 ± 1.37||24.00 ± 1.32|
|Ear Length(cm)||7.60 ± 0.38||7.50 ± 0.28||11.25 ± 0.60||10.94 ± 0.53||13.22 ± 0.24||2.89 ± 0.32||19.20 ± 1.86||17.60 ± 1.71|
|Bodyweight(Kg)||1.01 ± 0.08||1.04± 0.06||7.22 ± 0.52||7.00 ± 0.42||20.83 ± 1.37||17.28 ± 1.33||88.00 ± 3.20||64.40 ± 3.20|
From the study it appeared that the growth rate up to six month was poor and thereafter (6 to 12 month) it was very high. Neck girth was as high as chest girth and it was short in comparision to imported commercial pigs and their crossbreds. Similar report was observed in Ghoongroo pigs in India (Pan et al., 2005) and local pigs of Nagaland, India (Borkotoky et al., 2014). These contrasting differences might be driven by environmental influences such as climate, nutrition and management. However, this study agreed with the findings of Holness (1991) that indigenous breeds were smaller with shorter legs than exotic types. Smaller size might yield a greater ability to survive under the harsh conditions than larger size, as an evolutionary adaptation to conditions of low-input production (Lekule and Kyvsgaard, 2003).
The litter size at birth varies from 5 to 16 numbers with an average of 7.13± 1.18 and at weaning ranges from 4 to 10 numbers with an average 6.38 ± 1.02 which was higher than reported in indigenous Naga local pigs of India in unorganized farm (Borkotoky et al., 2014). The average age at first fertile service, average age at first farrowing, gestation period and service periods were 323.75 ± 9.90 days, 437.75 ± 9.41 days, 113.63 ± 0.53 days and 113.13 ±7.81 days respectively. The age of first farrowing was reported as 12.67±5.51 months in Naga local pig of India (NLP) and 12.11±2.51 months in nondescript local pig of Mizoram, India by Borkotoky et al. (2014) and Kumaresan et al. (2007), respectively which was lower than the present findings. Khargharia et al. (2014) reported that gestation period in Niang-Megha and Dome were 111.848±0.136 days and 112.044±0.295 days, respectively, which was relatively lesser than the present study. Higher records of all reproductive parameters than recognized breeds might be due to poor managemental practices followed by the farmers. The adult pigs physiological parameters like rectal temperature, pulse rate and respiration rates were recorded as 101.57 ± 1.44 ºF, 75.86 ± 3.42 and 15.00 ± 1.19 respectively which was within the normal physiological range.
From the study it appeared that the local pigs of Mizoram bear some distinctive characters and detail study may help to categorize this group of pig in a separate recognized variety or breed. As the performance of the animals are encouraging and the animals are adaptive to the local condition, detail study and breeding plan may helpful to develop a new variety of pig which will be best suited for the recent production system so called “Organic Pig Production” in this part of India as well as conservation of valuable germ plasm from extinction.