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Pedigree Services > Frequently Asked Questions

What is a herdmark?

In order to record litters, you need to obtain a herdmark.  This is a 2-4 letter abbreviation that is put in front of the names of the pigs you record.  You choose your herdmark. To get your herdmark contact the NSR or submit your membership application. (Download Member Application)

What is the difference between registering litters as a member of the NSR
or as a non-member, and what are the associated costs recording litters?

You can record litters as a member or as a non-member of the National Swine Registry.  If you are under 21 years old, you can sign up to become a junior member for free.  Breeders over the age of 21 can become a senior member of Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace, or Yorkshire for $85 per breed.  There is an annual maintenance fee of $75 each year thereafter.  Memberships are breed specific and run by the calendar year.  If you are a senior member, you can take advantage of voting privileges and will receive a one year subscription to the Seedstock EDGE magazine.  By recording litters as a junior or senior member within 90 days from the litter’s farrowing date, you can get the discounted litter rate of $15.  If a junior or senior member records a litter past 90 days from the farrowing date, the cost of the litter is $30.  You can also record litters as a non-member.  Non-member litter rates are $30 within 90 days from the farrowing date or $60 past 90 days from the farrowing date.  (Download Member Application) 

How do I record a litter?

You can fill out a registration application and mail it to the NSR with a check, money order or credit card for payment.  You can also record your litters online.  If you are interested in recording litters online, please contact the NSR to be set up with a username and password, which requires a credit card to be kept on your account.

When I recorded my litter online, I made a mistake. 
Is it possible for me to re-register the litter to correct my error?

No, our system will not allow 2 of the same litter to be recorded.  If you would like to correct the litter, please contact the NSR with your correction.  Once you have recorded your litter online, you will get an email from the NSR to let you know we received your work.

How do I transfer a pedigree?

Once you receive the pedigrees from your litter, you can fill out the new owner’s name and address on the back of the pedigree or download a transfer form (pdf) to mail or fax in.  Please be sure to include the date of sale and your signature.  You can then send the pedigree to the NSR with payment for the transfer.  If we receive the transfer within 60 days from the date of sale, the transfer is $5.  If it is past 60 days from the date of sale, the cost is $10.  If the seller gives the buyer the signed pedigree, the buyer is responsible for sending that to the NSR to take care of the transfer.  Please note you are not able to transfer pedigrees online but can email transfers if you recorded litters online.

I transferred a registration paper.  Will you mail it to me or the new owner?

We mail all pedigrees to the individual who sent it in to us unless specified otherwise.  If you would like us to mail the pedigree directly to the new owner, please enclose a note with your transfers. Please note that if we mail them to the new owners for you, you will be billed for the cost of each stamp used.

What are the sire requirements for registering my litter?

All sires must have a DNA card on file with the NSR and a Negative Stress status before any litters can be recorded by them.  If you artificially inseminated your sow, please contact the boar stud where you purchased the semen to request an AI certificate.  They will need your herdmark in order to issue the certificate.

How do I obtain a DNA card for my boar and complete the Stress test?

You can simply order a DNA card from the NSR (765-463-3594) for $4. Drop blood in each of the 4 circles of the card from the boar and let the DNA card dry overnight.  Then, mail the DNA card to the NSR, and they will forward it on to the lab.  The NSR will automatically do the required blood banking ($6) and Stress test ($25).  Please allow about 3 weeks for testing.  If you need your testing completed sooner than this, please contact the NSR for special rush instructions.

What are the DNA requirements for selling semen from my boar?

All sires must submit a DNA sample and complete a stress test which is banked by the NSR. Download Stress-test form

  • Yorkshire boars (Effective July 1, 2016) must complete the breed purity test from their DNA sample.
    • This can be done from the same DNA sample that is submitted for the stress test and blood banking. 
  • Hampshire breeders must request the Hampshire Color test. 
    • This can be done from the same DNA sample that is submitted for the stress test and blood banking. 
  • Landrace boars are required to have a testmating form on file, before they can have AI certificates issued from them.  A testmating form is a statement explaining the color outcomes from progeny, when your Yorkshire or Landrace boar was bred to a Duroc, Hampshire or Duroc-Hampshire crossbred sow.  To fill out this form, your litter must have at least 8 pigs. 
Do I have to register a litter with the sow productivity program?

No, you do not have to be on the sow productivity program to register a litter. However, if you would like to be on the sow productivity program, you can register for free.

How do I read ear notches?

Ear notches are read with the litter number (right ear) first followed by the individual identification number (left ear). (download ear notching chart)