Selection for robustness is essential to secure a high productivity, longevity, and healthy animals in all environments.
As the animals’ productivity increases, the breeding must secure balance with the health of the animals to keep their performance in a high level for all aspects. This is done by selection for robust animals. Animals of high robustness will increase farmers profit, animal welfare and decrease environmental pollution.
Our breeding goals for robustness is defined by longevity in Danish Yorkshire and Danish Landrace breeds, strength for all three breeds, and survivability in Danish Duroc as the boar effect on piglet survival rate during nursing period.
Longevity is measured as the probability of a sow getting inseminated after first parity, after second parity and after third parity in the multiplication herds. Considering multiple stages of probability as the sow getting inseminated allows to better investigate the genetic background of the pigs in each stage category. Sows with better soundness are beneficial for the economy and the environment as more piglets can be produced per sow and thereby the need for new young females to produce the same number of piglets is reduced. This means less feed for production of new young females and less manure produced which would decrease the environmental pollution.
The Strength breeding goal has a beneficial effect on both animal welfare, environmental pollution, and profit. Animals with a good body structure on legs and posture contributes to increased animal welfare.
All breeding animals are scored in relation to strength by our experienced breeding technicians. This is done with a score that evaluates the leg position of the animals both standing and walking. This ensures that only animals with strong legs and a good body posture are used in the breeding.
The breeding goal of pre-weaning piglet survivability by the boar effect in Danish Duroc is calculated from the percentage of viable piglets 21 days after farrowing. This has a positive effect on economy, environment, and welfare aspects of pork production. More viable robust piglets will increase the animal welfare and by a higher survival rate the number of piglets per sow per year will increase so less sows are needed to produce the same number of piglets.