Mothering ability contributes to sustainable pig production through robust piglets with a high survival rate.
The category of mothering ability aims to produce a super sow that can handle its own piglets, produce more meat per sow per year, give birth to strong and robust piglets, and is easy to handle.
In the category of mothering ability, the breeding goals are Early growth (maternal) defined as the genetic effect of the sow on the average daily gain from birth to 30 kg and Piglet survival defined as the survival rate of the piglets until 21 days after farrowing in the maternal lines.
The breeding goal of piglet survival is defined as the percentage of alive piglets 21 days after farrowing in the litter. By direct selection for increased piglet survival, we ensure increased animal welfare and high productivity. In connection with the breeding goal for piglet survival, the breeding goals for viable piglets on day one and boar fertility will result in highly efficient sows with good mothering abilities, which can deliver a high number of weaned piglets per year sow.
The contribution of mothering ability to sustainability of pork production is through robust piglets with a high survival rate which decreases the number of sows needed to produce the same number of weaned piglets and thereby the amount of meat produced. Less sows will have a positive effect on both the environment and economic since it will reduce the resources needed as feed and space. Additionally, piglets with a high average daily gain from birth to 30 kg will contribute to an increased profit and less environmental pollution since it will reduce the days from birth to slaughter and thereby the resources needed.